I had the opportunity to interview Brandy Purdy, author of several historical novels, the most recent release being The Queen’s Pleasure (US title) or A Court Affair (UK title under name Emily Purdy). Read on for her answers to my questions and make sure you read all the way to the end for a giveaway!
The fate of Amy Robsart is a question that has fascinated historians, conspiracy theorists, and readers alike for years and has been debated over and over. Why take on this subject for your newest novel The Queen’s Pleasure?
This is a book I have always wanted to write ever since I was a little girl about ten years old and found a book of unsolved mysteries at the library. There was a chapter on the mysterious death of Amy Robsart, in fact I think it might even have been the first chapter. I was fascinated and after that whenever I found a new book on Elizabeth and her reign I would flip to the index and look for Amy. Over the years I was disappointed to discover how little was actually known about her. Often she was little more than a name on a page and seemed to matter only because of the way she died and the inconvenience this caused others. I wanted to write a novel that would put Amy Robsart centerstage, not the more glamorous world of the court and Elizabeth and Robert Dudley’s relationship, though that is an important part of the story too of course, and you will also find that in my book, but my main goal was to give Amy a voice, she’s been silent all these years I thought she deserved a chance to speak even if it was in fiction. I tried to find out all about her that I could, I looked at whatever household accounts and letters I could find to try to get hints about her likes and dislikes and her personality, just anything I could use, and I hope readers will like what I’ve done.
What is it about the Tudor period that calls out to you as a writer? Are there any other places or times that you would want to write about someday?
Oh yes, there are so many times and stories I want to explore, I love learning, reading a book or a magazine article, or just a tiny of mention of something, and becoming captivated and wanted to know more. There are so many books I want to write. But right now, with my current contract, I am obligated to write about the Tudors. I became interested in them when I was in third grade and read a book of ghost stories that had a chapter about the ghost of Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London. There are so many fascinating personalities in the Tudor era, it’s like a soap opera with all these larger than life personalities, and yet it’s a true story.
Have you had the opportunity to visit any of the places that you have written about? If so, what has been your favorite place to visit? If not, where would you like to visit most?
No, I have never visited England or Europe. I would love to visit Hever Castle and some of the other castles in England and the Tower of London of course, I would also love to see the mysterious Church at Rennes-le-Chateau in France, but I don’t think my ears could bear the plane trip. I took a two hour flight about a year ago and my ears popped and ached all the way, it was agony, so if I ever do travel abroad I think I will have to go by ship.
Have you had any input in the design of your book covers? I love how The Boleyn Wife and The Tudor Throne have the women looking right out at the viewer – something relatively rare in historical fiction these days.
Thank you, I like that as well, so many historical novels, particularly Tudor ones, have headless women I thought these full face direct gazes marvelously refreshing, but I really have no say in the matter. I have been fortunate that all my covers have been pretty, but if something is wrong or if I don’t like it, the decision whether to change it rests solely with the publishers. For instance, as many have commented, the dress on the cover of The Boleyn Wife is incorrect to the Tudor period, I have been studying fashion history since I was a child, so I knew at first glance it was wrong and was quick to say so, but the publisher was happy with it and elected not to make changes.
Do you have anything new in the works? If so, is there anything you would like to share with us about it?
I am currently working on a novel that tells the story of the three Grey sisters through the eyes of the youngest, Mary Grey. After that, I’m not sure, I am the worst multi-tasker in the world and I have to take them one book at a time.
Brandy Purdy (Emily Purdy in the UK) is the author of the historical novels The Confession of Piers Galvaston, The Boleyn Wife(The Tudor Wife), The Tudor Throne (Mary & Elizabeth), and The Queen’s Pleasure (A Court Affair). An ardent book lover since early childhood, she first became interested in history at the age of nine or ten years old when she read a book of ghost stories which contained a chapter about Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London. Visit her website at www.brandypurdy.com, you can also follow her, and her cat Tabby, via her blog at http://brandypurdy.blogspot.com or on Facebook as Brandy Purdy - Emily Purdy.
You can follow along with the rest of the tour at the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour site or following hashtag #QueensPleasureVirtualTour on Twitter.
Now for the giveaway! I have one copy of The Queen’s Pleasure up for grabs. Open to the USA only. Last day to enter is June 9th. Just fill out the form below to enter.
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