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Friday, September 22, 2017

Comic Cuts - 22 September 2017

The first phase of work on Fifty Forgotten Authors is almost at an end. Hopefully I'll have it finished in the next week or two. It's looking more likely that the book will be a monster, and not cheap to produce, even if it's almost all text with only a handful of illustrations. My original estimate was 175,000 words and I was hoping it would be less. Now I'm hoping it won't be more!

I don't see this book selling too many copies in print, but I'm hoping that it will do better as an ebook. But then we have the problem of putting a price on such a huge tome. So the plan is to break the book down into chunks of, say, 50–60,000 words so that there's a solid amount of reading material and I can charge £5.99 or something like that.

I have two essays on the go that I want to include in the first volume, and a couple of other pieces that are almost finished. Once I have those done I'll have a pool of 19 essays of various lengths that I can draw from and which I can juggle into an interesting volume of the right length. I can then crack on with the second batch of essays, releasing ebook versions as I go along, until I hit the fifty mark and put together the print version. This way I will at least have something new out this side of Christmas.

To bring you up to speed, the totaliser now stands at almost 60,000 words spread across 15 essays, one of which I need to make some adjustments to as I'm still trying to nail down the author's date of death.

This week I've been working on what I'm planning to use as the opening pair of essays in the book. One involves a lot of alcohol and the other a lot of prostitution, so you can imagine the fun I'm having and the kind of search history I'm building up with Google. And since everything is so integrated these days I can't wait to see what my Amazon recommendations are going to be next time I want to order a book and what Facebook thinks are my favourite subjects: booze, whores or boozy whores?

This is probably the only time I'm going to be able to say that I'm taking a break from trying to discover biographical details for the notorious night club owner Kate Hamilton, whose night-house entertained the young gentry during their trips to London. Kate Hamilton's was the place to visit, as long as you were planning to spend some serious money on champagne and cocktails (yes, cocktails in the 1850s); then you might wander off with one of the girls to a house of accommodation where you could rent rooms for the night.

Kate Hamilton gets a lot of mentions in books by Victorians and books about Victorians, but they all contain roughly the same information. What they don't have is any clue about Kate's background or what became of her after the 1860s. She just seems to disappear. Her clubs had front men who would take the fall if there was any police action, so I'm not finding much in official records. It's most frustrating.

Random scans. Something a bit naughty.


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