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Or How I Finally Got Around to Writing The Prince’s PsalmA Phone Call From Anne Rice.JPG

There are a lot of benefits to being good friends with Anne Rice.

I got to read Prince Lestat and The Wolf Gift a year in advance of their respective publications. Chatter at the dinner table really is as remarkable as you might imagine, and much funnier than you’d expect. Even though she’s my best friend’s mom, I never feel like I’m intruding when Christopher Rice asks me over (I actually have my own room at her house!) But beyond Thanksgiving bragging rights and witty banter, my dear friend Anne is an accomplished and experienced writer. She’s someone with whom I can commiserate about what a tough and underappreciated job writing is and who will never say to me “Well, maybe it’s time to get a real job.” I also have the rare privilege of having a friend I can ask for advice who not only knows the answers but who has succeeded as few others have in this career we officially share… even if we don’t quite bat in the same league.

So a few years back, I sought out her advice when I was trying to convince my agent to accept a book I’d not only written at his request but re-written to his specifications. The book ultimately grew up to be Write Murder, the first in a series of murder mysteries loosely based on my own life and some rather disastrous career choices I’d made. Anne, being the generous friend that she is, spent a half hour or more counselling me on how to respond effectively to my stubborn agent. I liked the agent, but he was acting like an editor, only he wasn’t doing any other part of the editor-gig aside from rejecting what I’d written.

Anne and I settled on a plan of action and we were wrapping up the call. I had a meeting to get to, she had dinner plans. We’d see each other soon when I came out for a planned visit. We said the sorts of things friends say when they wrap up a phone call. I thanked her for her advice and recapped the plan we’d made for me. She wished me good luck and then she said, “So this is the book of your dreams?”

It was an afterthought. Anne always says write the book you want to read, so it was just the sort of things she’d ask. But her timing was strangely perfect.

“No,” I said without needing to pause to consider. “There’s this other book that I’ve always thought of writing when I find the time.”

And I told her about The Prince’s Psalm.

“Oh my god, that’s brilliant. That’s the book you must write,” she gushed.

And it was on. Despite the fact that both of us had somewhere else to be, she began helping me to plan my writing process for The Prince’s Psalm. I tried to explain that I felt like it was too big an undertaking for that moment in my career. I told her my agent had already rejected the idea in favor of the book he was not accepting. She was having none of it. She pointed out in the nicest way possible that I didn’t actually have anything particular to do at the moment, so time was not a problem. Then she started telling me how to go about doing it. Not how to tell the story or what to write, she was far more respectful than that. But she began to pour out to me her vast wealth of experience on planning, researching and building epic tales and worlds, breathing life into them and then teaching them to waltz and dance en pointe.

It was like having the Wright Brothers call to tell me how to fly.

She believed so passionately in the idea that she would not let me off the phone until I agreed to write The Prince’s Psalm.

“If you don’t write it, I will,” she said, playfully. She never would have, of course, but she wanted me to know how passionately she felt about the story, and so she did so in a way a fellow writer would truly understand. She waxed poetic about the book of Samuel, speaking and quoting from it as though she’d only just read it — something I had not even done at that point. Eventually, with my agreement that I would seriously consider embarking on what I knew would be a long and difficult journey, we both had to go.

I was late for my meeting, as I vaguely recall. When I got home there were three or four more voicemails waiting for me, full of ideas and encouragements from Anne.

She also opened her library to me. Coached me on the rigors of doing the kind of research I’d never done before, the type of research in which many, if not all, of her works are richly steeped. She gave me notes. Read and re-read drafts. She even tried to help me sell it. (For those of you out there who think that having Anne Rice in your court will sell your book, I’m here to tell you that even that is no guarantee!) We didn’t succeed. But that’s another story.

The point of this story is simply to say that The Prince’s Psalm is a novel for a lot of reasons, but it might have remained only a dream project that I never quite got around to writing if it hadn’t been for a phone call from my dear, darling friend, Anne Rice.

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Ripped Bodice EventPrincesPsalmCover

I will be signing The Prince’s Psalm at The Ripped Bodice bookstore on Sunday July 17th at 1:00pm, with the fabulous Damon Suede and the vivacious Christopher Rice. There will be games and mimosas and books and general foolishness, apparently. Not your grandma’s book signing! If you’re in the area it would be great to see you!

 

 

 

 

 

For Details:

http://www.therippedbodicela.com/event/damon-suedechristopher-riceeric-shaw-quinn-author-signing

Get your copy of The Prince’s Psalm here: http://thedinnerpartyshow.com/albums/the-princes-psalm/

Before                                          After

 

My Cover 2PrincesPsalm[The]FSFont

The Prince’s Psalm is very much a passion project for me. I spent years painstakingly researching every detail and choosing every word. So when it came time to decide on art for the cover, I wanted something that would not only capture the essence of the story inside, but be worthy of it. But my ardor for the project did not immediately translate into a clear notion of what do about the cover.

In other words, I had no idea what to do about the cover.

