28. September 2016

Elizabeth Fremantle. Vom Tudor Fan zur Autorin.

Wenn ihr euch noch zurückerinnern könnt, dann werdet ihr wissen wie begeistert ich von dem Roman Im Schatten der Königin von Elizabeth Fremantle gewesen war. Dabei handelt es sich um den Teil einer atmosphärischen & gut recherchierten Buchreihe rund um die Tudors. Das besonders schöne dabei? Die einzelnen Bücher können auch unabhängig voneinander gelesen werden und haben mich bereits in ihren Bann gezogen. Grund genug ein bisschen mit der sympathischen Autorin zu plaudern und ein paar Fragen rund um ihre Romane, das Autorenleben und auch Privates zu stellen.

1. Why do you choose just the Tudors for your historical fiction?
I find the Tudor period endlessly fascinating because it was a time of great upheaval – social, religious and political – which gave rise to the kind of dramatic events that make for good fiction. Danger was a constant presence, particularly for those close to the throne. There has been a good deal of focus on the period but it is mostly concentrated on the same figures: Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I, and I wanted to shine a light on some of the lesser known characters who were also politically significant, particularly the women.
2. What do you think? Why readers find the epoch of Tudors so fascinating?
Apart from the reasons I mention above the idea of a monstrous king who murders his wives is archetypal – a kind of Bluebeard character. I also think the fifty years of female rule with Mary and Elizabeth Tudor was unprecedented and it is endlessly interesting to explore a society based in misogyny having to change itself to accommodate a woman on the throne. It was a time when men were beginning to explore the world and discover new lands as well as a period of great literary and artistic flourishing that gave rise to figures like Shakespeare whose work maintains its popularity and relevance to this day.
3. Your first name is Elizabeth, like Elizabeth Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn. Coincidence?

Yes, absolutely, coincidence.
4. Can you give us a little overview of your Tudor- trilogy?
The trilogy as a whole charts the second part of the sixteenth century from the Reformation to the death of Elizabeth I. We see four Tudor monarchs on the throne through a period of turmoil. I have looked at this era through the prism of the lives of different women, allowing us to gain an understanding of the political upheavals and dangers whilst also engaging with the intimate stories of individual characters. In Queen’s Gambit (dt, Spiel der Königin) we see Katherine Parr and her maid Dot negotiate the dangers of Henry VIII’s court, in Sisters of Treason (dt. Im Schatten der Königin) the Grey sisters are greatly endangered by their royal blood and in the third, Watch the Lady (dt. Erscheinungstermin nicht bekannt), my heroine, Penelope Devereux becomes involved in espionage and treason in the final years of Elizabeth’s reign. 
5. In 2014 "Sisters of Treason" was published in Germany. Why you decide to write about the Grey sisters? I never read about them before.

The Protestant Lady Jane Grey is week known in England as the Nine Days Queen, as she was pushed off the throne by her Catholic cousin Mary Tudor, who later executed her, aged only seventeen. Very little was known about her two younger sisters Katherine and Mary, whose lives were blighted by the shadow of their sister’s execution. They lived in perpetual danger because of their royal blood because they were constantly perceived as a threat tot he throne. Nevertheless they both attempted to take control of their lives at great personal cost, which makes them, for me, very interesting to write about.
6. How long did you spend time researching the Tudors, especially the Greys, before you started writing? Was it difficult to find enough information about the three sisters?

I usually spend about six months researching and six months writing. Because the Greys were a politically significant family their lives are quite well documented and there is plenty of source material as well as one or two historical biographies. I find that reading about social history of the period – discovering how people actually lived and the details of daily life – is just as important as the life stories of my central characters. 
7. When was the moment in which you know: I will write a book.
I always wanted to write fiction, even as a young child, though never had the courage. Then I studied literature followed by creative writing, which helped me to achieve that childhood dream. It took me ten years to get my work published after I’d finished my studies and I have several unpublished novels from that period. 
8. How do you manage family, work and writing?
I have to be very disciplined and I rarely take time off. I’m lucky enough for writing to be the way I earn my living now, though this wasn’t always the case. 
9. What kind of books do you read? What are your favourite authors?
I’m a big fan of the Austrian writer Stephan Zweig. His novel, written in the 1930s, Beware of Pity, is an inspiration. i also love Thomas Hardy and Tess of the d’Urberville’s is one of my favourite novels. Of contemporary authors, I enjoy the work of Sarah Waters, Hilary Mantel and Rose Tremain, who all write excellent historical novels.
10. Is there anything you want your readers to know?

I’d just like to thank readers for buying and reading my books. It means a great deal to me to know that my stories touch the lives of people I will never meet in person.

Wenn ihr immer auf dem neuesten Stand zu Elizabeth Fremantle und ihren Romanen sein wollt:
web: www.elizabethfremantle.com
: Elizabeth Fremantle

twitter: @lizfremantle

Ganz zum Schluss noch ein riesiges Dankeschön an Elizabeth, dass sie sich die Zeit genommen hat meine Fragen zu beantworten. Thank you, Elizabeth!

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1 Kommentare

  1. Huhu!

    Ich gestehe, ich kannte die Autorin bisher noch gar nicht ... Aber wenn dir die Bücher so gut gefallen: Hast du schon einmal etwas von Bettina Pecha gelesen? Ich wurde auf ihre Bücher durch eine Leserunde bei Lovelybooks aufmerksam (Du war einmal ein Banner Display, was für ihr erstes Buch Werbung gemacht hat).

    Liebe Grüße