Policies

REVISED, April 2019

I welcome review requests from authors and publishers, but with several caveats: no electronic submissions, please, and no self-published books, in any format. I love adult historical fiction, as defined below and within broad limits, but unfortunately, adult means no YA or MG.

As an author, I have a soft spot for writers scrabbling for publicity. But before I choose any book offered by its author, publisher, or Historical Novels Review (for which I also write), I must see a strong endorsement from Publishers Weekly, or I’ll pass. I’ve learned the hard way that when I can’t pull a book off a library or bookstore shelf and page through it to see whether I can do it justice, PW’s the only opinion I trust. There’s nothing worse than struggling through a narrative and then trying to review it; nobody wins.

So please, read these paragraphs carefully, only offer me what I’m looking for, and we’ll both be rewarded.

I’m looking for novels that describe settings, events, and conditions at least fifty years old, up to and including the late Sixties and the Vietnam War. I avoid sagas and won’t touch any story that mixes past and present. I’m happy with a love story, but not what the industry calls romances. I lean strongly toward character-driven storytelling, and the style must be realistic: no fantasy, paranormal, magical realism, or alternate history. I welcome historical thrillers of a literary type–think Helen Dunmore, David Liss, Alan Furst, Robert Harris.

From time to time, I’ll also review history. The subject may be any period at least twenty-five years old, from any angle–social, diplomatic, military, you name it–dealing with any place on earth. No biographies, though.

As for the pitch itself, please don’t make me hunt for the information I need (premise/brief synopsis, publisher, pub date, Publishers Weekly review). After all, you’re trying to persuade me that your book is worth my time, so if I have to click a link that may or may not lead to what I need, I’m already at a disadvantage.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear from you.

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