I have lived and breathed the Tudors since I was a small child. According to my parents, I used to talk about them so much they nicknamed me ‘the little Tudor madam’. My interest in the period only increased and I ended up doing a degree in History. With an emphasis on the Tudors, of course!
Many years on (jobs that always involved the spoken or written word; travels in several countries; a husband and three sons), I’ve settled in France, and have written a novel that is set in Tudor England, Stewart Scotland, and Valois France. ‘A Phoenix Rising’ is the first in a series entitled ‘The House of the Red Duke’ (the house being the famous House of Howard, linked to Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, and many other notable members of the family through to the present day).
At the centre of ‘A Phoenix Rising’ is Thomas Howard, grandfather to the two Tudor Queens. Every thread of the novel eventually comes back to him.
I have tried very hard to bring the period to life and have even included some recipes (tried and tested by me) for the reader’s enjoyment. For my research, I read countless books on the time, on all aspects of life in the sixteenth century; watched films and TV series; visited period houses in France, Scotland, and England; places of interest, art galleries, museums – attended a joust here or there. I had great fun finding the exact colour that Henry VIII would have worn at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, or what time the French King got up in the morning. Many of the better known names are in the novel: Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, the Boleyn family, Charles Brandon. As well as some not so well known ones here in France and up in Scotland.
For me, a historical novel is all about capturing the colours, the smells, the taste, the feel and the sounds of the period. Writing it was exciting because it helped me live it.
That’s why I had to write a Tudor romance.