**NOTE: This book giveaway is open only to residents of the United States and Canada! I'm sorry, international fans - I hope you will still enjoy this interview!
The inside cover blurb of Queen's Gambit reads:
"Widowed for the second time at age thirty-one Katherine Parr falls deeply for the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour and hopes at last to marry for love. However, obliged to return to court, she attracts the attentions of the ailing, egotistical, and dangerously powerful Henry VIII, who dispatches his love rival, Seymour, to the Continent. No one is in a position to refuse a royal proposal so, haunted by the fates of his previous wives - two executions, two annulments, one death in childbirth - Katherine must wed Henry and become his sixth queen. Katherine has to employ all her instincts to navigate the treachery of the court, drawing a tight circle of women around her, including her stepdaughter, Meg, traumatized by events from their past that are shrouded in secrecy, and their loyal servant Dot, who knows and sees more than she understands. With the Catholic faction on the rise once more, reformers being burned for heresy, and those close to the king vying for position, Katherine's survival seems unlikely. Yet as she treads the razor's edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love."
Dubbed as a "lovely, sensual, subtle read" by Nancy Bilyeau (author of The Crown and The Chalice), as well as "beautifully written and finely observed" by Rachel Hore (author of A Place of Secrets), Elizabeth Fremantle is surely a new major voice in historical fiction. This debut novel has already gotten so much attention, and I hope YOU will be the next to read and love it. With that being said, here are the rules for the Q&A book giveaway..
2) You are eligible for the giveaway only if you comment HERE on the blog post (not on the Facebook page!)
3) One comment about the Q&A at the bottom of this page will put you in the running for the competition.
4) I will randomly select ONE person who has commented, and announce the winner on my Facebook page - that person will then email me and I will send their mailing information to Simon & Schuster.
Got it? Then without further ado, I give you my first ever author interview with the lovely and talented Elizabeth Fremantle!
1. What was it that inspired you to write a novel about Katherine Parr, one of Henry's lesser-known queens?
I had long suspected that Katherine Parr was more interesting than history would have us believe and when I began to research her I realized how true this was: she out-foxed her enemies, published two books, married four times, was held hostage during the Pilgrimage of Grace and survived marriage to one of history’s notorious tyrants – how could I resist.
2. What is your process when planning and writing a novel?
I do masses of reading initially (letters, state papers, social histories and biographies) until I feel I have my character’s stories and their world truly embedded in my unconscious and I visit houses, museums and galleries (portraits are a wonderful way to access the past) and take courses on specific topics that I feel will inform my knowledge. Once all that is done I experiment with character and voice and then draw up a skeletal plan, not much more than a list really. Finally I sit down to write. My rule is that the minimum I can write per day is 1,000 words, which works well for me as a core discipline.
3. What attracted you to the Tudor Dynasty?
It was a time of extraordinary upheaval and the changes that were effected then still have an impact today. It was the first period in English history when women ruled in their own right and I am interested in the difficulties of the Tudor succession with regards to that, as well as the extraordinary rise of the arts in the period – it is after all the age that brought us Shakespeare, Holbein and many others. As a writer the constant sense of danger at the time brings a tension that makes for an exciting read.
4. Do you have any other periods of history that interest you as much as the sixteenth century?
I am always fascinated by periods of change, so the English Civil War and the early twentieth century appeal, in that when the tectonic plates of history shift new and interesting things emerge.
5. Which of Henry VIII's six wives do you feel you relate to the most, and why?
Katherine Parr, for all the reasons I listed above
6. If you could ask one Tudor figure ANY question, who and what would it be?
I would have to ask Catherine of Aragon if she did consummate her marriage to Arthur Tudor
7. Are you currently planning on writing any future novels?
Absolutely – SISTERS OF TREASON, the story of the two tragic sisters of Lady Jane Grey, is out next year and I am researching a novel about Penelope Devereaux, the sister of the erstwhile Earl of Essex, described as a ‘fair woman with a dark soul’ and a most intriguing character.
8. Who is YOUR favorite historical fiction author?
I’d have to say Hilary Mantel, but I do love Sarah Waters and Rose Tremain too
9. What was your favorite part of writing Queen's Gambit?
Finally getting the longed-for publishing deal!
10. Do you have any advice for aspiring historical fiction novelists?
You don’t have to put all your research into the novel – less is more – and build your characters from the inside out – discover their inner worlds before describing the facts of their lives.
It has been a pleasure to answer your questions – thank you so much for including me in your blog.
Hope you enjoyed this Q&A, Tudor Enthusiasts... I know I did! And now for the book giveaway... Ready....set....COMMENT!