Sunday, August 09, 2009

MAGPIE HALL


Posting may be erratic or non-existent over the next few weeks, so I thought I would leave you with this: my new novel.

It's called Magpie Hall, and will be released by Vintage (Random House) in November in New Zealand. International editions TBC.

Here is the back cover blurb:

“There were two rumours surrounding my great-great-grandfather Henry Summers: one, that his cabinet of curiosities drove him mad; and two, that he murdered his first wife.”
 
Rosemary Summers is an amateur taxidermist and a passionate collector of tattoos. To her, both activities honour the deceased and keep their memory alive. After the death of her beloved grandfather, and while struggling to finish her thesis on gothic Victorian novels, she returns alone to Magpie Hall to claim her inheritance: Grandpa’s own taxidermy collection, started more than 100 years ago by their ancestor Henry Summers. As she sorts through Henry’s legacy, the ghosts of her family’s past begin to make their presence known.
 

If you like old country houses, tattooed ladies, taxidermy, cabinets of curiosities, gothic Victorian novels and (possible) ghosts, then I hope this one's for you.

The cover design is by multi-talented Sarah Laing.

I started this blog at the same time as I started this novel, so the blog has been my diary of a novel, really, documenting all the highs and lows and the thought processes that went into it. Once I'm back online, I might report on the process of having the novel published. It is edited; the next step is to go through the proofs in a few weeks' time.

I'm excited. And a little scared.

33 comments:

Kimberley said...

Wow - that all happened very fast. One minute you're struggling to find a title, next thing you know it's got a cover and a blurb and a release date.
Impressive. Can't wait to read it.

Maggie May said...

That cover is AWESOME. Really awesome. And the blurb is freaking awesome. Taxidermy? Vicorian? Tattoos? Could it be any more interesting!! Wonderful! I'm more than half way through my novel and the research part is so fun, as the subjects come up and you get to learn more about things that interest you...Congratulations :)O

Vanda Symon said...

Wonderful cover! It sounds so intriguing. All the best - with everything!

Aspiring Writer said...

Congratulation! It's a fantastic cover and I'm looking forward to November. You're amazing. Wow!

Gondal-girl said...

sexy or what! Congratulations on such a beautiful cover for what I am sure will be leaping of the shelves into readers hot little hands...

Rachel Fenton said...

You just jumped to the top of my to read list - I love Gothic! Forget Otranto, move aside The Monk, I'm off to Magpie Hall (and an English magpie, pica pica!). Congrats for now and to come! And the cover is ace!

Damon said...

It's weird congratulating you on a cover you didn't design - I remember getting praise for Distraction's cover, and thinking 'But, but...but I didn't do it.'

But it is a gorgeous cover. Sorry.

Rachael, I will buy your book when it hits Readings.

Ruth said...

Congratulations - what a beautiful cover! And based on TSOB, I'll definitely be lining up to buy this one. When's the release date?

Imogen said...

Yep, I agree, the cover is fantastic. Now I just have to wait for Christmas to get my hands on it! Too long! xxx

Mary McCallum said...

Fantastic news Rachael - and a very strong, don't-pass-me-by cover. I love the idea of an 'amateur taxidermist!' Bravo. I'll in line for a copy as soon as it's out.

Tessa said...

Love the cover! Can't wait to read it x Tess

Donna Hosie said...

Really looking forward to this novel. I'm off to NZ in January and so if it isn't released in Australia before then, I will pick up my copy when I visit.

The cover is gorgeous. Congratulations, Rachael.

LiteraryMinded said...

I love all those things. Definitely on the to-read list! And Rachael - get your publisher to send a proof to Bookseller+Publisher, as we have an Aus & NZ audience - if it's ready in the next few weeks, anyway.

Congrats and all best!

Angela

Mary said...

Love the cover Rach. It's edgy and vulnerable.

Melinda Szymanik said...

Are you going to get a tattoo in honour of the book?

Congratulations. Enjoyed your first book. looking forward to getting between the covers of this one. Would love to know how the book happened so quickly when this business runs so interminably slowly. What's your secret?

Roger Morris said...

Wow! Great cover Rachael! And the book sounds amazing, as I'm sure it is! Congratulations!

Rachael King said...

Thanks to all those who have commented!

Melinda, to answer your question, the release date has been set since March when I made a promise to my publisher to deliver the novel by a certain date. At the time, the deadline seemed daunting, but the writing gathered momentum until I ended up delivering it ahead of schedule. So it might seem as though it has happened quickly but I have been in constant contact with my publisher all of this year. My editor read early drafts too, and we discussed them, so when I delivered the final manuscript there weren't too many big rewrites.

I hope that clears up some of the mystery!

Susan Pearce said...

Oh my God, what a brilliant cover! This is going to be huge. I was at lunch the other day with someone who raved about SOB and when I told her about this one said she can't wait. Thinking of you

S xx

Fifi Colston said...

oh this looks great- I can't wait to get it- something for the great Xmas reading time. Congratulations!
You are such a talented and hardworking family- I heard Jonathan speak about Under the Mountain last week... I think there should be a big article on the Kings of Creativity.

maggie@at-the-bay.com said...

I went to the Random House Roadshow last night (wearing my booksellers hat) and "Magpie Hall" was one of the stars of the show, the cover up on the big screen (isn't Sarah Laing a clever girl)... and what an achievement for you with your second novel out in November and international editions tba... and I see your a Vintage girl in more ways than one now. Congratulations. It is great for NZ writers to see you achieving so well both locally and overseas.

Kay said...

Congratulations - a striking cover and the blurb certainly whets the reading appetite. All the best for the next stages.

sarahbb said...

Congratulations! I love the way I can't decide whether the arm is attached to a body or not (must be the taxidermy reference that got me thinking).

Anonymous said...

The cover is wonderful, so suggestive of what I imagine is within. It's that deathly tattooed arm lying on a lacey curiosity. I'm fascinated.

Catherine said...

That cover is a real stand-out. I'm sure it's quality will be matched by the contents.
Have you ever been to Calke Abbey in Derbyshire? It has the most amazing collection of taxidermied animals and birds I have ever seen (and apparently it is only about half the original collection, the rest having been sold to finance the upkeep of the property).

kate said...

looks beautiful, Rachel - and I'm so looking forward to reading it! Congratulations on the "other" baby too! books and babies . . . two of my favourite things.

Kebabette said...

Congratulations Rachael and family, Bookman Beattie has reported your wonderful news:
"Monday, August 17, 2009: BIG NEWS FOR NZ AUTHOR RACHAEL KING
Rachael gave birth to her second son this morning - an impressive 11 lbs 3 oz. Warmest congratulations..."

And a new book, wow!!

a cat of impossible colour said...

Really amazing cover, Rachael! Congratulations.

GBD said...

Hey Rachel

Cover is amazing. Very tasty indeed, imbues the whole beautifully ... good luck with it

paul s

Laini Taylor said...

oh my goodness -- rachael!!! that sounds AWESOME!!! i can't wait to read it!!!! but . . . how is it coming out SO FAST????? feels like you just finished the 1st draft! LOVE the title and cover too. exquisite. pardon lack of caps. typing one-handed :-)

pjkm said...

rachael - this looks fantastic, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Marja said...

Great cover all very exciting Your book is on my christmas list

Rachael King said...

Thanks very much to all my wonderful blog readers for your kind comments!

Tomatohead said...

Many many congratulations for everything going on in your life.

I hope the States gets a similarly cool cover.