Tuesday, November 1, 2011

White Seed: The Untold Story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke - Paul Clayton

White Seed: The Untold Story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke
By Paul Clayton

Product Description:
From Publishers Weekly: This above-average historical hews closely to the record of Sir Walter Raleigh's second doomed attempt to plant the British flag in Virginia, but embroiders the who, what, when with enough fanciful embellishment to create a riveting story. The focus is 17-year-old "wench" Maggie Hagger, whose passage on Raleigh's ship was paid by colony Governor Sir John White so she can serve his pregnant daughter. The ship's stormy passage to the New World -- during which widower White falls for Maggie, who is meanwhile evading unwanted advances from a scalawag -- establishes the many well-wrought characters, some noble (particularly real-life Native Manteo), others evil. The depiction of the colony's physical and moral disintegration between 1587 and 1590 -- as drunken, cannibalistic soldiers mutiny and brutalize the settlers they were meant to protect, and as colonists confront disease, starvation and madness -- evokes a harrowing sense of human fallibility. Readers with more than a nodding familiarity with American colonial history will experience a … déjà vu, but others less hip to what happened in late-16th century times will find this saga, which starts slowly but soon reaches page-turner velocity, to be both a dandy diversion and an entertaining education.

Q: What will e-readers like about your book?  I think e-readers will like hook of the story - abandonment, the struggle for survival, and the realistic way the characters interact to bring it all to a fascinating conclusion. Like Publishers Weekly said, the book is a page-turner.  E-readers’ thumbs will be busy.

Q: Why did you go Indie?  Commercial publishers made me do it.  I’d already published four books commercially, with Putnam/Berkley and also St. Martin’s Press.  But things move so slowly in publishing, and houses are, I believe, too focused on what’s hot at the moment to see the potential in much of what they receive.  And the advent of Kindle and other e-reading devices made it much more possible for writers to go out on their own and get their work out in front of readers.

Q: Who are your favorite writers in your genre?  Ken Follett is a big favorite, as is James Michener, James Clavell and Edward Rutherfurd.

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