Some of you may know me as the HEMA Alliance Curriculum Council Director, or as the founder of the New York Historical Fencing Association, or perhaps as the guy who runs the cutting tournament at Longpoint. But, I'm also a writer.
I just released this book on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle. It's a modern day HEMA thriller and takes place in a fictionalized version of our community. It was represented by a prominent agent (Sarah Yake of Frances Collin Literary Agency) who was very passionate about the project. But try as she might, she could not convince any of the major publishers that a book about sword fighting would have mass market appeal. I would like to prove them wrong, and I need your help to do it!
The book is about finding meaning in HEMA in a very extreme, profound and unexpected way, and will speak to all of us on some level.
If it goes mainstream, it will be a big benefit for HEMA, as it will popularize our arts and give people an image of HEMA that goes beyond Renaissance Fairs and LARPers. This is of particular importance in the US,where we are still stigmatized by negative stereotypes.
I think this book has the potential to do that, all it needs is some momentum. How can you help? Read it, review it, tell your friends! Reviews (Amazon, Goodreads, blogs) and word of mouth (social media) are critical to a book's success.
More importantly, why should you bother? Because I can all but guarantee that you will love it. A lot. But don't just take my word for it. This is from a review by Jake Norwood, who needs no introductions:
"The Talhoffer Society is, in fact, one of my 10 favorite novels. It's not Edelson's straightforward prose that does it, though that works here. Rather it's his approach to the confluence of violence and art.
The Talhoffer Society's characters, modern-day swordfighters in the European and Asian traditions, are drawn into a world of underground dueling with real swords where death is a real possibility. Where other works with a similar theme have honed in on the ideas of bloodsport and violence as salacious entertainment, Edelson's book strikes a different note.
How far will someone who has spent their entire life honing a craft that they never thought they'd actually use go in order to use it? What would they risk, and what reward does that experience bring? What does it mean, Edelson asks, to become a master of swordsmanship? And why would anyone care?
Yes, there's adventure, intrigue, double-cross, and other thriller stuff. There's a helicopter in there somewhere. And sure, the protagonists are likeable and the antagonists will earn your ire. There's blood and death and secret societies and lots of swords. But better than that, there's a question that you'll ask yourself as you read... and I think many readers will be surprised at the answer they provide themselves at the end of it."
The full review is on Jake's wall. For those who can't see it due to privacy
settings, Jake's Amazon review is here:
You can read the first three chapters on my website: http://www.michaeledelson.net/#/the-talhoffer-society/
You can order the paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Talhoffer-Society-Michael-Edelson-ebook/dp/B01AR30G6W