Please welcome Historical fiction/romance writer, Francine Howarth to The Seventeenth Century Lady!
Thank you so much Andrea for inviting me over to your blog and for letting me run riot across the page brandishing sword, pistol and musket in true Cavalier style. But first, let me say I favour neither Cavalier or Parliamentarian within my series of novels set within the time span English Civil Wars, Interregnum years, the Restoration and The Glorious Revolution.
Imagine if you will Sean Bean as this man: William Lord Gantry Earl of Axbridge: a real live historical person? Of course not, he’s one of my fictional characters.
I am as much an avid reader as that of crazed writer setting my own tight deadlines and undertaking all artwork necessary for covers and layout of paperback copies etc, Do I do a good job with graphic design: who knows, but I enjoy doing it and the cost is peanuts because I’m the monkey and, the organ grinder. I have an academic historian who beta reads and edits my novels for the sheer love and pleasure of reading historical novels, and yet still typos and mishaps escape her notice as they do mine. But hey, she’s only human not a fiendish literary critic nor a wannabe editor! And, as a reader I simply settle down to enjoy good books by other authors and have no desire to critique as I go, and willingly skip minor blips. But, there have been many times on reaching the end of a book I’ve wished a sequel might be in the offing, not necessarily a follow-on with existing characters as the lead subject matter, because often as not supporting characters have intrigued my sense of the curious and I would have liked to get to know them better. Hence, I penned The Royal Series, and strange as it may seem, not one of the books is essentially about royalty. Nonetheless, royal persons of note have walk-on parts or minor starring roles. After all, the royals are a well-documented species and therefore relatively easy to chart their lives. However, I had it in mind the whole process had to be a challenge. The characters had to be of my own creation, albeit the backdrop would be that of real-time historical events.
Book 3: Another Portrait inspired Royal Secrets, set nine years after the Restoration of Charles II to the throne of England. Imagine a portrait of a distressed young woman clearly terrified by events spiralling beyond her control. That image became the catalyst to a story fraught with courtly politics and intrigues, in which the life of the heroine is placed in mortal peril of plotters who are aiming to rid Charles II of a barren wife.
Book 5: Lady of the Tower came about purely because a character stole my heart in book 2, her gender unknown until book 3. In book three she’s a charmer, and by book 4 the courage shown by this girl deserved a book all her own. Within book (5) the downfall of James II occurs, and with the Glorious Revolution comes the return of the heroine’s sister to home shores.