I can’t wait to read BRAZEN now that it’s released and my copy has downloaded to my Kindle. I’ve been anxiously awaiting its release so I can meet Katherine Longshore’s Mary and Fitz and see what has been going on in King Henry’s court….
Oh, wait, I’m supposed to be introducing my tour stop, not talking about how excited I am to finally get the chance to read BRAZEN. So….
I am absolutely thrilled to be today’s stop on the BRAZEN Blog Tour and to able to share this interview with Author Katherine Longshore in which I’ve asked her a few questions regarding the historical figures she writes about in her novels, her favorite characters to write about, her favorite of King Henry VIII’s wives, what she really thinks about the King, and maybe just a few more questions. I love all her answers, which are so beautifully written, that if I hadn’t yet read anything by her before now I would be clicking to buy and read everything she’s penned.
And I am super excited about her upcoming project and am intrigued by the parallels between the characters in her historical novels and those in the contemporary story she’s working on.
While I would have loved to have included the interview immediately below – because the author’s answers are amazing – I thought I should include BRAZEN’s details first, for those who might not yet have read the description. But it follows right after that.
And if you haven’t yet “met” Katherine Longshore, I’ve included her details along with places to find her online. I’ve also included details on GILT and TARNISH in case you haven’t had the chance to read either of those stories. But if you are willing to wait for just a few weeks, COURTED is releasing and it will contain both books.
The tour includes a spectacular international giveaway for a signed set of the books to one winner and a US only giveaway for a signed copy of BRAZEN to two winners.
BRAZEN will be my next read, and I cannot wait to get to know Mary even more, now that I’ve heard what the author had to say about her. And if you love beautifully-written novels that are filled with intrigue, betrayal, rebellion and romance, then I have a feeling BRAZEN will be at the top of your TBR pile too.
Now, without any further ado, let me introduce you to BRAZEN.
Release date: June 12, 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?
…with Katherine Longshore
Q. You’ve now written and published three novels set in the court of King Henry VIII. What is it about the Tudor court that draws you to it?
It’s one of those periods of history that doesn’t require any embellishment. It doesn’t need fantasy elements to be fantastical. It doesn’t need a futuristic setting to be dystopian. There’s intrigue, betrayal, romance, tyranny, rebellion and insurrection, adultery, poetry, art and execution. But through my research, I’ve also fallen in love with the characters who inhabited it—especially the women. Life for women was so difficult—and they were considered so marginal—that even to be remembered or written about was quite a coup. So women like Anne Boleyn and Mary Howard and Margaret Douglas are inspiring to me—because they defied the status quo.
Q. What do you think about King Henry VIII as a man, a ruler and as a husband?
The trouble with Henry is that he seems so mercurial through the lens of history. He was a true Renaissance king—ambitious and brilliant, a man of letters and grand emotions, a poet and a scientist. He had his daughters educated to a level that most women didn’t even think to aspire. But he was also mistrustful, mercenary and volatile. If he was alive today, he would probably be admired for his good work, his power and his charisma. But he would be a difficult man to love.
Q. Which of King Henry VIII’s wives was your favorite? And why?
I’ve always had a soft spot for Anne of Cleves, his fourth wife. Of all of Henry’s wives, she is the only one who seemingly had no choice in the matter—the marriage was entirely a political arrangement. Henry was immediately averse the first time he saw her—and we are left to wonder what her feelings were! But Anne was also the only of Henry’s wives to escape virtually unscathed and even better off. She spent the rest of her days living as the king’s “beloved sister,” with her own money, her own title and her own castles. She was independent—something the average Tudor woman couldn’t even imagine.
Q. What is your favorite part of the research process when writing your novels?
Travel. I used to be a travel writer and love any research that gets me out of my house and exploring. Even when I return to a place I’ve been before—like the Tower of London—I discover something new. A detail that adds richness and texture, such as the way the stone of the wall feels or how the sky looks beyond it.
Q. Do you have a favorite film or television adaptation that includes any of the historical figures in your novels? If yes, what is it about the film/program that makes it a favorite?
