Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Curious about Author Barbara Bickmore’s Books

I was telling two homeschooling mothers about this today while at the homeschool park day and they were interested in the information. I figured if I was going to write it up in an email, I might as well just publish it as a blog entry. So here it is.

While at my public library recently, I picked up a free copy of the book review newspaper “Book Page”, the May 2006 edition. I was reading it today while I ate breakfast and read this interesting question about author Barbara Bickmore, whom I have never heard of, in the "Burning Questions" column.

The question was if Bickmore had published any novels since her last book was published in America in 1999.

The author responded that since 1999 two novels have been published in Europe. This line in the response from the author caught my eye:

No American publishers seem interested anymore. I'm told that I write books that are too long, are about women and their problems and achievements and don't have enough violence and action in them to interest Americans.

Well hearing what Bickmore writes about got me interested in reading her books. It appears to me after viewing the book information on Amazon.com that her first book, published in America “Beyond the Promise” is out of print. Too bad she does not mention the titles of the other two books published in Europe so I can seek them out online. (I am unsure if they are written in English, now that I think about it, they may not be in English!) I tried finding the titles of the books published in Europe but so far have turned up empty-handed.

My problem with fiction about women is either that it is very depressing such as victims of childhood sexual abuse, rape, physical or verbal abuse, or some other victim type of story. I can only take so much of that and frankly after reading a few books in a row like that it stops being entertaining or a ‘fun escape’ for me. I absolutely care nothing for romance novels. I also am not captivated or interested in ultra-shallow story telling. I have read some shallow stories and some books that others would call “good beach reading”. Frankly my time is too precious to spend reading most novels. A bunch of stories have failed to hold my interest and I gave up on them. However the fact that Bickmore is writing about achievements (!) and that they are long (read: delve deeply into complex personalities) appeals to me. The author’s stated lack of violence and action is also fine with me as a woman’s life should nto be filled with violence and action—drama and emotion, yes, but violence, no thank you.

So now I want to read Bickmore’s novels!

Here is the full text of the piece that ran in Book Page.

OVER THE OCEAN

I was wondering if Barbara Bickmore has written anything in the last few years. I think she's a great writer, and would love to own more of her books.
Nancy Marland
Owner, By the Lake Books
Cazenovia, New York

It took some sleuthing to track down Barbara Bickmore, whose last book, Beyond the Promise, was released in 1999. But several heartfelt pleas like yours kept us trying, and we finally got an answer. Here's what Bickmore herself had to say about her work:
"How lovely of you to be interested enough to inquire. Yes, I've written two [more] books, one published in 2002, and another finished in September. However, you won't be able to get them. They are not published in America, but are in nearly all European countries. No American publishers seem interested anymore. I'm told that I write books that are too long, are about women and their problems and achievements and don't have enough violence and action in them to interest Americans. I guess my two books before that didn't sell terribly well. However, I do make a very nice living from Europe, and it does make me a little sad that America isn't interested anymore. I don't write romances, where there is nothing more than the man and woman getting together and then being torn apart and the rest of the book is about their getting back together. My books are too complex for romance readers. So, there's my story. I am not unhappy. Thanks for writing."

You may read portions of Book Page free, online, here.

I never know what useful tidbit of information I may learn from the free newspapers and leaflets that are given away at places such as the public library. It is worth picking some up from time to time, I never know what new thing I may learn about!

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2 comments:

Melissa O. Markham said...

There are several books published before Beyond the Promise and are available from EBAY at very good rates! http://search.ebay.com/Barbara-Bickmore_W0QQfkrZ1QQfromZR8 .

Also, here is a page I found discussing her books and if you scroll down, it shows two books released in 2000, but in a foreign language: http://www.gnooks.com/discussion/barbara+bickmore.html

And here is a review of Beyond the Promise...which sounds a lot like a pretty typical Romance novel to me: http://www.roweweb.com/bickmore/promise.html

I have not read this author before either. Her response to the question about her books not currently being published is an interesting one.

Cindi said...

East of the Sun has been my all time favorite book for many, many years.

Here are some other titles I found. I've added them to my reading list and our library has about half.
*East of the Sun
The Moon Below
Distant Star
The Back of Beyond
Homecoming
Deep in the Heart
Beyond the Promise