My guest today is Tony Riches, historical fiction author of several best-selling books, including his latest work, the Tudor Trilogy. Please can you tell us a bit about yourself Tony?
Thank you for inviting me here Rebecca. I am a full time author and live close to the sea with my wife in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, one of the most unspoilt areas of the UK. I was born in Pembroke, within sight of the castle, birthplace of Henry Tudor, so have always had an interest in the early Tudors.
You’ve written several fiction and non-fiction books. Out of curiosity, how long does it take you to write each book (including research)?
I write one book a year, spending the first part of the year on research. I like to visit the actual locations and have explored all the areas in Brittany where the Tudors were in exile. (I also like to spend the summer sailing and sea kayaking.) Once I’ve gathered all the information together I aim to write twenty-five chapters of around four thousand words, to arrive at my first draft of about a hundred thousand for editing.
We all have something that triggered our interest in the most well-known dynasty – for me it was genealogy and then the Showtime series, The Tudors – What initially peaked your interest in the Tudors?
I wrote a book about one of my wife’s ancestors, Lady Eleanor Cobham, who was imprisoned for life in Beaumaris Castle for witchcraft and treason. Lady Eleanor’s husband, the Duke of Gloucester, was responsible for the arrest of Owen Tudor. (The duke had Owen locked up in Newgate Gaol but he managed to escape.) Surprised to find there were no books about Owen, I began researching his life and discovered the fascinating story of how the Tudor dynasty began. As my research progressed I’d gathered enough material for several books. It seemed a good idea to write a trilogy, with Henry Tudor being born in the first book, coming of age in the second and becoming king in the third.
I was encouraged when OWEN, topped the Amazon historical fiction charts in the UK and US – and reached number one in Australia. Since then JASPER has also become an international best-seller. I am now writing the HENRY and people are regularly contacting me from as far away as Alaska and New Zealand asking when it will be published. (My target is Easter 2017.)
Your trilogy begins with the story of Owen Tudor…what is your favorite thing about Owen?
Owen never gave up hope, even when it must have seemed the whole country conspired against him. I wish more people were taught about him at school. Although most can list his great-grandson, Henry VIII’s wives, few know anything about this Welsh servant who married a queen – and began the Tudor dynasty.
Book Two in the trilogy is about Jasper Tudor, uncle of King Henry VII. Jasper, in my opinion, is one of the least written about Tudor men
Yes – Jasper Tudor saved the fourteen-year-old Henry from the Yorkists and took him to exile in Brittany. Like his father, Jasper had great faith in the destiny of the Tudors. After his younger brother Edmund died he dedicated his life to protecting Edmund’s son Henry. Without Jasper’s help Henry would never have been able to lead an invasion to defeat Richard III at Bosworth.
Is there a subject or a person that you want to write about but have not?
I’m always discovering fascinating stories about people from the fifteenth century (my specialist period of history) which deserve to be told. I’ve been moving on one generation with each book of the Tudor trilogy and am already planning my next project, set in the court of Henry VIII. I’m also looking forward to exploring the lives of Queen Elizabeth’s champions, Drake and Raleigh.
What authors do you enjoying reading?
I read widely and always have at least three or four books ‘on the go’ at once. One of my favourite authors is Conn Iggulden, and I recommend his ‘Wars of the Roses’ trilogy. I also enjoy Anne O’Brien’s books – and have started reading George R. R. Martin’s novels.
If there was one person in history that you could sit down and have a conversation with, who would it be?
I’ve often thought how useful it would be to have a talk with Jasper Tudor, as he’d be able to answer all my questions about his father and Henry!
WE ARE DOING GIVEAWAYS FOR THE NEXT MONTH ON FACEBOOK – GO TO TUDORS DYNASTY PAGE TO GET IN ON IT!
About the Author
Tony Riches is a full time author of best-selling historical fiction and non-fiction books. His latest novel, JASPER – Book Two of The Tudor Trilogy, can be found on Amazon UK Amazon US and Amazon AU. For more information about Tony’s other books please visit his popular blog, The Writing Desk and his WordPress website and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.