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News from Sharon Kay Penman July 2009


"Devil’s Brood does an excellent job of rendering a complex series of historical events comprehensible. Those unfamiliar with Plantagenet history will probably want to read Time and Chance first, but this long-awaited volume delivers all you can expect from Penman: a story so immediate and real that you’ll feel like you’ve lived it."
--Sarah Johnson, Historical Novels Review

Paperback re-issues available July 2009!


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Devil's Brood available in paperback!

Devil's BroodThis is my first newsletter, but if it is half as much fun as my blogs have proven to be, it won’t be my last. I have some news to share. Devil’s Brood is coming out in a paperback edition this summer. Ballantine Books is publishing it on July 28th; at the same time, they are re-issuing the paperback editions of When Christ and His Saints Slept and Time and Chance. I’ve always thought of them as my Henry and Eleanor trilogy, but I’ve noticed that they are sometimes advertised as the Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy, which would have really vexed Henry no end! My British publisher, Penguin, is also bringing out Devil’s Brood in paperback; the publication date is August 6th.

I am happy to report that Ballantine has resurrected the book tour we had to cancel last autumn due to my unexpected illness. Here is the schedule.

Sharon Kay Penman1) Wednesday, July 29th. 7:30 PM talk and signing
5871 Crossroads Center Way
Bailey’s Crossroads, VA 22041

2) Thursday, July 30th 7:00 PM talk and signing

Chester County Book & Music Co.
975 Paoli Pike
West Goshen Center
West Chester, PA 19380

3) Tuesday, August 4th 7:00 PM talk and signing

Books & Co.
The Greene
4453 Walnut Street
Dayton, Ohio 45440

4) Wednesday, August 5th 7:00 PM talk and signing

Nicola’s Books
2513 Jackson Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

I recently attended the Historical Novel Society convention outside Chicago, and had a wonderful time. I give details on my last blog, The Blog That Became a Novella. Be fore-warned; it is so long that readers will be falling by the wayside before they scroll down to the end. Future blogs will not be Moby-Dick-sized, I promise! It was lovely to see Margaret George again, after a number of years. She is writing a novel about Elizabeth Tudor, and I am hopeful it will be published next year, since she told me she is working on the final version. I also got to chat with Diana Gabaldon, whose newest book, An Echo in the Bone, is coming out in September; of course you Outlander fans already know that! I got to meet Michelle Moran, too, whose Cleopatra’s Daughter will hit the stores in September. Her readers will love this one. Surely Mark Antony’s wife Antonia deserves to be canonized, for she took in his children by Cleopatra and raised them as her own!

Since I don’t know how many of you read my blog, too, I want to tell you about a fascinating panel discussion at the HNS, for the subject matter is close to my heart. The panelists were debating the competing needs of the historian and the novelist, which can be a fine line to walk. I tend to be obsessive-compulsive about historical accuracy, so I was delighted and encouraged when the panelists sang my song. In fact, Laurel Corona came up with what ought to be the Eleventh Commandment for historical novelists: Do not defame the dead.

If you haven’t checked out my website lately, do drop by. I’ve added to the Research Recommendations section and have a heartfelt Mea Culpa on my Medieval Mishaps page for a truly bizarre error that I recently discovered in The Reckoning, in which Roger de Mortimer was telling Edward I that longbows were more easily mastered than the crossbow; clearly gremlins were at work here, as just the reverse is true. For anyone interested in medieval archery, I can highly recommend Bernard Cornwell’s Agincourt. And we are adding a new section for my books published in the U.K. Once it is up, you’ll be able to see the British covers and order directly from and Penguin.

I hope anyone who lives in the neighborhood will stop by for my book signings. I love having the opportunity to meet my readers, which is one reason why I am having so much fun with my blog, for it truly is inter-active. It is also a great place to find new writers, for we spend a lot of our time recommending books we’ve enjoyed. I will also be interviewing some very talented writers on my blog in coming months: Elizabeth Chadwick, Michelle Moran, Priscilla Royal, Margaret Frazer, and C. W. Gortner.

Till my next newsletter, then, Happy July 4th, Happy Bastille Day, and in honor of the naming of a Welsh mountain for Llywelyn and Ellen de Montfort’s daughter, Gwenllian, Cymru am byth—Wales forever.

Sharon Kay Penman


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