Today I welcome historical fiction author, Susan Appleyard to talk about her recent Chill With A Book Award and all things bookish!
Hello, Emma and thank you for inviting me to be ‘under the spotlight’.
Huge congratulations on winning your Chill Award! You must be so happy that your work has been recognised in this way. Now, before we carry on, would you please introduce yourself to my readers, just in case they don’t know you already …
I was born in Yorkshire but immigrated to Canada many years ago with my little family of hubby and three children. Now I am at a stage in my life where I can spend only six of the warmest months in Canada and the other six in Mexico. It was in school that I learned to love English history, and that, with a couple of exceptions, has been the focus of my writing.
So, your book has been awarded with a Chill with a Book Readers’ Award, what inspired you to write this story?
My Chill with a Book Award is for Dark Spirit, a novella which relates a few months in the life of Ludwig II, King of Bavaria. I first met him when I was writing In a Gilded Cage, about Elisabeth, Empress of Austria, his cousin, and I was fascinated by him. Truly, a square peg being forced into a round hole, and a man of such contrasts. I knew I had to write about him, but I was terribly disappointed that I couldn’t write his life story. He was such an unhappy man, the full story would have been too dismal, and so I had to settle for a few months at the end of his life.
What does the award mean to you?
I am extremely proud to have won a second Chill with a Book Award. I find Chill’s blog to be a great place to find authors I want to read, and they are invariably in a skill bracket in which I want to belong. The award is an acclamation and a validation that means I have produced something others will want to read. And that is why I write.
What other titles have you published? Tell us a little about them …
My first published e-book was Queen of Trial and Sorrow (my personal favourite) which also won a Chill Award. It’s about Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King Edward IV and the mother of the Princes in the Tower. It was followed by This Sun of York, about how Edward IV won the throne during the War of the Roses, and then The Remorseless Queen, the story of their rival, Margaret of Anjou. Then came The First Plantagenet, the tale of King Henry II, a remarkable king but a flawed man. At that point I diverted to European history with In a Gilded Cage and Dark Spirit. Back to England for my latest release, The Forsaken Queen about Isabella of France and Edward II. Whew!
Are you working on a new book? Tell me about that …
I’m presently working on a series of historical romances, set in my favourite period, the War of the Roses. I have already finished the first book but I want to write at least the bulk of the second in case I have to make important changes. This is quite a daring departure as I’ve never written a romance and usually prefer to write about real people and events where the plot has already been written for me. There will be some historical persons in these books, but the main characters will be fictitious.
When not writing, what can you be found doing?
When I’m not writing, I might be found reading one of my favourite authors, Sharon Kay Penman, who I adore, Morgan Llywelyn or Pauline Gedge. I also like painting with oils, swimming and dancing.
Why did you choose the genre you write in?
I’m not sure I ever chose to write historical novels. It was a natural progression from story-telling in school to writing about what I love. The three authors noted above, all historical novelists, certainly helped me on my way.
Which other genre would you chose if you had to change?
You ask what other genre I would write in if I had to change. It would have to be contemporary, but I can say with certainty that I wouldn’t enjoy writing as much as I do.
Quick fire questions …
Twitter or Facebook? Both
Tea or coffee? Tea (and wine)
Marmite – yes or no? No!
Marvel or DC? Neither
Early riser or sleep in? Early riser
Pj’s or ‘normal’ clothes when writing? Normal
Planner or pantster? Pantster (mostly)
Book or kindle? Both
Pineapple on pizza – yes or no? No
And finally, … What is your favourite book of all time?
Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman.
Thank you, Emma. It has been a pleasure talking to you.
You can get your copy of Susan’s award-winning book over at Amazon now, here’s the blurb …
Born into the royal Wittelsbach family of Bavaria, with its legacy of madness, depression and eccentricity, Ludwig II’s extravagant and ruinously expensive building projects, coupled with increasingly aberrant behaviour caused the people of his day to wonder. Was Ludwig mad? Was he a genius? Was he just a lonely man, having looked for and given up on love, seeking for some kind of spiritual fulfilment? Even today, we wonder. What was the impetus behind his compulsion to build? And was he really insane or a victim of his own government’s scheming?
If you’d like to find out more about Susan and her books, you can keep up to date with everything on the following pages:
My author page U.K. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Susan-Appleyard/e/B00UTVMT5Y
My author page U.S. https://www.amazon.com/Susan-Appleyard/e/B00UTVMT5Y
My blog: https://susanappleyardwriter.wordpress.com/