Fun Thing #1Visiting Cecylee's girlhood home at Castle Raby, Co. Durham in July 2007, and being taken on my very own private "Cecylee" tour, which included clambering up a very steep and twisted spiral staircase to visit her room in the Keep, where her father locked her up.
Fun Thing #2After about three years of writing the novel, I submitted it to my editor Catherine Adams in the summer of 2007 for some structural advice. At that point, the novel had only three books: THE BRIDE PRICE, ONE SEED SOWN and TWO MURDERS REAPED. "But you can't have a novel set at the time of the Wars of the Roses and barely mention it," Catherine said. "But Cecylee wasn't taking part in a direct way," I replied. "She was busy having thirteen children in seventeen years." "You have to have something," responded Catherine, giving me a series of suggestions. That is how I came to write THE GILDED CAGE, which is now Book Three (TWO MURDERS REAPED becoming Book Four).
Fun Thing #3Doing a photo shoot for the novel. I contacted Heather Hayes and asked her if she'd agree to donate her time. She not only agreed, but she brought along a friend, Whitney Arostegui, to do the photography. It all came together in November, 2010, in Prospect Park Brooklyn, where Whitney shot over three hundred photos. And that is how THWARTED QUEEN and the rest of her parts got their covers.
Fun Thing #4Being beaten to the post by Anne Easter Smith. Although this was not fun at the time, it was the best thing that happened to Cecylee, because it prodded me into publishing her memoirs. I first heard that Anne Easter Smith was going to write her own novel about Cecylee, via her author notes at the end of her third novel. As that novel was published in March 2009, I figured had some time. So I was shocked to learn in February 2011, via Publisher's Marketplace, that Anne was coming out with her own version in May 2011. I marshaled my resources together, took endless webinars from Writer's Digest on the publishing industry, and even a course on self-publishing. THWARTED QUEEN came out on Amazon's Kindle in October 2011.
Fun Thing #5Meeting my readers. Thank you for interviewing me! http://spunstories.com/books/
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