...or from Napoleon to Alexander the Great.
A couple of weeks ago a fairly big publisher ask me to write a book on Napoleon. Oh good, a commission. Usually I have to come up with an idea and then sell it. It's nice when people come up with the idea for me and then pay me to do it. I don't know that much about Napoleon, but I can learn.
Turns out the book is supposed to be written from a child's point of view - a kind of diary written by a kid in Napoleon's household. And that's OK. I can see how it could work, although it could only be a brief snapshot of one particular period in Napoleon's career. Any longer than a couple of years, and the child diarist would be growing out of the age range that the book is intended for.
But now the publishers are having second thoughts. They still want me to do the job, but they're thinking that maybe Alexander the Great would make a better subject than Napoleon. I'm trying to be flexible. Sure, I said, I can change horses (from Marengo to Bucephalus in this instance).
The trouble is, these same publishers have messed me around once already. They asked me some months ago if I would be interested in writing an encyclopaedia. It was to be titled The Encyclopaedia of Enchantment and Illusion. They pulled the plug on that idea before I'd written a single word. The 'Encyclopaedia of Enchantment and Illusion' very quickly became the Encyclopaedia of Disenchantment and Disillusion after all.
So will they get it right this time? Watch this space.