06.08.09 Graeme Neill in The Bookseller
Philippa Gregory will serialise her latest novel on Twitter in the week preceding The White Queen's publication later this month.
Gregory has written the tweets of Elizabeth Woodville, the main protagonist of the novel. The tweets can be viewed at http://www.thebookseller.com/news/www.twitter.com/ElizWoodville with the first being posted at 5pm on 11th August. Between then and 17th August, "Woodville" will be tweeting between 5pm and 8pm. Simon & Schuster will publish the novel on 18th August.
Gregory said: "Turning a 150,000 word novel into tweets was never going to be easy. Tweets are a discipline, rather like a haiku, and the shortness of the sentence gives each one a rhythm which is really interesting for prose.
"It was more like writing poetry than prose. And some of the tweets seem to me to be more arresting than the prose of the book. I especially like the first one: 'If my mother were not a witch, and the descendant of the goddess Melusina, I think none of this could ever have happened to me. But it did'.
"I like this so much, I have re-used it when describing the novel, it doesn't appear in the novel but only in the Twitter version, but it encapsulates for me the mood of the novel, its dreamlike quality, the character of the heroine and invites you to read more. I am certainly going to write creative tweets again."
The White Queen is the first in a series of novels set amid The Wars of the Roses. The book is a tale of one woman's ambitious ascent to royalty and the unsolved mystery around her son's imprisonment.
Digital marketing agency Blonde also worked on the Twitter serial. Managing director Phil Adams said: "We've been working with several clients to explore the commercial opportunities afforded by Twitter, but this project is the most exciting. Philippa is to be applauded not just for the effort required to reinterpret the book, but also for the pioneering spirit to experiment with new forms of verbal expression."