|s some of you might be aware, this current issue of Of Ages Past came very close to being its swansong issue. Yes, for the past several weeks, in the midst of some nerve-wracking turmoil, I had actually pondered throwing in the towel.
What am I doing wrong? I kept asking myself, when the magazines reputation was being besmirched at (what I had originally thought) was a reputable website, a website who could generate traffic and even gain some recognition for this sorely overlooked genre. How could all of my hard work be trashed so easily? How could the responsible parties live with themselves? And how could several individuals, supposed supporters of the magazine, turn a blind eye, even scold me as a parent would an unruly child when I sought much-needed aid. Im telling you, watching my baby being maliciously and systematically targeted for destruction by some dastardly cretins made me wonder whether dedicating 60-80 hours a week to its welfare was truly worth the effort.
But then, as several trustworthy friends reminded me, the main reason I started Of Ages Past was to provide an outlet for Historical Authors, an opportunity for them to get published and showcase their work to the world, not try to win some silly popularity contest on some equally silly website. Just because some people did not appreciate my efforts, nor the work of our contributing authors, and attempted to run the magazines quality rating into the gutter with their false vote-casting, did not mean the magazine lacked merit.
What, they asked, did I actually lose?
Well, except for forfeiting my sanity for at least a week, nothing.
Of course, they were right—I had done what I had vowed not to do. I had equated success with popularity. I had been sucked into the never-ending game of one-upmanship, a game that I could not win, and almost lost sight of my original intentions—to make this magazine the ultimate showcase for Historical Fiction lovers, and all the naysayers be damned!
Therefore, do not fret, Of Ages Past will survive. Now, to all the rapscallions out there who had their bit of fun making my life miserable, just wait . . . your time will come. I may forgive, but I never forget. And to all those out there who witnessed my temporary mental breakdown and came rushing to my aid, I love you all, and you will surely receive blessings tenfold for your efforts and support.
Now then, on to better things . . .
In keeping with my original goal to make Of Ages Past the best website for Historical Fiction Lovers everywhere, I have made several changes. In addition to altering the home page (in an effort to quicken the load-time), I have added a new section entitled Recommended Reading. In this new section you will find hundreds of historical novels (alphabetized by title) that are highly recommended by writers of the genre. The list is already quite extensive, but any additions will be appreciated. I will do my level best to make certain the list is updated regularly, not just once a month, so keep those recommendations pouring in.
Also, the Of Ages Past Award for Historical Excellence has been given to another two very worthy websites. (See the Sites Of The Month section.) I extend my congratulations to these creative and hard-working webmasters for doing such an outstanding job in providing information to us struggling authors and history lovers. And I urge all of you to visit these webpages and savor their efforts.
Due to the interest of time and several other factors, I have also made the choice to discontinue the Quotes Of The Month section—no great loss, Im certain, since, though it seemed like an inspiration at the time of conception, has since become the least important section of the magazine. Therefore, I thank all whove sent contributions, and just so they do not go to waste, I will have a single quotation of the month appear at the top of each new issue, using in future issues the numerous ones that have already been sent, which should keep me supplied for at least a full year.
In this months Articles, writer Jud Evans, in his highly entertaining and caustic style, gives us the history of one of Brigantias most infamous queens; while another offering, written by Yours Truly, is really not so much an article but a gift of thanks to the many supporters of this magazine who helped me survive the recent nightmare.
In this months Book Reviews, Frances Grattan offers criticism on two historical romances; Glenda Bixler gives us her personal insight on a new Sherlock Holmes vehicle; while I supply my thoughts on a older work I chanced upon in a discount store.
In this months Short Stories, Susanna Betzel gives us Angel Of Death, a chilling and powerful tale of one man facing his impending demise; Leah Henke, a high-school junior and our youngest contributor to date, offers us From Laughter To Tears, which recreates a devastating event in American history as seen through the eyes of one young wife and mother; The Lady Of Loneville comes to us from N. C. Anderson, and is a tale of love and murder in the old west; while Alex Gough contributes The Wall, the uniquely-written tale of a soldiers life and heartbreak.
In this months Novel Excerpts, acclaimed author of 17 books, Charlotte Boyett-Compo, packs a mighty punch with the first 3 chapters of In The Winds Eye, an epic of the American South set during the turbulent Reconstruction Era; Anne Langford shares with us a chapter from her Roman novel Beyond The Pharisees, where we actually play witness to Nero in all of his pendulous moods; while Ellen Ben-Sefer provides a taste of her Once Upon A Wish, a charming and amusing story about one modern-day womans journey back in time to ancient Scotland.
As always, thanks for visiting, and feel free to send your letters, website nominations, and recommended reading lists. More importantly, thanks for your continual and appreciated support.
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