Author Interview: Cynthia Haggard
I would like to introduce Author Cynthia Haggard, the winner of the BRAG Medallion for her book, “Thwarted Queen.”
Read the entire interview at:
Cynthia, thank you for the pleasure of an second interview and congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion.. You write about an interesting time in History. What inspired you to write Thwarted Queen?
I was watching a BBC documentary in which Tony Morrison was talking about the Princes in the Tower, who disappeared in July 1483, and were never seen again. He mentioned that British historian Michael K. Jones had been going through the records of Rouen Cathedral and had discovered that Richard Duke of York, Cecylee’s husband, was absent for a period of five weeks in the summer of 1441. This was important because Edward IV, the father of the Princes in the Tower, was born on April 28, 1442, and thus this raised the whole issue of whether King Edward was illegitimate. I did my research, and the more I looked into it, the more I became convinced that Edward IV was illegitimate, because it explained so many things about the subsequent behavior of his relatives. My question as I started to write the novel was “What on earth did Cecylee say to her husband Richard, when he returned from fighting the French in the summer of 1441? And that was how I started.
This is four books into one, spanning over almost a century? How did you pull it all together? Where there any challenges?
This is a long book, about 495 pages, which I wrote over a period of seven years between 2004 and 2011. In the course of writing it, I divided it up into four parts as the material naturally shaped itself that way. So the first part is about Cecylee’s girlhood, the second about her love-affair with the archer, the third about her husband’s political career, and the fourth part about her life after his death. Realizing that not everyone might wish to read a book of this length, I decided to publish each of its parts. I wanted to follow the same pattern with my paperback version, but was unable to do so because parts 1 and 2 were too short to be able to put a title on the spine. So I put those parts together, and called the resulting paperback ROSE OF RABY. The challenge was not so much in the writing, but in coping with trying to market all these different versions of THWARTED QUEEN. It has been a bit of a headache. On the other hand, the books are selling well, much better than if I had just brought it out as just one book.
When writing with an extensive list of characters, how do you keep up with them?
Fortunately, I have an historical mind, so I don’t mind remembering dates or doing all the research necessary. What happened as I wrote the novel was I got to know all of my characters so well, I had no trouble keeping track of them. The challenge was to make sure that the reader could follow what was going on.