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Friday, June 3, 2011

The Spirit of the Butterfly by Margaret Callow

Dear Agent,

I am writing to you in the hope you might consider my work.

After a lifetime of nursing, I have come late to writing novels. I write historical fiction and I am submitting a query on my first book, The Spirit of the Butterfly, in the hope it might be of interest to you.

I have always felt the need to write, until now mainly poetry. Much of it has been published by Poetry Now and Random Press. At the start of the year, I was one of seven, around the world who contributed to an Anthology, Ramblers at Cafe Cyber, now printed and available on Amazon.

Whilst I was researching my family tree, I found my great, great grandmother was an Inmate Pauper in a Union Workhouse in Shropshire in 1900.

Here was the inspiration. There were so many stories waiting to be told. Not about the wealthy in a society rich in color but of those whose life was daily hardship, grinding poverty and a future of little hope.

The Spirit of the Butterfly is the first of three novels and is complete.

Set for the most part in the dregs of Victorian England, it is a mix of fact and the character's place amongst it. The plot follows a believable path along one woman's amazing life journey. Overall, the feel of the story is gritty realism, based on the expectations of those who lived just below the surface of respectable society.

After a poor but idyllic childhood, events force Molly into prostitution in London. She takes the reader with her as she is dragged into the darkest corners of society. Her experiences of poverty, cruelty, indifference and ignorance are not all fiction. It's how it was for many who lived through this period in our history.

Drawn into varying scenes of innocence, optimism and poignancy, the reader shares with Molly, her confusion as to why happiness is so elusive to her. From a naive child to a fearful woman, she never gives up and finishes with strength built up over the years. Her journey is painful as she strives to discover contentment. Finally, she and the reader are rewarded with her idea of triumph.

Her transformation at the end is huge and unexpected but very suitable. With it comes the peace and respectability she craves.

This is a story, sometimes raw and never far from the truth. I hope it will not only appeal to you but to those interested in social history and lovers of this genre.

Thank you.

Margaret Callow