In the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to get a chance to review two new releases by the Historical Fiction Author, Sandra Worth. I’ve enjoyed both novels immensely, and when I learned that she would have a new novel coming out early next year, I asked if she would mind doing an interview. Thankfully she agreed to sit down and answer a few questions for me and my readers!!
First of all, Sandra, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and let my readers get to know you better. I’ve enjoyed reading your last two novels, and am glad you could take the time to stop by for a quick interview.
Thank you, Sadie. It has been my great pleasure to have your lovely reviews of my books. Reading them has made my day on several occasions!
I was pleased to have a chance to review them! Your novels opened my eyes to a period of history I’d never known much about before.
Can you tell my readers a little about who you are?
Well, I’ve written five novels on the Wars of the Roses and the demise of the Plantagenet dynasty in England. I’ve won numerous awards and prizes for my novels, and each of my five books is a multiple-award winner.
Pale Rose of England
I know you have a new book coming out in February 2011. Can you tell us what to expect from this story?
Pale Rose of England: A Novel of the Tudors follows the life and loves of Lady Catherine Gordon, princess of Scotland. Her first husband was the mysterious young man who claimed to be the younger prince in the Tower, Richard of York. You may recall that the Tudors said Richard III murdered his two nephews? That is disputed by historians. No one really knows what happened to the princes, and their disappearance remains a cold case file to this day. All that is known for certain is that they were never seen again past the autumn of 1483. A new book that came out about three years ago raises questions that can only be answered if Catherine’s husband was the true prince, Richard of York, as he claimed. The Tudors called this young man “Perkin Warbeck,” but he was believed by many of his contemporaries—and by all the crowned heads of Europe—to have been King Edward’s son. The news of his survival thundered and blazed across Europe, and rocked the fledgling Tudor dynasty.
The Princes in the tower
The story of the princes in the tower is fascinating, one I became familiar with thanks to your last release, The King’s Daughter. Richard’s re-emergence in England is wrapped in such scandal and deception. Can you tell me how you research something so wrapped in mystery?
With the help of a Ph.D. medievalist, a lot of delving, probing, many visits to the university library, and a few really good text books!
How much of the story becomes your own imagination versus research?
As regards Pale Rose of England, I’d guess that about sixty percent is research, and forty percent is imagination. The broad outlines of the lives of Lady Catherine and Richard/Perkin are well known, so I work within those confines. However, history didn’t record what Catherine and Richard thought, and little of what they said. This had to come from my imagination. Also, nothing is known about how these two young people felt about the monumental events that happened to them but what little is recorded gives us a peek into the kind of man Richard was, and into Catherine’s character. Extrapolating from her actions—and the few words she spoke that did get recorded—she was a remarkably spirited, adventurous, and courageous young woman, one who stood up for her convictions, even against a king.
Previous Books & Your love for the Rose/Tudor times
Your previous books have all centered around the War of the Roses and the emergence of the Tudor dynasty. In fact your first books, The Rose of York series, all centered around King Richard III and Anne Neville. What first drew you to Richard III?
I would say the shock of discovering a gross injustice. In defense of Richard III, here’s something to consider: If Hitler had won the war, what would FDR’s reputation be today? The Tudors accused Richard III of murdering his nephews, his brother, his brother-in-law, and his wife. They said he committed incest with his niece and died a coward on the field of battle.
None of this is true. The Tudors rewrote history to justify their usurpation. Richard has been denied the presumption of innocence that he gave us! That is correct—surprising as it is, Richard III gave us a body of laws that together comprise the presumption of innocence. His laws were picked up by our Founding Fathers. Three hundred years after the outcome of the Battle of Bosworth, his legacy, silenced by the Tudors, rose again to blossom in the New World, making him the grandfather of democracy!
In Lady of the Roses, you chose the unique perspective of Isobel, Sir John Neville’s wife to display the War of the Roses. What makes you choose certain characters over others?
I’m not sure I know why. It just happens, like a spark to flame. Why do we choose to be friends with one person, and not with another? We’re drawn to them by something intangible. When I come across someone in history—someone admirable, of outstanding character, who tries to do the right thing in exigent circumstances, I’m drawn to them.
After Pale Rose of England, what is next for you?
Ah, I am hard at work on a secret project!!! I’m dying to talk about it but I can’t. The time is not right, and I feel it’s bad luck. One thing I can tell you, though—it’s not set in England. I’m going farther afield for this one.
That sounds exciting! You definitely have me intrigued, and I look forward to when you can spill the beans a little about this new project!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
There is something. I feel that reading is a chemical reaction between a person and a book. We each bring something to the experience. As the old adage goes, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” In the same way, one person may love a book, and someone else may loathe it; it may not be a great book, and it may not be a bad book. It may, in fact—whether positive or negative—say more about the person who read it than the person who wrote it. Authors (like cooks) can’t please everyone all the time, nor should they try. To my readers out there who have read my books with an open mind and an open heart, and who have taken the time to send in a review—and to those judges who chose them for the honors they have been given—I embrace you all!
That’s a wonderful take on it, and I totally agree! You can’t write for everyone, you can only write the story you love – and odds are others will love it too! I appreciate every opportunity to review a book, and am anxiously awaiting the day Pale Rose of England arrives in my mailbox!
Thank you, Sadie, for this interview, and the chance to meet your readers.
And thank you, Sandra. It was wonderful to have you stop by! I hope we’ll be able to do this again for your next book.
Sandra Worth’s website can be found HERE. There you can read more about her five published novels and her love of the Plantagenet Dynasty.
To pick up her novels, or preorder her upcoming release, click one of the links below!
*images from Sandra’s site*