Friday, August 19, 2016

Talking about Legends

Lots going on the last couple of weeks regarding an essential subject I rarely cover: marketing and publicity. First off, Joan Schweighardt appears in a Web interview  with Mayra Calvani of Blogcritics, in which they discuss among other things, Five Directions Press. Mayra also provides a great review of Joan’s The Last Wife of Attila the Hun.

Meanwhile, I was interviewed by Sonya Chung for Bloom, a site devoted to people who publish their first novels after 40 (called Bloomers, which I love!). We talk about the ups and downs of coop publishing and where it fits in the larger, rapidly changing publishing landscape. You can find the interview here. All this was in preparation for a panel at the Writers’ Digest Conference in New York on Saturday, August 13, organized by the wonderful “literary change agent” April Eberhardt. Jordan Rosenfeld also took part. We had a great response and a wonderful time. Many thanks to April for including us and to Sonya for the chance to talk about Five Directions Press.

Last but not least, my interview for New Books in Historical Fiction—conducted by Joan Schweighardt—went live last Friday. After four years, I finally experienced what I put my guests through.  I thank Joan profoundly for giving me a chance to talk about my Legends novels at length. All I can say is, I had fun. I hope she did, too.

As usual, the rest of this post comes from New Books in Historical Fiction.

For more than three centuries after the Mongol conquest of 1240, the rulers of the Golden Horde played a major role in Eurasian politics, both directly and indirectly. One of the states most affected was Russia, where the ruling house of Moscow played the postconquest political game so successfully that it made itself the center of the resurgent Russian tsardom. In her Legends of the Five Directions series, C. P. Lesley explores the dramatic potential of that distant and often conflict-ridden world.

The Swan Princess (Five Directions Press, 2016)—third in the Legends series—returns to the story of Nasan, heroine of book 1, The Golden Lynx. Despite her high standing as a Tatar khan’s daughter and  two years of marriage to a husband she has learned to love, Nasan has yet to bear a child. As a result, her status within her in-laws’ household is compromised. Her husband has been sent faraway; her snippy sister-in-law seldom misses a chance to score a point; and her mother-in-law, the mainstay of the household, has fallen seriously ill but is nonetheless determined to undertake a pilgrimage to a northern monastery. Nasan has reached her wits’ end when her older brother offers her an out: ride ahead and prepare the family estate for visitors while secretly investigating a renegade member of their family.

Nasan jumps at the chance to strike out on her own. What she does not know is that her most bitter enemy has escaped from his Arctic prison, and he wants nothing more than to avenge himself on his relatives—starting with Nasan.

Joan Schweighardt, author of The Last Wife of Attila the Hun and five other novels, conducted this interview. Find out more about her at

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