Read This Book, Then Mark Your Calendar

Selden Edwards is at the top of my list of inspirational novelists.

He began working on a manuscript in 1974 at Stanford. Thirty years later, after many drafts and many rejections, Selden earned an agent and sold his novel to Dutton. The Little Book, an engrossing historical novel set in fin-de-siècle Vienna, became a bestseller in 2008. As he says, he’s the poster child for “never give up.”

I discovered Selden’s amazing, tightly crafted book in 2010 on a trip to Powell’s when I was just starting my historical novel. Until I found his work, I didn’t have any role models in the genre. The Little Book is exactly the kind of compelling, plot-driven, but still literary, story that I hope to create with my work-in-progress. When I learned about Selden’s long road to publication, I was even more impressed! Read my blog post about The Little Book  for details about the novel.

Selden’s second book, The Lost Prince, is due out on August 16. Due to the time-travel element, this one is both a prequel and a sequel, set during World War I. Which means you have about six weeks to read The Little Book.

Here’s a teaser–and another reason why you should go get The Little Book right now. Selden, one of the very best examples of why you should keep writing despite rejections, has graciously agreed to be interviewed here as part of my Seven Questions series. I’ll be running the piece on August 16 to coincide with the launch of The Lost Prince. 

This is going to be an incredible moment here on my blog.

I have the finished interview in my files right now, and I can’t wait to publish it. But I have to wait six more weeks! So, in the meantime, go read The Little Book and then come back here on August 16 to learn more about Selden’s thoughts on research, rejections and the writing process. His thoughts on writing have shaped me as a novelist, and I can’t wait to share his insights with all of you.


About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
This entry was posted in Books, Fiction, Seven Questions, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Read This Book, Then Mark Your Calendar

  1. Laura, this is so so cool! I will see if I can find a copy of his book.

  2. Laura, you little tease 🙂 I can’t wait !!

    • I’ve kept this interview a secret for a while, but it was only fair to give everyone a heads up about The Little Book. I’d imagine you could read The Lost Prince without having read the first one, but The Little Book is amazing and the fact that he persevered and ended up with a bestseller is another great reason to read it!

  3. Sold!
    Sounds like a hard act to follow… 🙂

    • The early praise has been great for The Lost Prince. I learned so much about the craft from reading and rereading The Little Book and thinking about his waves of drafts and how each one must have added to its texture. I can’t wait for Aug. 16! I’ve never actually preordered a book before…

  4. 4amWriter says:

    This is wonderful timing for me. First, I am in need of another book to read as I have just finished Water for Elephants. Second, I am seriously contemplating writing a historical novel but I haven’t read one in so long I feel out of my element. This could be the perfect antidote!

    I am so excited for your August 16th post. I’m marking my blogging calendar right away!

    • Kathryn, the Little Book absolutely gave me the courage to commit to writing historical fiction. When I found it, I hadn’t read any historical novels that did what I wanted to do–a rich and complex literary story using historical elements. (So many of them are romances that happen to take place in the past, and that wasn’t something I was interested in doing.) Selden inspired me to go ahead and toss out my present-tense story and just go for the historical part, which was originally just going to be a little bit of backstory. I’m so excited to feature him and his thoughts about writing next month! Eeee!

  5. Pingback: It’s Rejection Week! | Laura Stanfill

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