Samuel Thomas (airball on QT) has signed with agent Joshua Getzler of HG Literary.
I had four additional readers at the outset, including a historian friend, my dad (who was a history teacher), step-mother (a professional writer), and my step-sister (who used to work in publishing). I know it is risky to use friends and relatives, but I told them to be merciless, and they were. Oh, I also sent it to my mom, and she said there were a lot of typos.
After I rewrote it, I sent it to another historian friend and aspiring author, and that got me to the final version.
I have also begun a second book - a paranormal thriller set in an alternate past - and for that one I'm writing without an outline. I think it was Stephen King who said that he writes by taking characters, putting them in sticky situations, and then seeing whether/how they find their way out. That's the approach I'm taking for that book.
Because you represent ______, I think you might be interested in my work of historical fiction, BLOODY NEWES FROM YORK. [This is the old title.]
It is 1644, and Parliament's armies have risen against the King and laid siege to the city of York. Even as the city suffers at the rebels' hands, midwife Bridget Hodgson becomes embroiled in a different sort of rebellion. One of Bridget's friends, Esther Cooper, has been convicted of murdering her husband and – like other mutinous women – is sentenced to be burnt alive. Esther proclaims her innocence and begs Bridget to help clear her name. Bridget believes that her friend has been wrongly convicted, and sets out to find the real killer.
Bridget is joined in her search by a new maidservant, Martha Hawkins, who has fled to York to start a new life. Martha proves a quick study in the delivery room, and Bridget has high hopes for her protégé. But when the two women are attacked in a dark alley, Bridget sees another side of Martha, as she shows herself far more skilled with a knife than any respectable woman ought to be.
To save Esther from the stake, Bridget and Martha must dodge rebel artillery, confront a murderous figure from Martha's past, and capture a brutal killer who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. The investigation takes Bridget and Martha from the homes of the city's most powerful families to the alleyways and brothels of its poorest neighborhoods. As they delve into the life of Esther's murdered husband, they discover that his ostentatious Puritanism hid a multitude of sins, and that far too often tyranny and treason go hand in hand.
BLOODY NEWES FROM YORK is a 95,000-word historical mystery, and the first in a potential series set in Revolutionary England. I have a doctorate in history with a focus on early modern England, and have published articles on the history of midwifery in top historical journals including Social History of Medicine and Journal of Social History.
As a part of promoting the book, I would be happy to join in reading group discussions of the book. I can also give public presentations on the history of midwifery, and on the real Bridget Hodgson, who practiced midwifery in York during this period.