Wednesday 2 May 2018

Author Inspiration ~ Samantha Wilcoxson #HistoricalFiction #Tudor @carpe_librum

Author Inspiration
 By Samantha Wilcoxson

Inspiration for writing can come from the most unexpected and insignificant sources. Sunlight sparkling on waves might cause a scene to form in my mind, or a line in a book can send me running down virtual rabbit trails in search of information I had not realized I needed. Once I finished writing about Margaret Pole in Faithful Traitor, I was ready to be inspired toward a new historical figure in an earlier era. Then came the first tidbit of inspiration that I was not anticipating.
A suggestion was made that I write about Princess Mary next. She was a girl, at first celebrated and pampered but later exiled and disowned, where I left her in Margaret’s story. Pole had been her governess, but I had not considered exploring Mary any further. More to prove that this recommendation was a poor one, I began some research.
What I found was that I needed to write a novel about England’s first queen! Where Mary was mentioned, when she was mentioned at all, was as a secondary character, often a shadowy presence compared to her more glorious sister, Elizabeth. This could not be right. This was not the Mary I knew. How had no one else seen the side of her that her countrymen saw when they joyfully hailed her as their queen?

Mary I

The same person who gave me the idea for writing about Mary gave me the exceptional idea of a title: Queen of Martyrs, and suddenly I had written a trilogy without ever meaning to. I never contemplated when I began Plantagenet Princess, Tudor Queen with a young Elizabeth of York in 1470 that I would eventually conclude the Plantagenet Embers series with her granddaughter Queen Mary’s death in 1558. And what tumultuous years they had been!
Of course, Mary’s story continued to inspire me after it was written. My favorite secondary character of the entire trilogy has an important role in Mary’s life. Reginald Pole, Mary’s cousin, confidant, and Archbishop of Canterbury, simply begged to be written about. My study of him happened to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and a trip that included both Rome and Wittenberg. I was thoroughly captivated by the Reformation giants.

Reginald Pole, Archbishop of Canterbury 

The more I read about Reginald Pole, the more I admire him. A Catholic Cardinal who strove to reconcile with Protestants at the Council of Trent. A cousin to the King of England who thwarted multiple assassination attempts. A friend to brilliant renaissance minds such as Michelangelo and Vittoria Colonna. Reginald Pole was a man in many ways ahead of his time. By this point, you will have guessed that my current project is a novella covering Reginald’s years before he travels to England in Queen of Martyrs.
Life and history are filled with so many inspirational moments that I am certain to never write all the ideas that fly through my mind, but that is part of the joy of it. I look forward to seeing where it takes me next.

Samantha Wilcoxson

Samantha Wilcoxson is an American writer with British roots. When she is not reading or travelling, she enjoys spending time at the lake with her husband and three teenagers.

The Plantagenet Embers series debuted with 'Plantagenet Princess, Tudor Queen: The Story of Elizabeth of York'. It has been selected as an Editors' Choice by the Historical Novel Society and long-listed for the 2016 HNS Indie Award.

'Faithful Traitor: The Story of Margaret Pole' is the second novel in the trilogy, continuing the story of the Plantagenet remnant in Tudor times. This novel has received 5-stars from Readers' Favorite and a Discovering Diamond award.

The final installment in Plantagenet Embers, 'Queen of Martyrs', features Queen Mary I and her story of the counter-reformation in England.

Some of the secondary characters of the Plantagenet Embers series are explored in novellas, including 'The Last Lancastrian' featuring Margaret Beaufort and 'Once a Queen' which focuses on the final decade of Elizabeth Woodville's life.

Queen of Martyrs: The Story of Mary I
(Plantagenet Embers Book 3)

'God save the Queen! 
God save our good Queen Mary!'

When these words rang out over England, Mary Tudor thought her troubles were over. She could put her painful past - the loss of her mother and mistreatment at the hands of her father - behind her.

With her accession to the throne, Mary set out to restore Catholicism in England and find the love of a husband that she had long desired. But the tragedies in Mary's life were far from over. How did a gentle, pious woman become known as 'Bloody Mary'?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your inspiration with us. Such an interesting post.


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