How can that be, you might ask? The Dark Thorn takes place in our contemporary world and draws from several different histories. I had to do heavy research before I wrote even one word.
When it comes to inserting history into fantasy novels, a writer must be careful. For it to work, the history presented in the book that affects the characters and overall narrative has to remain mostly consistent with what we know to be true. Change it too much, and it loses the weight of that history, becoming something other. In my opinion, it is better to weave a story that could have happened—may have happened—to make people think.
Author Laura Andersen has done just that. She has woven the history of the Boleyn an Tudor families into The Boleyn King, a novel that asks a simple question: What if Anne Boleyn had born Henry VIII a son?
Here is a bit more about The Boleyn King:
Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, and Showtime’s The Tudors, The Boleyn King is the first book in an enthralling trilogy that dares to imagine: What if Anne Boleyn had actually given Henry VIII a son who grew up to be king?
Just seventeen years old, Henry IX, known as William, is a king bound by the restraints of the regency yet anxious to prove himself. With the French threatening battle and the Catholics sowing the seeds of rebellion at home, William trusts only three people: his older sister Elizabeth; his best friend and loyal counselor, Dominic; and Minuette, a young orphan raised as a royal ward by William’s mother, Anne Boleyn.
Against a tide of secrets, betrayal, and murder, William finds himself fighting for the very soul of his kingdom. Then, when he and Dominic both fall in love with Minuette, romantic obsession looms over a new generation of Tudors. One among them will pay the price for a king’s desire, as a shocking twist of fate changes England’s fortunes forever.
I asked Laura a few questions about her new book! Here is that Q&A:
NEW RELEASE INTERVIEW: THE BOLEYN KING BY LAURA ANDERSEN
Shawn Speakman: The Boleyn King publishes today! Tell Unbound Worlds readers about your debut novel and how you arrived at writing it?
Speakman: What drove you to envision a different story for Anne Boleyn?
Speakman: The world of the Tudors has long held the fascination of readers and movie goers alike. What are some of the most unusual things you discovered while researching The Boleyn King?
Also, Robert Dudley was considered slightly suspect because he liked to eat salads.
Speakman: Weaving historical fact into fiction can be a daunting task. I discovered this while writing about the Plantagenet family in my novel, The Dark Thorn. What challenges were you met with in trying to keep the story as close to what we know to be true? When was it okay to deviate?
Speakman: The Boleyn King is the first book of three. What can readers expect in the next two books? Care to share anything?
There you have it. From the author! If you are looking for something new and like this particular time period in history—with a twist—The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen is for you!
In bookstores today!
Shawn Speakman is the author of The Dark Thorn, an urban/epic fantasy hybrid novel bestselling author Terry Brooks calls, “a fine tale by a talented writer.”