The Antiquarian Chronicles Update
All the local comments about The Antiquarian Chronicle that have come back so far have been very positive and have even inquired about the sequel. I’m extremely grateful for that. I very much wanted to create a story that had excitement, adventure, suspense and a sweet endearing tone for people to read. I read, at my wife’s encouragement, Jan Karon’s stories of Mitford and found myself yawning and at the same time reading nothing else until I had finished one of her books. As you will, no doubt, hear from many other quarters, it was the characters that kept me going for the plot was just ‘another day in the life of…’. Another factor that greatly encouraged me was a copy, an anthology, of O. Henry’s complete works we found in an antique shop or bookstore. I think it was an antique shop. I loved his stories because they all ended with a twist that left me giggling, smiling or even guffawing. I loved ’em. A good series that demonstrates admirably how interesting characters can make a story that is abominably boring is Alexander McCall Smith’s African series about a lady detective. Talk about sleepy! Nevertheless, I finished one novel of his that I gave my wife for her birthday and found that it was interesting. Once again, the plot put me to sleep every night but I found that I enjoyed getting to know Mma Ramotswe and her peers.
These are just some examples of how a publisher can take a novel that really displays nothing spectacular in the way of plot, characters or writing and make it into an international best seller. None of these people had any particular platform or prior national or international following yet they crafted works that hit the best seller lists. After a long period of introspection and study I have come to the conclusion that it depends entirely on how willing a publisher is to get behind a particular artist and his works with sound expansive marketing. Sure, an artist with a solid product and a record of impressive sales is a sure bet. Who wouldn’t get behind such a product? After all, would you rather invest in a new model put out by Ford or Mercedes Benz or an obscure automobile manufacturer who had sold few, if any, of his new Great Idea?
Nevertheless, it is important to remember that at one point in time, no one had ever heard of Stephen King, Janet Evanovich, Tom Clancy, Dean Koontz, James Patterson or any of the other top sellers.
Another encouragement to me is that, upon surveying the contents of local used bookstores, thrift shops and the local Goodwill store, I regularly see copies of novels by all the above authors but no copies of The Antiquarian Chronicles have shown up. . . yet! Here’s hoping!