In case you were all wondering (and I know you were, right?), I am still alive and kicking. The blog has been quiet for a couple of weeks, but all for a good cause. My next book, Isabeau, A Novel of Queen Isabella and Sir Roger Mortimer, is now on Kindle and Smashwords and I've just corrected the last pesky little typos and formatting errors for the print version. By early next week, the stamp of approval should be on the final, final proof and shortly thereafter, the paper book will be available online at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other retail web sites.
Originally, I balked at writing a historical story centered on a female protagonist. Why would that be the case when I myself am a woman? Hmm, the only explanation I can give is that I grew up a tomboy and the book that sent me down this path in the first place was The Three Musketeers. Clanging sword blades excite me for some inexplicable reason. The rustle of tafeta, not so much. If I were to dress up at the local Rennaisance Festival, I'd insist on armor, a lance and a caparisoned warhorse. I am NOT a fan of big flouncy dresses and wimples - at least not on me personally - it's impossible to run in the things and I am quite comfortable in my running shorts, Adidas and cotton T-shirts - although I must say Cate Blanchett looks fab in poofy dresses and a jeweled crown.
If you hadn't noticed, the majority of historicals selling in the U.S. do have female MCs, soooo... it was a career move initially, to be frank. Queen Isabella was a contemporary of Robert the Bruce, so I had run across her name frequently while researching her husband, Edward II of England. But as I began to plot out the chapters, something odd happened. This woman who I'd sat down to write about was . . . fascinating. Intelligent, strong and unbelievably bold. Was she perfect in every way? No, what human being is? But she defied her husband, King Edward, at a time when women did not openly speak out against their spouses and took a lover: Sir Roger Mortimer. If that isn't fodder for a rich historical, I'm not sure what is.
Queen Isabella's story is my own interpretation - as are those of the other historical figures in the book, such as Mortimer, Hugh Despenser and Edward II. If nothing else, I hope readers will learn something more about the time period and all its political entanglements while escaping the present. My intention was to step into Isabella's and Mortimer's shoes - and hopefully invite you, the reader, into their world. Like Robert the Bruce, this is one more figure who I'm surprised has been so overlooked in fiction.
Now, I'm going to celebrate one more step in publication by pulling weeds, going for a run and cheering my kids on at some races over the weekend. Then it's back to work, getting the second Bruce book ready for the world.