I was invited to participate in the Next Big Thing by Barbara Gaskell Denvil, whose "Summerford's Autumn" has just been picked up by a big publisher and will be reissued July, 2013. Check out her wonderful, adventurous, romantic and completely historical fiction at:
and also by Smoky Zeidel, whose magical, mysterious books and entertaining and thoughtful blog may be found at:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from?
This is a novel that I’ve been visualizing in various forms since the last Ice Age, when, in my teens, I read about Richard III, The last Plantagenet King. In a way, I’ve owed Richard this book simply because he’s hung out in my imagination for so long.
What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I watch the BBC a lot, so I’d pick great young British actors. Ben Whishaw (The Hour) or Aiden Turner (The Hobbit) for Richard, and Romola Garai (The Hour) or Karen Gillian (Doctor Who) for his wife, Rose’s mistress, Anne Neville.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
“Poppet, playmate, servant, lover—Rose belonged to her master and mistress body and soul.”
Published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC.
How long did it take you to write the m.s.?
The book has been in process for more than a decade.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Well, I can only quote what others have said, which was: “Sharon Kay Penman, with a strong streak of Cecelia Holland.” That made me happy, as you can imagine.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
It harks back to Josephine Tey, who wrote the wonderful mystery, The Daughter of Time. Single-handedly, Tey did more to legitimize the controversy about the King—was he Shakespeare’s murdering monster, or has he been the victim of his successor’s smear campaign? I became a convert to the “Good Richard” theory in my teens. Although my current characterization of Richard isn’t quite the knight in shining armor I’d earlier imagined—research got in the way—he remains a compelling, intriguing character.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Rose Whitby’s fate is changed forever when she, born a peasant on the Yorkshire dales, is taken to Middleham Castle to be companion and bed-time poppet for Lady Anne Neville, one of the richest heiresses in England. This is an “Upstairs, Downstairs” story of love, loss and loyalty, because Rose lives with a foot in both worlds. Divided loyalties are her eternal dilemma.