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Authonomy selection: Red Sky Dawning

September 3, 2008

So late last night I wrote a post about Authonomy a new website run by HarperCollins for writers, readers and publishers. Last night’s post can be found here.

Here’s a blurb from Authonomy’s front page:
authonomy is a brand new community site for writers, readers and publishers, conceived and developed by book editors at HarperCollins. We want to flush out the brightest, freshest new literature around – we’re glad you stopped by.

So I went back this moring and made my first selection to feature here at The Printed Paged. I chose Red Sky Dawning by Elsi Pichel-Juan. It’s been tagged as: adventure, escape, revolution, romance, suspense, theatre.

Here’s an overview of the manuscript from the web site:
A theatrical family trapped in Russia during the revolution; a tender love story; a terrifying adventure; a page out of history.

A tale of suspense, adventure, a family caught up in terrifying events; a tender love story; a page out of history – Red Sky Dawning is all of these things. It could have happened – in fact much of it actually did. An internationally renowned comic did take his family and entourage to Russia early in 1914. He appeared in command performances before the Tsar and benefit concerts for Grand Duchess Elisabeta Feodorovna’s Red Cross charity work. His brother married a Russian aristocrat, who promptly divorced him once he had brought her safely to Paris. The family was rescued by a British naval ship in 1919.

All this is extensively documented, both in the diary he kept of his movements, the testimonials he earned and the scrapbook of press cuttings about his exploits, in a dozen different languages, published in the newspapers of the countries where he appeared in the Twenties. These provided an invaluable source of background information for this fictional story based in Russia during one of the most troubled periods of its history.

Right now I don’t know whether I have a complete book or just part of a manuscript. Let’s just say this is an adventure in reading. Once I finish Red Sky Dawning I’ll come back let you know what I thought about the entire process ~ start to finish.

  1. September 5, 2008 6:37 am

    I’m curious how you selected ‘Red Sky Dawning’.

    I’ve read the start of it (and it is complete on the site – it says in the book details) and it’s very readable, but it is ranked 319th on the site, is on no one’s bookshelf, and is quite near the bottom of the chart.

    Perhaps you should have chosen a book from the top twenty, to get an idea of the sort of novel that readers on Authonomy actually vote for?


  2. September 5, 2008 11:32 am

    Hi Lexi~

    Actually your comment is timely in relation to the BTT question I answered yesterday about peer pressure and reading. I read what appeals to me. From the book blurb on the Red Sky Dawning page it appeared to be a manuscript that would interest me. So far I’m 4 chapters in and, for the most part, enjoying what I’m reading. Yes it’s a bit rough around the edges and could use some work but then I expected that.

    I don’t follow the crowd and I don’t submit to peer pressure in my reading. So I chose something that isn’t popular, isn’t on anyone else’s bookshelf and is ranked fairly low – it’s my choice.

    I intend to keep visiting Authonomy, picking something to read and offering comments. Maybe next time I’ll pick something “popular” but then again maybe not.

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