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  • mcharlier1953

A paperback edition, book clubs and fun with history

The paperback edition of The Rebel Nun will be released by Blackstone Publishing March 1. I have received a few copies, and the edition looks nice. The cover is the same as the book jacket on the hardcover edition. I’m hoping that this edition will make the book accessible to more readers and more attractive to book clubs.

Speaking of book clubs, two clubs are reading the Rebel Nun this spring: one in Glen Ellyn, IL, and one in Cle Elum, WA. If your club would like to read it, I’ll be happy to send you a pdf of the book club discussion questions to distribute to your friends before your meeting. I’m also happy to attend your meeting and answer questions by Zoom or Skype. Let me know if any of this interests you by sending me a note via my contact page at

Now, onto fun with history:

One of the tools I use to research the settings for novels set in the medieval period is a service called Academia. The service sends me pdfs of articles that it thinks I will be interested in, and its algorithms do a fairly good job of sorting through the hundreds of thousands of academic papers in its archives and sending me ones most relevant to my topics. I’m guessing that any time I download a paper they offer me, the algorithms take note, further refining my offerings.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about and researching a true story about a Frankish princess who was married into a royal family in Visigothic Spain and was (by my theory) influential in turning the Visigothic kingdom from Arian Christianity to Catholicism. As if it were reading my mind (or my clicks), the service sent me an article this morning on religious transformations in Visigothic Spain. While the article focuses mainly on pagan, not Christian, religious persecutions and practices, it led me to believe the author probably knows much about my subject as well.

The Academia service allows you to send a note to authors of its papers to say thanks, ask questions or request a chance to chat with him or her about the subject. In all the times I’ve sent such a note, I’ve never heard back from an author, but I keep trying. This morning, I dashed off a note to the author of the Visigoth paper. Then I opened the paper and started to read.

At the end of the preface, the author had signed: “Mount Saint Alphonsus, Esopus, New York, January, 1938.”

I wonder who will get the note I wrote. Clearly, it won’t be the author, who must be either deceased or about 110 years old!

Silly me. I’m guessing that I’m not going to get much help beyond what’s in the paper from Miguel Pancho Sancho Gómez.

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