Lady of The Roses – Author Interview

 Lady of the Roses Synopsis:

From “a gifted literary talent” comes a sweeping epic of defiant love, high adventure, and the resilience of the human spirit. Based on history, this is the story of young Isobel Ingoldesthorpe and Sir John Neville, medieval ancestors of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Sir Winston Churchill, who cultivate their love as violence erupts all around them in England’s Wars of the Roses . . .

 Welcome Sandra,

It’s a pleasure to have you at Paperback Writer! 

Thank you for having me.  

Q. Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?  

 A.   After my debut novel THE ROSE OF YORK: LOVE & WAR was published, I heard back from readers who wanted to know if I was planning to write a book on a secondary character in the book, John Neville, Lord Montagu (the Kingmaker’s brother). It seems he touched a lot of hearts. I wasn’t planning one at the time, but the seed my readers planted in my head germinated over the years, and eventually turned into LADY OF THE ROSES.

Q. Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?

 A.  I’ve tried it both ways. There was no deadline on my first book, so I didn’t use an outline. I just wrote at my leisure as scenes popped into my head. But with LADY OF THE ROSES, I was on deadline and couldn’t afford to waste time dilly-dallying. So I made an outline that was quite detailed. It proved a huge help in keeping me on story-target. I knew where I was going, and made the right bends in the road to get there on time. There were no wasted scenes at all.

Q. Do you know the end of the story at the beginning? 

A. Indeed I do, because I write real history. The only decision I face is where to end– do I let my reader folloow them to their last days, or do I cut off the story somewhere earlier? It all depends on the importance of those final days to the story. With the trilogy and LADY OF THE ROSES, I have journeyed with my historical figures all the way to the end. It’s the story of a life, after all, and there is something to be learned from them even as they close their eyes. I don’t want to cheat my readers.

Q. Do you have a process for developing your characters?

 A. No. They start speaking in my head and I write what I hear them say. Sometimes it comes as a surprise to me the way they develop themselves. I’ve often wondered at how it all works. The creative process is still a mystery to me.

Q. It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?

 A. I can’t say that there is. Certainly Isobel amazes me. It’s like giving birth to a child who surprises you at how different she is. Haven’t all parents wondered where their children came from? I’ve done the same with Isobel all along. She is more courageous than I could ever be under the circumstances of her life. She is also very clever, coming up with the right words at the right time. I’m not like that at all. I often think of what I should have said days later! If there’s anyone who shares a trait with me, it’s John, with his love of dogs. I love all animals. But John is the only one of my many characters who displays this fondness for them. It wasn’t deliberate on my part. He just “came” with his love of dogs!   

 Q. What is your most favorite part about this book?

 A. What a great question! My favorite part comes near the end when Isobel rides out to Bamborough Castle to confront John about something absolutely heinous that has happened which he holds against her, and of which she is innocent. Every time I read that scene, I feel the power and the magic of the night I spent walking along the long, lonely stretch of beach by the deserted castle. Ominous clouds chased one another across the sky; the wind was wild; and the vast North Sea a molten silver. It was ten-thirty on a summer’s night, and the sun was just setting, turning all the world pewter and rose. I can still hear the roar of the ocean in my ears and see the bluff where Isobel would later stand with John at this momentous turning point in their lives: to plead, to accept, to weep, love and forgive. 

Q. When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher? 

A. Always after the book was written and revised to my satisfaction. 

 Q. What struggles have you had on the road to being published?

 A. Goodness, I couldn’t begin to tell you all the struggles, setbacks, disappointments and downright bad luck that I had along the way! It makes quite a publishing horror story. One that sticks in my mind was my first publisher going out of business a month before my release date — after I’d waited eighteen months for it to arrive. I also remember the disappointment I felt when an agent told me historicals were a dead genre for a first time writer. But then things changed in publishing, and historicals turned hot. Now here I am with Penguin, being translated into Spanish, and into Russian. It was worth hanging on for the ride!   

Q. What has been the best part about being published? 

A. This one is easy! The best part of being published are the wonderful readers I have come to know. They write me the most beautiful letters and emails. I keep them all. Some of my readers have become friends. 

 Q. What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel? 

A. I’d like them to remember these great historical figures, because there is honor in remembrance, and they were exceptional people who deserve our admiration and gratitude for the sacrifices they made that gave us, over time, a far better world. My great hope, also, is to inspire the young minds that might stumble across my books. Our society lacks role models for our young. Here, in my books they will see love of honor and ideals, and they’ll also witness the destructive power of greed in all its forms. If they should ever hear in the course of their lives, as we have done in ours, that “Greed is good”, they will know the truth. History, and the extraordinary men and women who once lived, have timeless lessons to teach us all.   

  Q. Do you have plans to write another book?

 A. There is another book in the works. THE KING’S DAUGHTER: A NOVEL OF THE FIRST TUDOR QUEEN tells the story of Elizabeth of York, beloved by the English people, called lovingly “Elizabeth the Good.” She was the daughter, sister, niece, and wife of a king, and mother of the infamous Henry VIII.

 Q. Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?

 A. PumpUpYourBook has helped me reach a far wider readership than I could ever do on my own. I’ve been reviewed and interviewed by a dozen sites I would never have found myself, and of course this helps sales enormously. It’s a tremendous resource, delivers great results, and it’s very well priced for what it does.

 Q. Where can readers find a copy of your book?

 A. LADY OF THE ROSES is in all the bookstores. Large chains like Borders and Barnes & Noble are well-stocked, and even the independents have copies on their shelf. Of course, on-line sites like Amazon also sell LADY OF THE ROSES.

 Q. Do you have a website for readers to go to?

  A. Absolutely! Visit me at sandraworth.com and/or write me at roseofyork@sandraworth.com Book clubs can call me to arrange an author telephone chat at (713) 974-7002. There are Reader Questions on my website. Remember, I’m looking forward to hearing from you! 

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