Thursday, December 18, 2008

An Open Letter to US Publishers

Would you please publish some of Irish author Mary Stanley's work?

The first book of hers that I read was Retreat. I was lucky to find it in a used bookstore and while I don't remember the details, it is a story of young girls and how they were being treated (poorly) while attending a Catholic school. In the past year I've read Stanley's books Revenge and Missing. What they have in common is that they are stories about families, somewhat quirky and eccentric families, but families that are living and growing and to whom something bad happens. The only reason I haven't read Stanley's other books is that I love them so much, I horde them.

Revenge is the book that I just finished last week. In this tale, the oldest daughter in the family awakens on Christmas morning in her bed, obviously assaulted and with no recollection what has happened. The aftermath of this, how her family comes together and apart, and how each member of the family handles this is the bulk of the story.

It's hard for me to know how to categorize Mary Stanley's novels. I might call it women's fiction since most of the primary characters in the books are women. But some take offence to that category so I won't call it that. Though I do think it's true that there are books that have more appeal to women than men and there's nothing wrong with that. So back to the drawing board. It's even hard to decide who to compare Stanley's writing with. Her characters are real and flawed, unique and funny at the same time. Her writing is fluid, and just detailed enough. Her books have that page-turning sense of suspense. They are readable and smart and most importantly they are entertaining.

So please, US publishers, I implore you to take a look at Mary Stanley's work and consider adding her to your list. I don't think you'd be sorry, I think her books have widespread appeal and would sell. I, for one, know that I can purchase Stanley's books from the UK. But think of all the people who are missing out.

Sincerely, Tara

In other news, a bookish story....this is a conversation that took place in my home last evening.

Me: Have you gotten me anything for Christmas yet?

Husband: No. (No surprise there.)

Well, would you mind if I ordered something and it'll be from you?

What do you want?


Well, you have that gift certificate from Amazon.

Yes, well. I want books from Britain.

Mmmmmm. I figured.

So can I?

Go ahead.

And that was that. I spent a glorious time on the computer last night ordering from The Book Depository and another company that begins with a P. I gave myself a monetary limit. Sort of. And the exchange rate now is quite good (1 pound = $1.55), so it's a good time to order. I will soon have SEVEN books winging their way to me and I.Cannot.Wait. Will share titles and photos after they arrive. I figure, even though I picked out the books and ordered them myself, they will all still be a surprise, since I've never held any of them in my hands or browsed through them. Dreamy.


Anonymous said...

I just finished Annie Dunne, by Sebastian Barry, another Irish writer. I just happened to stumble on him when I was meandering around B&
Mary stanley sounds wonderful...thanks for the letter. ;-)

avisannschild said...

You keep posting reviews of books that sound really good! I may have to feature more of your reviews in my Friday Finds (if I have time tomorrow).

Thanks for the great reviews!

Megan said...

Hope the US publishers are listening. You've definitely got me interested!

Melissa said...

Mary Stanley sounds like my kind of author. Count me among those who you've got interested. And I'm also glad to see that I'm not the only one who buys my own presents from my husband. :)

Nan said...

I love your Christmas presents story. That's all I ever want - give me money for books and let me pick them out. :<) You are ordering from two of my fave stores. The others are my local independent and that oft-criticized, but beloved by me, amazon.
Hey, guess what my word verification is for this comment - parched! Parched for books that is. :<)

J.L. Danger said...

I wish that was how my husband shopped for me!

Tara said...

softdrink, funny, I've been hearing lots about Sebastian Barry lately, though not this title. I'll check it out!

avisannschild, I have a couple more good ones to post about! I'm glad they sound appealing to you.

Megan, I hope so too!

Betty and Boo's Mommy, she's really great. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one either who buys their own gifts. That way everybody gets what they want!

Nan, I still love amazon, they have absolutely everything and free shipping too. Parched is right!

J.Danger, it sure is easy!

avisannschild said...

In the end, I did mention this review in my Friday Finds post here.

I'm looking forward to reading your next reviews!

Marie Cloutier said...

Mary Stanley sounds like fun and your story is terrific :-)
I look forward to reading your review of the Little Giant as well :-)

Danielle said...

What a nice husband! There are several titles that I've been eying that I need to order from TBD, but I've been putting it off, trying to be good! Now I have another author to add to the list. I hope Mary Stanley is in print over there at least??

Carrie K said...

Sounds like the best way to get the perfect present! Mary Stanley sounds like a good author for the US too.

Bookfool said...

Oh, she does sound like a wonderful writer!

Sometimes has British imports. I've gotten some of my favorite authors' works without having to pay the overseas shipping.

So funny you asked if you could order for yourself. My husband and I have both bought things and said, "This is for me from you," this year. I got my husband one surprise gift, though, and guess what? He opened it! It was a nice try. :)

Tara said...

Avisannschild, thanks for the mention!

Marie, she is -just a good solid entertaining writer in my opinion.

Danielle, yes he is! I've been putting it off for a while too, and thought Christmas would be a good excuse. Another good excuse, I've found is when we get the tax refund! She absolutely is available on TBD.

Carrie K, it works out well!

Bookfool, I have also had great luck with Bookcloseouts - they may even have one of Stanley's books right now - I'm always checking. It's nice to see we are not the only husband and wife that do this!

Donna said...

I just found your site through avisannschild's. Revenge sounds like a great book. I'm going to check out the book site you mentioned.

You have a great blog, btw!

Tara said...

Myckyee, thanks for stopping by! I'm a big fan of Revenge and Mary Stanley's books in general. Thanks so much!