This award has been two years in the making since I just barely missed the deadline for entries to last year’s awards. But it was worth the wait.
I have spoken with two of the Story Circle awards coordinators and what really got me was how much they appreciated the research that went into this book. Finally, someone understood why I wrote it. So many people seem to think the book was somehow done incorrectly because I don’t posit a lot of new information or advance a groundbreaking theory. That was never the point; the point was to gather into one volume what others have said about Guinevere and show how that fits the idea of Guinevere changing as a character as society’s views of women changed over time.
I have to say that knowing that someone understands it gives me a lot more confidence going into speaking about Guinevere at the Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies in June! As part of being a winner, I will also have the opportunity to present at the Story Circle conference next year. I’m seriously thinking about it.
The awards are sponsored by the Story Circle Network, an international nonprofit community of women writers. The program is named in honor of May Sarton, who is remembered for her outstanding contributions to women’s literature as a memoirist, novelist, and poet. The awards are given annually to women authors writing chiefly about women in memoir, biography and fiction published in the United States and Canada and selected from works submitted. The awards are limited to submissions published by small/independent publishers, university presses, and author-publishers (self-publishing authors). The judging is conducted in two rounds. Professional librarians not affiliated with SCN select the winner and finalists.
The Once and Future Queen will be out in November (exact date TBD). I’m thrilled to share the cover and back page copy with you! Depending on when I know the publication date, I may or may not do pre-orders. I’ll let you know at that time.
I hope you are as excited for this book as I am!
Guinevere’s journey from literary sinner to feminist icon
took over one thousand years…and it’s not over yet.
Literature tells us painfully little about Guinevere, mostly focusing on her sin and betrayal of Arthur and Camelot. As a result, she is often seen as a one-dimensional character. But there is more to her story. By examining popular works of more than 20 authors over the last one thousand years, The Once and Future Queen shows how Guinevere reflects attitudes toward women during the time in which her story was written, changing to suit the expectations of her audience. Beginning in Celtic times and continuing through the present day, this book synthesizes academic criticism and popular opinion into a highly readable, approachable work that fills a gap in Arthurian material available to the general public.
Nicole Evelina has spent more than 15 years studying Arthurian legend. She is also a feminist known for her fictional portrayals of strong historical and legendary women, including Guinevere. Now, she combines these two passions to examine the effect of changing times and attitudes on the character of Guinevere in a must-read book for Arthurian enthusiasts of every knowledge level.
In the summer, this is what editing looks like. This is me trying to figure out what needs to change in Mistress of Legend.
I’m thankful to finally be back to writing on a regular basis. I seem to have fits and starts this year, which I guess is normal, given that I write in between conferences and day job.
Speaking of conferences, don’t forget that I’ll be at Gateway Con June 16-17 in St. Louis and the Historical Novel Society Conference in Portland, Oregon, June 23-24. I’m speaking and signing/selling books at both, so please come and say hello! I’ve just been added to a thirdpanel at the HNS conference, “Putting the Her in History,” with two of my favorites, Patricia Bracewell and Mary Sharratt! Here’s the full information: https://nicoleevelina.com/events/. (Make sure you look at both the reader and writer sections of the page.)
I’ve had some new projects pop up, so I wanted to give you a rundown of where everything stands:
The Once and Future Queen: Guinevere in Arthurian Legend (non-fiction)
I spent the early part of this year researching for my first non-fiction book, which traces the evolution of the character of Guinevere from her Celtic roots to today. I started writing on it in April, but then other things came up. But I’m back at it at a steady clip now. I was hoping for a summer release, but now it’s looking more like end of the year.
Mistress of Legend (Guinevere’s Tale Book 3)(historical fantasy)
I know all of you are eagerly awaiting this book, and frankly, so am I. Guinevere and Morgan have been talking to me a bit, but not as much as I want them to, so things are going slower than I would like. I have re-read my first draft and while it’s not as bad as I thought it was, it still needs work. I have a revision outline and am doing some additional research, which should be finished in the next few weeks. I’m hoping to start writing in earnest on it over the long Fourth of July weekend. I was hoping to have this out by the end of the year, but now I think it will likely be early 2018.
