After writing the post on the Morlands the other day, which received a good response both on and off blog, I received the following from Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.
"Thank you for your message. I remember our correspondence. I'm afraid there isn't going to be any more dynasty, at least for the present. Instead the publisher has asked me to write a new series about a new family, the Hunters, set in WW1 and telling the story of the war from the point of view of the people at home. The series is called WAR AT HOME and the first title which will be published in June this year is GOODBYE PICCADILLY. The idea is to coincide with the WW1 centennaries coming up. If the new series does well I may be asked to go back to Dynasty afterwards so I do hope you'll all try it and hopefully enjoy reading about the Hunters as you have the Morlands.
I am astounded at the attitude of her publishers, I really am. I feel one of My Elaine Letters (as my daughters call them) coming on.
The answer to this is to make sure that Goodbye Piccadilly and the others to come in the new series are a HUGE success so that Cynthia can then go back to Dynasty afterwards. In the meantime I intend to contact the publishers and ask them what they are playing at.
I think the problem is with a long running series is that it gets taken for granted. Rather like a long marriage. The joy and excitement at first which then continues for a few years, then the settling down, then realising you are in for the long haul, then the years where you may get into a rut and realise your marriage needs refreshing and you take an exotic holiday somewhere and leave the kids behind.
This is what the publishers need to do with the Morland Dynasty. They need to look at it anew, redesign the covers, produce less hardbacks (perhaps just for the libraries) and update the paperback version, do six at a time and promote them in Waterstones in specially designed bins. I guarantee they would sell. For heaven's sake just look at the reprints of Jean Plaidy in the last few years, the reissuing of Heyer with new covers, the fact that Phillipa Gregory keeps selling (mystery to me I must say) and realise that there is a huge interest in historical fiction. Perhaps they ought to bear in mind that two of this genre have recently won the Booker.
And while they are at it, how about reprinting the Kirov Saga? They would sell like hot cakes. Historical drama set in pre-Revolutionary Petersburg. I mean what is not to like.....
So sharpen your quills, plug in the laptop and get writing and complain and urge and see what happens.
And most important of all, make a note of the date of the new book and BUY it. I certainly will. In fact, I have just pre-ordered it on Amazon so I have put my money where my mouth is.