The Next Big Thing Blog Hop is a chance for authors around the world to tell you what they’re working on. The author answers 10 questions about their next book, and tags the person who first tagged them. My thanks to Karen Clark, a fellow Neville adherent, for tagging me.
What is the working title of your book?
A Rose of England; apt because the central character is a woman who we find in France and Bruges in this novel, so literally a rose of England, but a rose also because it is set in the Wars of the Roses.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
This book is the sequel to The Colour of Treason and they were always conceived together; the original inspiration was the Middleham Jewel, a fifteenth century reliquary in the Yorkshire Museum in York. As I began to read more about it and the people who could have been connected to it, the story began to form in my mind.
What genre does your book fall under?
Historical fiction, but both from male and female points of view.
Which actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I haven’t a person in mind for Elizabeth Hardacre, but I always imagined her as Alexa Wilding, a model for the pre-Raphaelite Dante Gabriel Rossetti such as she is in 'Sibylla Palmifera'. James Purefoy would be Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick; a young Mark Ryan or possibly Aidan Turner would be Jack de Laverton. A young Heath Ledger would be Thomas Conyers and Tom Georgeson would play Higgins.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
After love and betrayal can there be forgiveness?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
For personal reasons I had to self-publish The Colour of Treason and I did so as both a paperback and ebook. Even though it was a lot of work, I will probably do the same for 'A Rose of England'.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Difficult to say as the two books are so entwined, but from the initial writing to now has taken seven and a half years. I also research as I write; I lay out a basic timeline with major events on it first and use that as a structural template, but I am flexible and if I come across something interesting then it can take the characters in a new direction.
What other books would you compare the story to in your genre?
In scale it is perhaps similar to Sharon K Penman’s 'Sunne in Splendour', but not in style. It is more like Elizabeth Chadwick meets Bernard Cornwell as I write from both male and female points of view and I do love a good battle-scene!
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
As I said earlier the Middleham Jewel was the initial spark, but once I began to read about Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick it took on a life of its own! There was simply nothing this man couldn’t do and his energy and endeavour were inspirational!
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
There are a lot of novels about the Wars of the Roses but most of them paint Warwick as a one-dimensional bad guy which is quite simply not true. This book tries to see things from his point of view and to understand why he made the choices he did. He wasn’t stupid and he wasn’t evil personified and as Elizabeth will show us, he took the path he did because he could see no other way to maintain his family’s powerful position, something he felt he had to do because of the Warwick legend he married into and something he believed he was owed by a king who without Warwick’s enterprise would not have been king at all.
For previews and further information please visit my website: www.smharrisonwriter.com.
I am pleased to tag Helen Cox, author of 'The Lay of Angor' as Rae Andrew and author of several excellent non-fiction books on the Wars of the Roses.