Friday, June 8, 2012

"The Concubine Saga" by Lloyd Lofthouse Guest Post and Giveaway (Ends 6/18) WW

Yesterday, I reviewed the fantastic book by Lloyd Lofthouse entitled The Concubine Saga

Today, I will be featuring a guest post by the author himself, and I will also be offering a giveaway.  So read on!

Being married to an author with a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1994) under her belt and with seven books translated into more than thirty languages (three of her seven titles were national bestsellers), I still couldn't land a publishing contract with a traditional publisher. In fact, my wife's agent rejected "The Concubine Saga".

That was when I decided to avoid the frustration and time it would take to possibly land representation with another agent and wait months and sometimes years to hear if a traditional publisher was interested.

Instead, I self-published and I'm glad I did.  "The Concubine Saga" ("My Splendid Concubine" and "Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine") have earned honorable mentions in general fiction from the 2008 London Book Festival, 2009 Hollywood Book Festival, 2009 San Francisco Book Festival, 2009 Los Angeles Book Festival, 2009 Nashville Book Festival, 2009 London Book Festival, the 2009 DIY Book Festival, and was a Finalist of the National Best Books 2010 Awards.

I'd been writing novels and collecting rejections since 1968. Although I was represented by more than one reputable agent over the decades and came close several times to landing a contract with a traditional publisher, a contract never materialized. One publisher went so far as to write in the rejection letter that their editorial staff loved the book but no one was buying that type of story—better luck elsewhere.

Then when my wife and I were still dating in 1999 (we were married in December of that year), she was researching and writing the rough draft of "Empress Orchid", which would go on to be nominated for the British Book Awards (2006)—she shared a table at the awards with JK Rowling—and said that I might be interested in an Irishman that went to China in 1854. She said he bought a concubine and when he left China in 1908, he was the only foreigner in China the Emperor trusted.

When I returned home after that date, I Googled Robert Hart and discovered that the Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University had published his journals and thousands of his personal letters in several volumes, and I bought them.

Several months later, by the time I finished reading "Entering China's Service, Robert Hart's Journals, 1854-1863," the idea of writing "The Concubine Saga" was born thanks to Hart burning his journals that covered his early years (July 1855 - March 1858) with his concubine Ayaou.   In fact, about 1911 near his death, he directed his family and friends to burn, after his death, the rest of his journals and any letters he had written to them, which they didn't do (thank you very much).

While reading Hart's journals and letters, I discovered that in the 19th century, "Chinese women were for sale and in unlimited supply… In short, one of the many prerequisites of the Westerner's higher living standard in China was his being supplied with Chinese women, who were in fact an ambulatory commodity regularly available…"

In short, I wanted to bring the love story that Sir Robert Hart failed to hide from the world back to life—including the lust, love, passion and heartbreak that comes with most romances.
Sterling Seagrave in "Dragon Lady", called Ayaou, "Hart's live in dictionary." The Harvard scholars that edited and published Hart's journals and letters said, "Hart's years of liaison with Ayaou gave him his fill of romance, including both its satisfaction and its limitations."
I must have succeeded in giving this romance a second life, since the review in City Weekend Magazine said, "A stunning work that enmeshes imperialism, modernity, miscegenation and plain old desire in a sweaty matrix of destruction and painful birth."

The Midwest Book Review said, "Packed cover to cover with intriguing characters and plot, a must read for historical fiction fans and a fine addition to any collection on the genre."
The Historical Novel Society review said, "Those who are interested in unconventional romances with an out-of-the-ordinary setting will find plenty to enjoy."
A Writer's Digest Judge wrote in a critique of the novel, "A powerful novel whose beauty exceeds that of the book's cover."

I can only hope that you have made the decision that this is a book you would like to own and read yourself. It just so happens that I am giving away a copy of this book to one of my blog readers.  Thankfully, this book is available in both print and e-book.  If you are a U.S. reader, you will get your choice of formats, but if you are international, you will receive an e-book.  All you need to do is enter on the rafflecopter form below by 9:00 P.M. Pacific time on June 18.  Best of wishes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. I am huge fan of the cultures of China and would love to win this ebook.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Your Ad Here