Wednesday 22 August 2018

Blog Blitz ~ The Last Plantagenet? by Jennifer C. Wilson

Jaffareadstoo is delighted to be involved in the 3 day Blog Blitz for The Last Plantagenet?

My thanks to the author and to Rachel's Random Resources for my invitation to be part of this Book Blitz

And here's a fabulous guest post from the author Jennifer C. Wilson

Thank you so much for being part of my blog blitz today; I hope you and your readers enjoy The Last Plantagenet?

There cannot be many writers who get to attend a funeral service for their leading man. Even fewer when you narrow that down to historical fiction writers. Yet, in March 2015, that’s exactly where I found myself. Granted, at that point he was only the leading man in two unpublished manuscripts, but still. Since then, Richard III has featured in three of my published novels, two Kindred Spirits tales (Tower of London and Westminster Abbey), and of course, The Last Plantagenet?

I had only entered the ballot for tickets to be part of things, feel a little involved in a dig and debate which seemed to be sweeping the nation. Having ‘discovered’ Richard in the historical sense several years before, it was fascinating to see the historical figure I’d become so intrigued by dominating the news, shelves filling up with new books, and more documentaries than you could shake a stick at. Then, even when the gold-rimmed envelope appeared in my postbox, I simply couldn’t believe it. Ok, so I had to Google what Compline actually was, but regardless, I was going to be attending it, and that was just amazing. 

In the end, the whole weekend felt like a festival, not a funeral. There were lectures, demonstrations (historical, not confrontational), the unveiling of the coffin, the hearse’s procession… Leicester was full of white roses, with such a buzz in the air. 

As we all took our seats for the service, and watched the procession follow the final few hundred metres to the Cathedral, there was a strange mix of emotions. Clearly, due to the setting, and occasion, there was an element of a sombre atmosphere, but then, nobody could truly be sad – it’s not as though anyone had been expecting to find him alive, after all. So there was almost a happy edge to proceedings, a celebration of having found our man, and bringing him the dignity he had been lacking for so long. 

Afterwards, back in the hotel, I thought about the two tales currently loitering on my hard-drive. For The Last Plantagenet?, I suddenly realised I had my ending, the final couple of scenes which had, to date, eluded me. I started making notes, and found I couldn’t stop. Notes on edits I needed to make to what I had written so far, ideas to explore for the rest of the plot, and even poems came flooding out (although, luckily for you, not all of the latter ever made it out into the world!). Once I was home, those notes hit the laptop, and Kate’s adventures in time began to come to life. 

Kindred Spirits: Tower of London was the first to make it into the wild, as it were, published by Crooked Cat Books just seven months later, in October 2015, but thankfully, The Last Plantagenet? made it too, self-published and released on Richard’s birthday, 2nd October, in 2017. 

I doubt either would have happened if I hadn’t been so lucky in that ballot. 

It’s almost enough to have made the stress of picking an outfit worthwhile… 

Crooked Cat Books

The fireplace hadn't looked like a time-portal. All Kate had wanted was a fun, relaxing day out, watching the knights jousting at Nottingham Castle. What she ended up with was something quite different. Transported in a heartbeat from 2011 to 1485, how will Kate handle life at the Ricardian court? Even more importantly, how will she cope when she catches the eye of the king himself?

My thoughts about The Last Plantagenet?..

I've always been interested in Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England, and after his ignominious defeat at the Battle of Bosworth to be hidden for so long in an unmarked grave was perhaps the saddest outcome for this enigmatic king, and for the historic dynasty which ruled our country, so tempestuously, for the best part of 330 years.

The Last Plantagenet? gives a light hearted look at what might have happened if a modern day woman fell through a time portal in a fireplace and landed in the Ricardian court at Nottingham Castle just a few weeks before the Battle of Bosworth took place. When Kate finds herself no longer in the present, she is amazed to find that she is firmly placed in the centre of the fifteenth century court's festivities and when she catches the eye of the King, Kate's status suddenly rises and her time at court takes a very different turn indeed.

This was a really lovely short story which I managed to read quite easily over a cup of tea. There is a definite authentic feel to everything, and whilst you have to suspend belief, there is no doubt that the author has captured a real sense of time and place. I fully immersed myself at life at court with Richard III and his courtiers and enjoyed reading to find out how the story eventually played out.

Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating. Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and available from Amazon

Twitter @inkjunkie1984


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