But the book does have a cover! Members of the Guardians of Endangered Stories (my street team) have seen it, so if you can’t wait, please join! Everyone else will get to see it when we get closer to the book’s release.
Ever since I started researching Victoria Woodhull, I have come to realize how much feminism means to me. There are so many great stories of women who have gone against the grain of their society and fought for our rights. I am considering writing a biographical historical fiction of another of them, but I also want to examine what feminism has meant in the United States since the birth of our nation and where the movement might be going, especially in our current political climate.
We know for sure there have been three waves in the movement, each with their own inciting event, primary cause, public figures and cultural shifts. The first was in the 19th and early 20th centuries when women fought for the right to vote. The second was from the 1960s – 1980s, when women fought for equal rights, equal pay, an end to sexual harassment and other causes. The third began in the 1990s and encompasses a variety of topics from slut shaming to contraception and more. Just in a little bit of reading, I’ve learned that the waves are more similar than one might think at first glance. I would also argue that we are currently in the beginning of a fourth wave, spurred on by the 2016 presidential election and its fallout.
This is a passion project that I am just beginning to outline and research. I know it is going to take several years and it won’t take the place of my fiction writing. I need something to work on when the characters aren’t talking, so this is my ongoing project.
I realized a few days ago that there are more books in my house than I have room for, thanks to my own book addiction and also to the advanced reading copies (ARCs) I get for reviewing for the Historical Novel Society.
In honor of my 35th birthday today, I’m giving away 35 books. I tried to group them into logical categories, so that means seven people will win packs of five books. Here’s what you could win:
Group 1: Fantasy
The Falconer by Elizabeth May
Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Book 3 of a trilogy) by Laini Taylor (personalized to me, but autographed)
Netherworld by Lisa Morton
The Water Witch (Fairwick Chronicles #2) by Juliet Dark
Longinus by Steven Maines (personalized to a stranger, but autographed)
Group 2: Mystery
Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron (A Jane Austin mystery) (ARC)
Murder and Mendelssohn by Kerry Greenwood (A Phryne Fisher mystery)
The Prioress’ Tale by Margaret Frazer
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishigurd
Heat Wave by Richard Castle (audio book)
Chick lit/romance pack
Group 3: Chick Lit/Romance
Living Single by Holly Chamberlin
Once Upon a Kiss by Jayne Fresina (ARC)
How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Laura Lee Guhrke
The Quilted Hearts Omnibus by Mona Hodgson
Cocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickham
Historical Fiction Pack 1
Group 4: Historical Fiction (Group 1)
Boudicca: Dreaming the Eagle by Manda Scott
The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell
Perfiditas by Allison Morton
The Amber Treasure by Richard Denning
The Secret History by Stephanie Thornton
Historical Fiction Pack 2
Group 5: Historical Fiction (Group 2)
Mary Called Magdalene by Margaret George
The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
Historical Fiction Pack 3
Group 6: Historical Fiction (Group 3)
The Virgin’s Lover by Phillippa Gregory
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
The King’s Daughter by Barbra Kyle
Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir
Group 7: Non-Fiction
The Druids by Ronald Hutton
The Mysteries of Avalon by August Hunt
The Celts by Jean Markale
Christianity and Paganism in the 4th – 8th Centuries by Ramsey MacMullen
The Rise of Western Christendom by Peter Brown
Some of these books are brand new, some are gently used only by me, and some came from book fairs but are in good condition. All you have to do to win one group is complete the Rafflecopter link. (You’ll tell me your order of preference of the groups in the comments below, but you have to use the Rafflecopter for your entry to count.) There are more ways to get additional entries there, too. I’m keeping the contest open for a week, so you have plenty of time to enter. I’ll announce winners here sometime after September 3. Good luck!
PS – My goal is to be able to give away my own books next year!