My Victorian Malady
Victorian novels portrayed maladies and deaths of all varieties. Everything from women fainting at the drop of a needle all the way through to spontaneous human combustion (thank you, Mr Dickens). Right now, I'm experiencing my own version of a Victorian malady: pre-launch jitters.
I wonder how nervous Dickens and Wilkie Collins got when they were about to launch the first instalment of their serial stories into the world. Both men had difficult personalities at times, so I would imagine they were difficult to be around at launch time.
Starting a serial story is a different experience to releasing a full-length novel in one go. A serial is susceptible to real-time feedback and critique, almost like a singer checking their Twitter feed during the interval to see if fans are enjoying the show. Sure, you might know what you're going to do in the second act, but that real-time response is terrifying.
All six teaser letters are now up on the I Am Allegra Bartlett website and are compiled here for easy reading. The first proper instalment, '1.1: Salvaged from Old Nichol Street', will hit inboxes at 7pm tomorrow (Wednesday 15th December) and will be published for free on the website at the same time.
I've spent so long with Allegra that seeing her leap into the world is equal parts wonderful and petrifying. I can't wait for you to really get to know her.
Don't forget, you can visit the official I Am Allegra Bartlett site and read more about the serial if you haven't already.
P.S. On a related note, my good friend Stefan Grieve has just published an article about A Christmas Carol and why you should definitely, absolutely read it. Here's a link to that piece.