Sunday, August 9, 2009

Latest Philippa Gregory novel to be tweeted

Philippa Gregory’s latest historical fiction is about to hit the bookstores and her publisher is embracing social media to promote it.

The White Queen will be serialised on Twitter in the week preceding its publication, with the first tweet to be posted tomorrow (August 11) at 5pm. You can view the tweets here.

The novel will then be released internationally on August 18.

Gregory, who has written the tweets herself, said it was a difficult process to turn her 150,000 word novel into 140 character bites.

“Tweets are a discipline, rather like a haiku, and the shortness of the sentence gives each one a rhythm which is really interesting for prose. It was more like writing poetry than prose.

And some of the tweets seem to me to be more arresting than the prose of the book. I especially like the first one: 'If my mother were not a witch, and the descendant of the goddess Melusina, I think none of this could ever have happened to me. But it did'. I like this so much, I have re-used it when describing the novel, it doesn't appear in the novel but only in the Twitter version, but it encapsulates for me the mood of the novel, its dreamlike quality, the character of the heroine and invites you to read more. I am certainly going to write creative tweets again."

The White Queen is the first in a series of novels set amid The Wars of the Roses. The book is a tale of one woman's ambitious ascent to royalty and the unsolved mystery around her son's imprisonment.

I'm a mad-keen twitter fan and I love how more and more businesses are latching on to the opportunities social media has to offer - as well as being a great way to catch up with friends and meet new ones. I will definitely be following Ms Gregory's tweets with interest.

Is it something you will follow too? Do you like publishers trying to engage with consumers this way? Is it something you would like to see more of?

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