The date that The Lady Soldier is actually published winds its way ever closer. As it does, the PR necessary to help spread the word of mouth starts moving up a gear.
At the beginning of March, Kate Allan, my co-author went and gave a speech at the International Napoleonic War Fair. Because of a mix up with postcards not being printed properly, she ended up handing out first chapters of TLS. It would appear that this is was a good move. Several people came back and pre-ordered the book on the strength of the first chapter.
Because some reviewers wanted an electronic copy, I had gone through the mss, making changes so it was as close to the final version as possible. Then Kate had it transcribed into Adobe Acrobat. This means the first chapter (see the Jennifer Lindsay website for more details) is now available for anyone who wants to read it. Hopefully this will help spread the word of mouth and make more people aware of it.
Kate says that it is being talked about on one or two lists that she belongs to, but where she has only lurked. So she thinks they don't know she is there. I am resisting the urge to join and look. It is a very strange feeling to think that people are discussing the book. Writing is such a personal thing when you are doing it, but then when it is published, it becomes no longer yours.
I know there will be people who dislike it as no one's writing pleases everybody all the time. My big hope is that somewhere, someday it will provide a few hours of amusement or respite for someone. If it touches just one person, then the hours both Kate and I spent will be worth it.
I have no idea what my reaction will be when I finally hold the book in my hands. Will I even dare read it? Will I see all the flaws? Or will I be able to approach it as I do books by other authors?
My big hope at the moment is that we will earn out our advance. I want it to repay the faith John Hale put into the book.