I’m looking forward to the BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s WOLF HALL. Her historical accuracy is renowned, and the character of Thomas Cromwell is surprisingly sympathetic (I never liked him until I read the book!) And we all know we can trust the BBC to handle costume, character, setting and atmosphere exquisitely.
Q. Of the three female protagonists in your novels GILT, TARNISH and BRAZEN – Kitty, Anne and Mary – whose story was your favorite to write about? Your most challenging?
I loved writing Anne because her voice came to me so clearly—it was almost like taking dictation. Plus I’m fascinated by how people become who they are—the events and relationships and thoughts that shape us all in our youth and beyond. I tried hard to create the girl who would become the Queen.
Mary was the most challenging because her voice was the quietest. It took a couple of drafts for me really to know what she wanted to say and how she wanted to say it. But I think through that process her character became one of the strongest I’ve ever written.
Q. In BRAZEN you write about Mary Howard and Henry FitzRoy. How historically accurate are you with regard to the major events in both their lives?
For the major events, I hope my history is spot on because these are the things that were actually written down. Their wedding, his childhood with her brother, the fall of Anne Boleyn. The things that went undocumented—their relationship, Mary’s living arrangements, friendships—that I’ve had to invent, using the actual history as a guide.
Q. If you could bend history and change any of your characters’ fates in BRAZEN whose would you change? And why?
I can’t say for fear of spoilers. Though I think anyone who reads the book will be able to guess.
Q. What was your favorite quote or passage from BRAZEN and why is it a favorite?
Mary associates words with tastes—a sense impression created by the sound or quality of the word itself (she’s a synesthete). I loved turning words over in my own mind to imagine what they might taste like and why. This quality of Mary’s character helped create some of my favorite images in the novel, including this one:
“Love tastes like bread. Warm and yeasty and fresh from the oven…Simple. Uncomplicated. And absolutely necessary for survival.”
Q. Can you talk a little bit about any of your current projects?
I’m writing a short story for the anthology PETTICOATS & PISTOLS, edited by Jessica Spotswood, scheduled for publication in Spring 2016. And I’m working on a contemporary YA novel. It has a completely different voice from what I’ve worked with before, so it’s been exciting to write. It’s refreshing to write characters who have more freedom than teens did in the Tudor court—it’s dynamic and invigorating. Interestingly enough, though, these characters run into some of the same kinds of limitations and preconceptions…
About Katherine Longshore
Katherine Longshore grew up on the northern California coast. At university, she created her own major in Cross-Cultural Studies and Communications, planning to travel and write. Forever. Four years, six continents and countless pairs of shoes later, she went to England for two weeks, stayed five years and discovered history. She now lives in California with her husband, two children and a sun-worshiping dog.
Other Books by the Author
In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free–
and love comes at the highest price of all.
When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men–the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.
Anne Boleyn is the odd girl out. Newly arrived to the court of King Henry VIII, everything about her seems wrong, from her clothes to her manners to her witty but sharp tongue. So when the dashing poet Thomas Wyatt offers to coach her on how to shine at court—and to convince the whole court they’re lovers—she accepts. Before long, Anne’s popularity has soared, and even the charismatic and irresistible king takes notice. More than popularity, Anne wants a voice—but she also wants love. What began as a game becomes high stakes as Anne finds herself forced to make an impossible choice between her heart’s desire and the chance to make history.
And coming July 3rd…
Title: COURTED (contains GILT and TARNISH)
Release date: July 3, 2014
There are some awesome tour-wide giveaways for…
- All 3 books (GILT, TARNISH, BRAZEN) SIGNED to ONE winner – International
- A SIGNED copy of BRAZEN to TWO winners – US only
Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
The Tour Schedule
June 2nd – The Anne Boleyn Files – Guest Post
June 3rd – Romantic Reads and Such – Interview
June 4th – Page Turners – Review
June 5th – Magical Urban Fantasy Reads – Guest Post
June 6th – Parajunkee’s View – Interview
June 6th – Literary Exploration – Review
June 9th – Gone with the Words – Review
June 10th – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Interview
June 11th – Bewitched Bookworms – Guest Post + Review
June 12th – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post
June 13th – Mundie Moms – Review
June 13th – Fiktshun – Interview