Yesterday as I was leaving church a friend stopped me to ask, “How’s your book coming?” I felt like responding that it was currently dead in the water! However, I sadly acknowledged the truth. “I’m still waiting for permission from the Holt Publishing house to use the A. E. Housman poem as an introduction—you know, on the third or fourth page just facing the first chapter.”
This poem, written after Housman’s WWI service, is so poignant, so to the point, from the first perfect-world line to the tragic irony of war evoked in the last. It can be the ideal introduction to The Sound of Caissons, if and when I’m given permission to use it.
I began this post three weeks ago. Time kept passing with no response from Holt Publishing. As the 3-month mark since I requested permission approached, I finally gave up waiting. What else could I do? When a little known self-publisher is ignored by an enormous publishing enterprise, what recourse? Sadly, I removed Mr. Housman’s poem. But I refuse to let it dampen my spirits about the future of my novel. After all, I told myself as I gave approval for the final proof copy, that poem whether included or left out will not change a single thing about this book. It held great sentimental value for me as it was used in the address to the basic officers’ class at Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1949; my husband was a member of that class. Should you happen to enjoy poetry, these two stanzas don’t have a title, but the first line is I did not lose my heart in summer’s even. You can google it.
So, moving on. The Sound of Caissons is now available on Amazon for $26.95. The Kindle version will be ready soon for $9.99. The cover is beautiful and I’m very proud of the entire novel. It is definitely a saga. Be prepared for a long read, and I hope you’ll find it worth your time.