As a founding member of Five Directions Press, I was delighted to hear last week that Claudia H. Long had decided to join us. A San Francisco lawyer and, in her own words, “mother of two, wife, and cook,” Claudia is also a talented writer of historical fiction. Her first book, Josefina’s Sin, came out with Atria Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, in 2011. Set in colonial Mexico at the end of the seventeenth century, it tells the story of a young wife whose path to maturity includes a love affair with a bishop that leaves her pregnant.
The Harlot’s Pen, Claudia’s second novel, came out three years later. Its heroine, Violetta, works as a journalist in the tradition-breaking, steamy world of 1920s San Francisco. Extra steamy, in Violetta’s case: her book on working women takes her to a brothel frequented by some of the city’s most powerful men, and the federal agents set on suppressing the trade in vice (and keeping workers in their place) have no use for a Flapper with an attitude. Denise Steele selected it as her “Books We Loved” pick in May 2016.
But it’s The Duel for Consuelo and its impending sequel that brought Claudia to us. Consuelo also came out in 2014, with the now-defunct Booktrope Editions, and it needs a new home. Since our mission at Five Directions Press is to focus on “literary journeys less traveled,” a book set in early eighteenth-century Mexico is a perfect fit for us. So we look forward to republishing Consuelo and, by the end of this year, bringing out Claudia’s next Mexican novel. Currently titled “Chains of Silver,” this new book will be the third in the series that began with Josefina’s Sin. Where The Duel for Consuelo features Josefina’s son, now an adult, and introduces a young woman who must choose between love and her hidden Jewish faith, “Chains of Silver” extends this conflict to a new generation, in the person of a determined fourteen-year-old who must learn to balance the needs of self and family, including her religion.
The addition of Claudia as our eighth member means, among other things, that our cooperative is now about as large as it can get and continue to function effectively. We also have a lovely combination of writers with business, legal, marketing, media, developmental and line editing, artistic, and typesetting expertise. So despite the wisdom of “never say never,” we will not be looking to add anyone else for a while. But stop by our site to see what the eight of us have planned and to sign up for our newsletter (quarterly issues and book announcements only), and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for quotations and images from our books as well as general news.
And don’t forget to like Claudia’s page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. You can also check her website, linked above, to find out more about her and her books.
Welcome, Claudia! We can’t wait to start working on your books!