While promoting Bonsai and Penjing, Ambassadors of Peace & Beauty is claiming most of my attention right now, my fiction life continues on a parallel track. You could even say it is in what might be called a parallel universe, because my historic novel-in-progress is set in Renaissance France. When I’m asked about this, because it seems strange to some that I have this intense interest in things French as well as in things Japanese, I say that my non-fiction world is Japanese and my fiction world is French.
Where I am with the novel is at an awkward stage. It’s too big! I have about 120,000 words and need to cut it to 80,000, which will equate to about 300 pages. So, I was thrilled to be able to go to the Historic Novel Society Conference in Oxford, England earlier this month and learn some tricks and tips from experts. In essence, I plan to start over — fairly typical for first-time novelists, I gather. Guess what I’ll be doing this November when it’s National Novel Writing Month! In the meantime, here’s a link about the conference from the Times Literary Supplement for you to enjoy: http://www.the-tls.co.uk/making-history/