Harper Lee, the sadness of Go Set a Watchman, and virtual tours

To Kill a Mockingbird

With the release of Go Set a Watchman, I have been thinking of the beloved author Harper Lee and wondering, like many of her fans, if she ever really intended for this book to be published. Something is not quite right about the sudden appearance of the “long forgotten” manuscript in the hands of Lee’s attorney.  After all, Lee, who is now 89, ailing, and living in an assisted living facility, had plenty of opportunities to publish the book earlier, had she been so inclined. By many accounts, Go Set a Watchman is the failed, first draft of her masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird. I can’t help but feel that the shy author, known to turn away interviews and who went running from the NY publishing world back to the safety of her hometown after To Kill a Mockingbird became hit, did not simply loose track of the old manuscript among her archives. More likely, Lee buried the manuscript in a drawer and fully intended it to stay there.

Harper LeeHarper Lee chose to live a quiet, reclusive life after the colossal success of her first novel, and she was known to turn away interviews. Although she eschewed publicity, I think a virtual tour might have been more palatable to her. From the comforts of her Monroeville, Alabama home, she could have penned answers to bloggers’ questions without stepping foot in NY or inside a TV station.

Emily Bronte

Shy author, Emily Brontë

The virtual world makes armchair tourism possible these days. As an author, I love the fact that I can circle the Internet with my new book, Alchemy’s Daughter, and speak with hundreds of people from the comfort of my Wrigleyville office. It’s true that I am something of a shy author, like Harper Lee, Emily Bronte, and C.S. Lewis.  A lot of us writers are that way, and it’s often the reason we started writing in the first place.

Italy Book Tours has done a wonderful job setting up my virtual tour. At each of the Alchemy’s Daughter stops, you can enter the Rafflecopter drawing for a chance to win a free copy. You’ll also hear a few stories about my years-long process of writing Alchemy’s Daughter, which was once a book called The Cloth Merchant’s Daughter. By the way, if anyone ever tries to publish The Cloth Merchant’s Daughter when I’m an old lady with dementia, you heard it right here that it was never my intention for that book to be published.

Medieval cloth merchant

Medieval cloth merchant, like Santina Pietra's father in Alchemy's Daughter

Alchemy’s Daughter Full blog tour and giveaway schedule:

July 13 – Studentessa Matta – review / giveaway
July 13 – Babs Book Bistro – review / author interview / giveaway
July 14 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
July 14 – Dreams Come True Through Reading – review
July 15 – Confessions of a Reader – review / author interview
July 15 – Il Mio Tesoro – review / author interview
July 16 – ABookGeek – review / giveaway
July 16 – #redhead.with.book – review / giveaway
July 17 – Unshelfish – review / guest post / giveaway
July 20 – T’s Stuff – review / guest post / giveaway
July 21 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / guest post / giveaway
July 21 – In This World of Books – review / giveaway
July 22 – A Simple Life, really!? – review
July 22 – Jayne’s Books – review
July 23 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – review / author interview / giveaway
July 23 – Essentially Italian – review / author interview / giveaway
July 24 – Vic’s Media Room – review /
July 27 – The Autistic Gamer – review
July 27 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review
July 28 – Just One More Chapter – review / giveaway
July 29 – Pure Jonel – review / guest post / giveaway
July 30 – Jorie Loves a Story – review
July 31 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway

About Mary A. Osborne

Mary A. Osborne is a contributor at Parabola magazine and the author of Alchemy's Daughter and Nonna's Book of Mysteries.
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