On the Whole, Bill O'Reilly Thinks He's a Pretty Good Historian

Today in publishing and literature: the 2009 Man Booker winner is getting a sequel, Quentin Rowan explains his plagiarized spy novel, and Bill O'Reilly says his Killing Lincoln only has two major historical inaccuracies.

  • Hilary Mantel has started writing a sequel to her 2009 Man Booker Prize winner Wolf Hall. According to her publishers at Henry Holt and Company, the new book will be Bring up the Bodies and should be out next fall. That's good news if you enjoy sprawling, critically acclaimed novels about Tudor England, and even better news if you had Bring up the Bodies in your "What will the Wolf Hall sequel be called?" office pool. (We got stuck with The Further Adventures of Thomas Cromwell.)  [Arts Beat]

  • Quentin Rowan -- alias Q.R. Markham, alias the spy novelist who plagiarized large segments of James Bond books for his novel Assassin of Secrets and got caught -- tells spy novelist Jeffrey Duns in an email that the lifting was garden-variety plagiarism, and not the elaborate homage to Ian Fleming and John le Carre that some have suggested. He says having one of his poems anthologized in The Best American Poetry when he was only 19 was what motivated him to crib. Explains Rowan:

"I took this anthology business as a sign that I was meant to be a famous writer. However, unlike any normal person who works at something a long time and eventually gets good, I decided I had to be good then and there. Because I was already supposed to be the Best. I didn't really plagiarize poetry, it was when I switched to fiction (God knows why) at the age of twenty that I began to distrust my own voice and began swiping other people's words or phrases because I thought they sounded better or more clever than my own. Perhaps if there had been no pressure to keep publishing it might have been different, but in my mind my course was set."

  In other words, it's the old blame the pressure defense. [The Debrief via GalleyCat via The Book Bench]

  • The gift shop at Ford's Theatre isn't stocking Bill O'Reilly's book Killing Lincoln because of historical inaccuracies, but O'Reilly says those concerns are overblown and there are only four mistakes in the book, two of which are typos. Technically he may be right, but according to Politico they're pretty big mistakes: he says Ford's Theatre burned down in 1863, rather than 1862, and "writes several times over that Lincoln held meetings or sat in the Oval Office," even though the Oval Office didn't exist until 1909, when William Howard Taft was president. [Politico]

  • Simon & Schuster is going to publish mid-2000s tabloid fixture Tinsley Mortimer's debut novel Southern Charm in May. The publisher gave Mortimer a book deal back in August of 2010, but evidently the book's intricate storyline about "a small-town Southern belle who leaves Charleston, S.C., for New York with visions of skyscrapers and yellow cabs dancing in her head" and gets a job at a public relations firm took some time to work out. Mortimer, for her part, says she didn't have a ghostwriter, though she apparently did consult "a close friend who is a writer and prefers not to be named." Completely different things. [Women's Wear Daily]

  • HarperCollins is considering selling ad space into its e-books, but only the non-fiction ones, says digital director and publisher David Roth-Ey. Not because fiction deserves extra respect and deference: it's just harder to find the marketing opportunities. As an example of how the ads would work, Roth-Ey points to the Collins Bird Guide. Birders rely on it now to inform and stimulate, but it also contains "very valuable real estate for contextual advertising -- in this case potentially a binoculars manufacturer."  [New Media Age via TeleRead]