5 December 2017

Special Guest Interview with Author Samantha Wilcoxson


New on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Margaret Beaufort is remembered as a pious and formidable woman. Before she was the king's mother, she was a young wife who was desperate to secure her son's future. Take a peek into the life of Margaret Beaufort before she dreamed of a Tudor dynasty.

Today I would like to welcome author Samantha Wilcoxson:

Tell us about your latest book

My latest release is a novella featuring Margaret Beaufort. She is famous - or perhaps infamous - for being the formidable mother of Henry Tudor, but The Last Lancastrian is a glimpse of her as a young wife and mother with timeless hopes and dreams that I believe we can all relate to. My portrayal of Margaret became more negative than I intended in Plantagenet Princess, Tudor Queen, so this novella is my way of deepening Margaret's character and offering her something of an apology. 

My most recent full length novel was Queen of Martyrs, which tells the story of Mary I. It was a remarkably emotional journey that left me feeling closer to this much maligned woman than I had previously thought possible. 

What is your preferred writing routine?

I prefer to be isolated when I write. Ideally, I write outdoors with lovely scenery but no distractions. Some tea or wine and a bit of chocolate doesn't hurt either. As for my research process, I start with a timeline of events and then fill in the personalities and motives to fit them. My objective is to write a more intimate account than what readers may have previously encountered regarding the women I feature. 

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

It is important to write with passion but to also have a goal in mind. Our best writing will always be on topics that are close to our heart, however, writing as a career also involves writing regardless of mood, dealing with marketing, and networking. Save yourself disappointment and frustration by deciding what you want before you start. I know fantastic writers who are perfectly happy writing for themselves or a blog. Others have financial goals or produce multiple books each year. Ask yourself what will make you feel that you have succeeded.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?

Long before I started writing historical fiction, I was an avid reader and reviewer. Being a part of that online community helped create awareness for my books as soon as they were published. My blog also includes a wide variety of historical topics related to my books, so I am often 'discovered' that way through online searches and social media. Then there are awesome fellow authors, such as Tony, who invite me to be on their blogs!

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research

One comes across so many fascinating tidbits when researching historical figures! I try to insert any fun facts that I come across into my novels. For example, Edward IV was preparing to pardon Henry Tudor when he died. Would Henry have sought the crown if he had already been welcomed home? There are hints at surviving children of Cecily of York in Catherine (Gordon) Craddock's will. Reginald Pole was almost elected to the papacy in 1550, after he managed to outsmart assassins sent after him by Henry VIII. Then there's the strange progress Elizabeth of York went on in the last months of her life. Was she searching for the truth about her brothers? History is better than anything I could make up. More generally, I have been surprised at how easily I have discovered sympathy for each woman I have chosen to write about, even those who history has not been as kind to, such as Margaret Beaufort and Queen Mary I. When we care enough to look deeply into a person's life and see events from their point-of-view, we can find compassion for almost any person, or at least understand how they evolved into the person they became.

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?

There have been a few - these women lived through turbulent times! Of course, scenes where a death is involved are always difficult and emotive, but the only scene I remember asking a friend if I should consider cutting involved Queen Mary and Reginald Pole. I don't want to give too much away, but it comes at a point in Mary's life when she realizes that she doesn't have long to live, her husband has abandoned her, and her Protestant sister will be her heir. Mary's heartache is palpable and Reginald has no choice but to break it one more time.

What are you planning to write next?

I am working on a set of novellas to accompany my Plantagenet Embers trilogy. The Last Lancastrian was recently released featuring Margaret Beaufort. The second novella will focus on Elizabeth Woodville, and I hope to release it before the end of the year. These novellas are designed to give readers a closer look at some of my favorite secondary characters from the full length novels.

Samantha Wilcoxson
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About the Author

Samantha Wilcoxson is an American writer and history enthusiast. She has written three novels and works as a freelance writer. Living with her husband on a small lake in Michigan with three kids, two cats, and two dogs, Samantha has plenty of writing inspiration. 'Plantagenet Princess, Tudor Queen' has been named an Editors' Choice by the Historical Novel Society. Find out more at https://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.co.uk/ and find Samantha on Facebook and Twitter @carpe_librum

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