Please introduce yourself and your books.
I love to travel to new places, and the past is my favorite destination. My husband and our three teenagers will attest that we cannot go anywhere without me finding a historical site for us to explore. We have been to dozens of places that each inspired my writing in some way. I love theater, but I’m not a performer, and I love art without having the skill to draw or paint. In my love of reading, though, I found that I also had some ability to create.
What are the stories behind your books?
My books were born out of the drama of the Wars of the Roses and the end of the Plantagenet dynasty. Elizabeth of York was a bridge between these eras, and it was her life that I first began to explore. This turned into a multibook series and many virtual adventures into the Tudor world. In each of my books, I focus on the experience and emotions of a single person who strikes me as significant but who has been left in the background of most historical fiction. From Elizabeth, I moved on to her cousin, Margaret Pole, and then her granddaughter, Queen Mary I.
What role to emotions play in creativity?
Emotions are central to my writing. My goal is to draw the reader into my protagonist’s heart and mind. If a reader does not feel a sharp pang of regret, blossoming of love, or nausea of betrayal when reading one of my novels, I have not done my job.
How has your creative process changed through the process of writing multiple books?
My process was similar throughout the writing of my published works, but I have had to make adjustments for my new project. Traveling back to the beginning of the Plantagenet dynasty has made it necessary to fill in more gaps and make more assumptions about events in my protagonist’s life. Less is documented, so more is left to my imagination. Instead of using a purely historical outline, I am creating links in a life not fully known.
How do you balance serving readers and personal satisfaction with your writing?
Writing is an art before it is a business, at least that is true for me and I hope it is true for most writers. Just as everyone finds true friends to connect with by being themselves, I believe each writer will best connect with the right readers by writing from the heart. Striving toward an artificial balance would be impossible for me. Creative work is more than a commercial process.
What are your plans for future books?
I am currently writing a biographical novel of Isabel de Warenne. Like my past heroines, Isabel was alive at an exciting time and connected to important people. She, however, has been delegated to the background, so I am patiently drawing her out. This story takes me several centuries back in time from my existing books, and I love exploring the birth of the Plantagenet dynasty. Once I have written Isabel’s story, I plan to continue with a series of women of the era.