Clearly, we all know what David looks like. We don’t, really, but Michelangelo’s masterpiece has forever become the iconic image of David, though the statue probably more closely resembles the Tuscan model who posed for it. Still, other than the Mona Lisa, there is really no other artistic portrait of an individual that is known to more people, and for better or worse – I’d say better – it is who we all see when we discuss David. Since my novel attempts to tell small part of David’s story, the only thing I knew for sure was that Michelangelo’s David had to be on the cover.

So with pictures of the David and details from the story, I tried to write up a description that would inspire the cover artist. She designed beautiful covers. But none captured the novel for me. DSP was committed to working with me to achieve the cover I wanted, so I got back to work. I tried to explain my general vision more, and I got more beautiful covers, but the designs got farther away from the emotional terrain I was shooting for. After a couple more rounds, Paul Richmond, the head of design at DSP, suggested that I take some time to look through other book covers and see what jumped out at me.

I didn’t find anything specific, but I found inspiration.

I realized that while we all think of Michelangelo’s iconic statue when we think of David, the man, The Prince’s Psalm is about seeing David in a way that we don’t usually think of him, even though the story has been there in plain sight in 1 Samuel for thousands of years. I had it. I tried once again to describe what I thought the cover should look like. More beautiful covers arrived in my in-box, but none were what I’d tried to describe. I felt terrible. I worried that I was wasting the time of the wonderful designers who were creating beautiful cover after beautiful cover.

Then it occurred to me, words were not the way to describe what I was seeing. I got out the tape and scissors. I printed out found artwork from the internet and after a few attempts achieved the “Before” image above. Okay, now be nice. I was just trying to explain my idea in a way that the designers might finally understand.

I sent it to Paul and it worked better than I thought. He was inspired! He took on the project personally. There were a couple more drafts as we worked out the images and fonts, but it came together beautifully, I think. (See After, above) I couldn’t be happier with the results. Thanks, Paul, for your patience. Thanks, DSP, for your commitment. Thanks, Michelangelo, for pretty much every single solitary thing you ever did. But mostly, thank you David for your inspiration for The Prince’s Psalm.

Get your own copy of Paul’s beautiful cover and as a bonus my novel free with purchase!

http://thedinnerpartyshow.com/albums/the-princes-psalm/

 

 

@ The Novel Approach

The Novel Approachhttp://www.thenovelapproachreviews.com/the-princes-psalm-a-guest-post-by-author-eric-shaw-quinn/

On Writing The Prince's Psalm - reference materialsThe Prince’s Psalm was a labor of love and as much as I love it, I still think that the accent is on labor. My guest post at The Novel Approach details a bit of what I learned as I set out to research and capture the epic love story of David and Jonathan with as much fidelity as I could manage.

Their love and courage not to mention the considerable help of friends, editors and the miracle that is the Internet helped keep me going as I hit countless brick walls on the way to hearing the music that became The Prince’s Psalm.

Copies of The Prince’s Psalm it are now available in eBook and print formats from various sources here http://thedinnerpartyshow.com/albums/the-princes-psalm/  and at The Novel Approach!

 

The Purple Rose Tea House!

PurpleRoseTeaHousehttp://www.purpleroseteahouse.com/2016/06/08/guest-post-il-david-the-princes-psalm-by-eric-shaw-quinn/

The David 10Thanks to Charlie for saving a table at her Purple Rose Tea House for The Prince’s Psalm and my guest post on her excellent blog!

Check out Charlie’s lovely salon for romanctic fiction and authors and the story of my first meeting with    Il David. It was love at first sight and I haven’t quite gotten over him. (Am I stalking?) I like to think he watches over my every keystroke. There are lots more pictures of my ever expanding collection of Davids on Charlie’s blog.

And if you haven’t gotten your copy of The Prince’s Psalm it is now available in eBook and print formats from various sources here http://thedinnerpartyshow.com/albums/the-princes-psalm/  and, of course, at The Purple Rose Tea House! Thanks, Charlie!

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It’s a book!!!

My dream project is officially a novel today!

And it came to pass… 
that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David,
and Jonathan loved him as his own soul…
Then Jonathan and David made a covenant,
because he loved him as his own soul.
1 Samuel 18:1&3

The Greatest Gay Love Story Ever Told Is In The Bible

The Prince’s Psalm is the faithful retelling of the passionate love story between Prince Jonathan, the first heir to the throne of Israel, and David, the second most famous guy in the bible and the man who would be Israel’s first King. Their love is clearly described and celebrated in the first book of Samuel in the old testament. In The Prince’s Psalm I simply retold the epic story of these warrior lovers in a modern novel that is true to every element of their love story exactly as it is described in the bible.

Join my celebration of their love and commitment to each other – get your copy today —

The Prince’s Psalm

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“Emotional Powerhouse”

Kind Words from Joyfully Jay & Kenna: http://joyfullyjay.com/2016/06/review-the-princes-psalm-by-eric-shaw-quinn/

Launch Date Tuesday, June 7th – PreOrders Now Available

Amazon Print Version – http://www.amazon.com/Princes-Psalm-Eric-Shaw-Quinn/dp/1634768353/ref=la_B001KDZ6UU_1_4/?tag=t084bea-20

All Other formats and Platforms http://thedinnerpartyshow.com/albums/the-princes-psalm/

 

 

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