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Tuesday, February 15, 2005
 
Ghost Fiction Editor Hits It Big with Victorian Thriller

This is such a cool story. The author (Michael Cox) in this case might have been best known for editing several acclaimed ghost fiction anthologies (such as The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories, which I have somewhere around here). For years, he had an idea for a Victorian thriller. When cancer threatened his vision, he decided to write it *now*. And wonder of wonders, the completed novel ended up the subject of a bidding war, with the winning publisher paying a £430,000 advance! According to the >)BBC article, this is probably the biggest advance ever for a first-time novel by a British writer.

To top it off, he's supposed to be a nice guy. He's even an honorary member of the Ghost Fiction Society. (I'm a member as well, though I'm just an ordinary regular old member.) I can't wait to read this book because it sounds great. Michael Cox cites Wilkie Collins as one of his influences, so maybe I'll have to read The Woman in White (finally!) to tide me over.

It's great to see a writer respond to cancer by writing something that sounds like such a great story. According to the article, he has been fighting cancer since 1992. Wow. That keeps my (relatively short) battle against cancer of the uterus last year into perspective. Still, I ended up writing the Moonstone story because of that !@#$ cancer. (It started as a ghost story, really, and I think that was because ghosts gave me that glimpse at immortality during a scary time.) I wonder how many wonderful books and characters owe their existences to disease?
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