Sunday, October 04, 2009
The Duchess of York and how a Laura Van Wormer tale got turned
Being of an essentially humble disposition I am constantly amazed how my little posts on this and that get the media excited. Another example has been drawn to my attention.
Back in February I noted how the trail had gone cold on the co-authored historical novel-in-progress Hartmoor by Fergie, Duchess of York, and the delightfully named US Dallas author Laura Van Wormer. Laura saw my piece and retells on her website how it grew into something bigger. More than coincidentally, the very next day after my story ran, the Telegraph's Mandrake goss column led with: "Sarah, Duchess of York reconsiders plan to publish ’racy’ historical novel." Part of its story read: "Miss Van Wormer admits that even her friends and family are getting impatient about the book’s release which has been delayed indefinitely."
Unfortunately, the Telegraph story prompted friends and relatives of Laura to ask her why she told the paper that they were "impatient" for the book. We must infer that she didn't say this to the paper.
The Bookseller.com site then picked up the Telegraph tale with their take: "Fergie's novel hangs in the balance". So then the Royal Watch section of Monstersandcritics.com reported that Laura had spoken to the Telegraph and wrote ... "Sarah’s literary collaborator, US historian Laura Van Wormer, has admitted she is getting impatient with the delays…" Laura is hardly a historian: a historical fiction writer perhaps ....
Oh dear! Laura writes in one of her journals: "At any rate, just to reiterate, yes, the Duchess of York and I did write a huge historical adventure novel, and yes, it has taken a long time to write, and yes, I should have definitive news for you by this summer." It is now autumn. We are still waiting, Laura.
Do read Laura's fascinating website. Just for the record, I'd noticed that the publication date for Hartmoor varied on trade book sites - a clear sign of a problem. That's what prompted my story. I remain confident Hartmoor will see the light of day. Eventually.