Hello, my dear readers! Today I’d love to introduce you to a very interesting writer Trisha Hughes. She’s got a new book coming up within a month and I have to say it looks very interesting :D. Check out my interview and have a look at the book, you might want to read it!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your passion for history
This passion I have for British history began many years ago while I was pregnant with my first child. I spent endless days in the library consuming everything I could and writing it all in my notebook. Over the years, through moving house, raising children and everyday life, the notebook disappeared but the interest in British Monarchy didn’t. Five years ago, the interest turned into a passion and here I am with the first of my trilogy on British Monarchy sitting on the shelves.
I remember that day. I was talking to my grandson about his interests. I even did what every grandparent does…I asked what he wanted to be when he grew up and I asked what subjects he was taking at school. And it turned out that history was one of them. Brightened that we had something to talk about to take his mind off his Facebook page, I said to him ‘So you know all about Henry VIII.’
It was a statement not a question and I fully expected him to say ‘of course’. Because everyone knows who Henry VIII is. Right? I was greeted with a blank look. I turned to him amazed. ‘You DO know who Henry VIII is?‘ Apparently, not my grandson.
Well, he does now. We sat and I talked for more than an hour on the subject and I told him the whole sordid story of Henry and his wives, the beheadings, the urgent need for a male heir and the transformation from charismatic eighteen years old to an obese tyrant. I told him the story in a way he would understand and I tried to bring Henry back to life, not just as a character from a boring history book, but as a real life person. And he was rapt. He laughed when he was supposed to laugh and he was shocked when he was supposed to be shocked. His reaction revived my interest and here I am, more passionate than ever before. I now have my first book in a trilogy called ‘Vikings to Virgin – The hazards of being King’ due for release in a little over a month and the second in the trilogy is almost complete.
How does it feel to publish a book? Does it change with further stories or does it always feel like the first one?
Years ago, when the editor from Pan Macmillan Australia rang to tell me they would love to publish my first book, ‘Daughters of Nazareth’, I couldn’t quite believe it. I had to ask him for his phone number so I could call him back, just to be sure he was who he said he was. That first book, my autobiography, will always be precious for me. It started the ball rolling and gave me the confidence and self-assurance in myself and the knowledge that I actually DID have a talent for writing. Most authors have doubts about their ability at some time or other but until your first book is published, you never know for sure. The feeling when you see your book on the shelves is like nothing I’d ever felt before. I’ve always been a reserved person with little confidence so this affirmation meant the absolute world to me.
Do you have any writing quirks or strange habits?
I’m not sure how other authors write. For my books, research is essential. So I start at the beginning and gradually work my way through. Then I go back and edit. Most of the time, I only have about 30,000 words at this stage and it’s basically pure information. As I edit, I look for something that interests me, something that jumps out and says ‘hey…what about me?’. That’s when I fill in the juicy bits… the human part of my story. Then I edit again, and again and again.
Is there one copy of a book you’ve got that is precious to you for some reason?
For me, there are two books that I’ve hung on to over the years. ‘Rebecca’ by Dame Daphne du Maurier and ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Bronte. These were the first books I’d read and they gave me an insight into passion and emotion. No matter what genre of book you write, I truly believe you need to possess both these qualities. They give your book a personal touch and give your readers and idea of who you are.
What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned while writing your latest book?
It’s funny you should ask that. While writing this latest historical fiction, I’ve done research for years…collecting names and information, pieces of this and bits of that, writing and jotting everything down. After completing this book and after having finally sent it away to the publisher, I thought my work was done. The most surprising thing is, you never really finish. Even now, with this first book of the trilogy due for release, I’m still finding bits of information that I would love to have included in the book. I guess with history, there is so much information tucked away, there will always be new items that pop up all the time.
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
Most authors are dreamers and watchers. We observe everything… people’s expressions, what they’re wearing, even how they walk. It’s not always the most opportune time to observe while driving but most times, I’m able to remember those thoughts and I write everything down in my notebook, always tucked away in my handbag, later on.
Do you read your reviews? How do you deal with both good and bad opinions?
Every author reads their reviews. It’s how we improve our writing and try to understand what readers are looking for. But I don’t think about the reviews too much. I let everyone else decide whether it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, I write even more.
You received a unique chance to travel back in time, when and where would you go?
Many years ago, my husband and I planned a holiday to England and Ireland. We planned to spend two weeks driving around Ireland (which I couldn’t wait to visit) then zip over to Scotland then onto London. But Ireland was the place I couldn’t wait to visit. And it didn’t let me down. I loved it. But when we arrived in Edinburgh and drove north to Inverness, it’s like my heart was going to burst. It was the strangest feeling. It was as if I’d come home after a very long time away. But I’d never been to Scotland before. If I had a chance, that’s where I’d travel. Back in time to Scotland during Charles II time. it was savage times but I love these times. My second book in the trilogy, ‘Virgin to Victoria’ covers this era and I’ve absolutely loved writing and researching it.
Is there any character in your book that you especially dislike? Any you especially like? Why?
Most definitely yes. And again, it goes back to my love of Scotland. William Wallace is my definite passion, and not just because of Braveheart and Mel Gibson (although…….). William Wallace was a Scottish knight who became one of the leaders at the Battle of Falkirk during the war for Scottish Independence in 1298. He’s a Scottish hero who desperately wanted to rid Scotland from the oppression of the English king Edward I. His bravery is well documented, both romantically and heroically, but he came to a rather grizzly end. King Edward I had him captured near Glasgow and Wallace was butchered terribly (hung, drawn and quartered) for his crimes against the English. So my ‘dislike’ and ‘like are from this era.
You’re working on a new book, the second one in series, tell us what is it about, what can we expect [no spoilers ;)].
My first book covers the times between the Vikings to Queen Elizabeth I, named the ‘The Virgin Queen’. The next in this trilogy is called ‘Virgin to Victoria – The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen.’ It covers the times from Elizabeth I to Queen Victoria, the wars, the sadness and the struggle and trials the people had to survive in harsh times. We get an idea of the brutality in the first book and we think and hope that as time goes by, monarchs lose our taste for blood. That’s sadly not true. Some king ruled for years, some for just a few months and some should never have ruled at all. I try to bring everything to life and take all my characters out the dusty history books and let them have their say.
Vikings to virgin
~ Book I ~
The Hazards of being King
In history, to be an English king and to be murdered was no more than a hazard of the job and there has been a vast number of kings where this has actually been the case. The story of the kings and queens of England is a wonderful drama, and many were not adverse to the odd assassination or two by poisoning, starving, burning, imprisonment and an old favourite, beheading. Many have died ‘under suspicious circumstances’ because the entire truth will never be fully known.
There were some monarchs who ruled for years and there were some who ruled for only a few months. There were also some who should never have ruled at all. Yet this group shares one thing in common. In their own lifetimes, they were the most powerful and brutal individuals in the land. Their stories span for fifteen hundred years, full of lust, betrayal, heroism, murder, cruelty and mysteries.
This is the first book in a trilogy covering the Vikings, Normans, Plantagenets, Lancasters, Yorks and Tudors. It begins with a race of people who were struggling to survive and finishes with a comet blazing across the London sky heralding the end of Bloody Mary’s reign.
Release date: 28th February