PILGRIMAGE — Some news and a description

As I wrote last October, my first novel, Pilgrimage, is going to be published by Cuidono Press, a new small press based in Brooklyn (I think those of you who enjoy the Middle Ages might be interested in its first released book, A Place of Light, on the origins of the Abbey of Fontevraud.) I am delighted to let you all know that my novel will be released this June.

And I think it is finally time for me to let you know what it is about. People who write talk about “conference pitches,” “elevator pitches,” etc. This is my current “dust-jacket pitch”:

For the rest of twelfth-century Europe, Spain was a far-off and exotic place, rich in silks, ivory, and gold, full of Muslims and Jews, and raging with battles between rival kings and kingdoms. It was also home to the mystical Christian holy site of Compostela at the western edge of the known world, shrine of Saint James. The saint’s tomb drew a perpetual wave of pilgrims, coming for adventure, seeking a miracle from the saint, or performing penance to expiate an old sin.

PILGRIMAGE is the story of one of those pilgrims. Gebirga of Flanders, the blind, dispossessed daughter of martyred Saint Godleva. She flees her callous family with a pack of pilgrims that includes a count’s daughter, bound for marriage, and a mysterious messenger with an unknown agenda, all bound for Compostela. The journey takes Gebirga from her home on the edge of the North Sea across the kingdoms of France and into the Iberian Peninsula, where she is caught up the swirling winds of political change, from restless, power-hungry kings and queens, to the Roman Pope. Beneath all the birthing of nations, churches, and ideas, PILGRIMAGE is a story of a young woman struggling with her station in life and trying to find her place in the world.

And speaking of dust-jackets, we are still working on the cover, but in the meantime, I want to point you in two directions. The first is to look up at the image in the header of this blog, shot by me in Spain at a place where one of the major scenes in the novel takes place. I discussed this place in my very first blog post, The Image in my Header. Next, look down. This is a painting I bought at the Hyde Park Art Fair several years ago because it reminded me of Gebirga’s journey from Flanders to Spain. I like to think those are the Pyrenees in the distance.

6 thoughts on “PILGRIMAGE — Some news and a description

  1. Mary Tod

    Hi Lucy … I particularly love the second image you’ve presented here. IMHO it would make a compelling cover.

    In terms of the ‘dust jacket pitch’, it strikes me that you have included a few too many phrases such that the reader might end up confused about the story he or she is buying into.

    For example, “or as he was known there, Santiago” doesn’t seem necessary.

    In another bit “coming for adventure and a change from day-to-day routine, to petition Saint James for miracles, and as penance imposed by their confessors, to expiate old sins”, you might want to choose the three most dramatic reasons, rather than having five.

    “disinterested, callous” – I’d just use callous. Since they’ve dispossessed her, they are more than disinterested.

    “a pack of pilgrims that includes a count’s daughter, bound for marriage; two clerics who dream of writing a guidebook for the pilgrimage road; and a mysterious messenger with an unknown agenda” – the count’s daughter and the mysterious messenger sound interesting to me but not the two clerics

    Readers might be asking whether this is a story centred on Gebirga or on all the other people she meets and ideas she encounters. Hope this is the kind of feedback you want. Hope it’s a roaring success.

  2. lucypick Post author

    Thanks, guys! Mary, this is great feedback. I agree with all your tweaks/cuts.

    ETA I have changed the original post to incorporate some (really, all) of your suggestions. I know who I want as my next beta reader, Mary!

  3. Christina Jackson

    Hi Lucy, I am really excited to read it. Best of luck with the book. I hope or is very well received.

  4. Pingback: Kim Silveira Wolterbeck, A Place of Light | LUCY PICK BOOKS

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