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Friday, September 25, 2020

Guest Author: Judith Arnopp



Guest Author Interview




I am happy to have Judith Arnopp as my guest today. Thank you, Judith, for joining me on my website.




 Author Judith Arnopp

     Author Judith Arnopp in costume





Judith, can you tell us about yourself and your background? What do you currently do outside of writing?



Hi, thank you for inviting me to your blog; it is great to be here. I live in Wales in the UK, and my home looks out across Cardigan Bay, an incredibly beautiful stretch of the coast. It is relatively quiet, especially in the winter, and on a good day, I often see dolphins swimming by on their way to feed. During my breaks, I can walk on the cliff path or go to the beach. I am very fortunate to live here. I couldn't write if I didn't have peace and quiet. In the winter, I do a lot of sewing in my spare time, and in the summer, I garden. Writing is my vocation, while history and gardening are my passions. I've been writing Historical Fiction professionally for ten years now. I set my early books in the medieval era, but now I concentrate mainly on the Tudor period.





Cardigan Bay             

                  Cardigan Bay




I've been interested in history since I was a child. I read every book I could lay hands on while I was growing up and into adulthood. It wasn't until 2007 that I began to write seriously. I studied English literature with creative writing at the University of Wales and went on to take a master's degree in medieval history. Once I graduated, it made sense to combine those skills and write historical fiction.

I now have twelve Historical Fiction novels and am also published in various non-fiction anthologies.





Judith Arnopp Novels

        Historical Novels of the Tudors






What books have you written, and what are their genres? What audience are they aimed at?



Although they are not series (except for The Beaufort Chronicle), you can follow the history of the Tudors by reading my books in the following sequence. The Beaufort Bride takes place during the reign of Henry VI, The Beaufort Woman takes you through Edward IV, and Richard III and The King's Mother covers Henry VII's time on the throne. A Song of Sixpence tells the story of Elizabeth of York, beginning just after the battle of Bosworth and encompasses the transitional rule of Henry Tudor. In this one, Henry VIII appears as a child. The novel I am currently writing will slip in here to cover Henry's early years as King when he was married to Catherine of Aragon.


 I then jump to Anne Boleyn in The Kiss of the Concubine, and Sisters of Arden covered the dissolution of the monasteries and the Pilgrimage of Grace when Henry was married to Jane Seymour. Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard's years as queen are covered in The Winchester Goose and Intractable Heart is the story of Katherine Parr. My latest novel, The Heretic Wind, tells the story of Mary Tudor from her infancy to her time as Queen of England and covers Henry's death and the rule of Edward VI, as well as that of Mary. So, all in all, my books provide a potted fictional history of the Tudor era (or will do once I've written more about Elizabeth).







   Judith Arnopp Historical Fiction Novels






What prompted you to write what you did? What message(s) do you want readers to take away?



Historical characters such as Margaret Beaufort, Mary Tudor, and Henry VIII are often dismissed as monsters, she-wolves, harridans, and accused of religious extremism. Still, I think there was a lot more to them than that. I don't believe they were purely evil; I think they were a complex mix of good and evil. We are all flawed. When I write, I like to get inside their head and try to write from their perspective. Instead of just telling a story about their actions, I want to unearth the reasons behind it and how they might have been thinking.  Both Henry and Mary Tudor committed brutal violence against their subjects. Instead of demonizing them, I use the characters to explain how why and what happened, and how it felt. Margaret Beaufort is often accused of having murdered the princes in the tower, but there is no evidence for this, and the idea has primarily sprung from fiction.  I disagree with the theory, but that is not to say she wasn't ruthless when she needed to be.  In The Beaufort Chronicle, Margaret tells her own story in her own words, as does Anne Boleyn in The Kiss of the Concubine and Elizabeth of York in A Song of Sixpence.





 Audio Book

                    Audio Books on Audible!





I am less interested in sumptuous settings, clothing, and jewels and more concerned with the psychological development of the Tudor mind. Walking in their shoes is often uncomfortable, but by the time the novel is finished, I feel I know them much better than when I started, and hopefully, so does the reader. My main aim is to inspire my reader to rethink the past, see things from all angles, and please, don't believe in monsters!




 Visit Judith Arnopp and view her books at Amazon: Judith Arnopp.






That is all for now. Until next time, Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!








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