If you've been with me for all 10 of these years (that's 3,650 days), then thank you.
If you're new here, then welcome and thank you.
I created a Facebook page shortly after my first few blog posts were published. In the beginning, it was likely only my mom who was reading my writing (thanks, Mom!), but over time - shockingly, as I was able to keep up the motivation to type out my random thoughts and bits of research - a small following began to grow on Facebook. I don't recall the timeline (I'm guessing it took several months to hit 100 followers), but eventually I knew that I was writing for more people than just my mom! What a wild discovery.
In 2014, upon graduating from GMU, I jetted off to the UK once again to begin my one-year graduate program at Mansfield College, University of Oxford. I read for an MSt in Modern British and European History under the supervision of Dr. Tracey Sowerby (Keble College). My mentors during this time included Dr. Steve Gunn (Merton College), who has written several highly-acclaimed Tudor books, and served as a great source of inspiration to me. Of course, while there for this year-long program, I continued to read/review and blog in nearly all my free time.
When I returned home in 2015, my Tudor Enthusiast devotion dwindled, and that's because I met my now-husband, started working full-time, and began the all-consuming process of adulting and starting a family! While I continued posting book and TV show reviews from time-to-time, I simply did not have the same amount of time as I'd had in the past to write several blog posts a week. We married in May 2019, my son was born in April 2020, and within just a few months of his birth I found myself revisiting The Tudor Enthusiast, wondering if anyone was still reading the things I had blogged about for years. To my amazement, my website still received hundreds of hits a day, and my Facebook following had continued to grow, despite my infrequent posts!
These questions were answered when, in January 2021, I found a message from Pen and Sword Books UK, asking me if I would consider writing a book for them. I was astounded. Of course, I replied immediately, discussing the particulars with the commissioning editor. The decision was a frightening one (how would I have the time, what if I can't do the necessary research, what if it's a failure, etc.), but it was also a no-brainer. Of course I would write this biography of Edward VI. 100% yes, absolutely. Writing books, becoming published (especially in the history space) has been a dream of mine for a decade.
This revitalized my enthusiasm for this site even more. I began the process of research by the end of January, signed my book contract on 1 February, and the rest has been history. I've taken my responsibility to The Tudor Enthusiast website and social media extremely seriously. I've determined how important it is to me to establish myself as a historian (and hopefully a respected one). I make the time, I prioritize the research, the blogging, the updating, and the book-writing. No, it's not easy, but seeing the way The Tudor Enthusiast has grown SO MUCH over just the past five months has been incredible. I truly believe the sky is the limit for this little website - which began as nothing more than a personal online diary for my nerdy Tudor thoughts, and now has culminated into a community of thousands, as well as a book deal.
Whether you've been with me since day one or you've joined me somewhere in the days since, I can't thank you enough! Because of your enthusiasm, interest, and support, this website and its social media has grown more than I had ever expected or hoped for. There is much more ahead, and I hope you'll be with me for all of it!