Delighted to welcome Tony Riches to the blog today. Tony is the author of best-selling medieval historical fiction, lives by the sea in Pembrokeshire, West Wales with his wife and enjoys sea and river kayaking in his spare time. His new book HENRY, is based on the life of King Henry VII and part of the successful Tudor Trilogy.
Welcome, Tony! Now tell us why you wrote HENRY?
I was born within sight of Pembroke Castle, birthplace of Henry Tudor. We all know about King Henry VIII and his six wives but I’d always wondered about Henry VII. I decided to begin with Henry’s grandfather Owen Tudor, the Welsh servant who married a queen, and was surprised to find there were no books about his amazing story.
The idea for the Tudor Trilogy came to me when I began looking into Owen’s life and began to collect fascinating details of the lives of Owen’s sons, Edmund (Henry’s father) and Jasper Tudor. I realised that if I planned it as a trilogy, Henry Tudor would be born in the first book, come of age in the second and become King of England in the final book.
Why do you think your main character is like he is?
Henry’s father Edmund died (or was murdered) two months before he was born. He was taken from his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, as an infant and spent the first fourteen years of his life as a virtual prisoner, before running away to exile in Brittany with Jasper until the age of twenty-eight. I can understand why he is careful who he trusts – and has such great love for his mother and loyalty for his Uncle Jasper.
What does he think he’s like? And why?
When Henry sails to invade England he speaks in French, Breton and Latin and knows his claim (through his mother’s Beaufort ancestors) to the English throne can only be won by conquest. The reward for a surprising victory at Bosworth is a country where at least half the people wish him dead, so it’s no wonder he’s always looking over his shoulder! Even once he achieves the longest peace in living memory he faces the threat of invasion from Scotland and France—and even a band of angry Cornish rebels, who march on London. His marriage to the beautiful Princess Elizabeth of York was planned by his mother but I believe Henry’s love for her changed his outlook on life.
I’ve been pleased with the success of the audiobook editions of the first two books of the Tudor Trilogy so have commissioned British narrator James Young to produce an audiobook for HENRY. I’m also looking forward to June 10th, when a life-sized bronze statue of Henry will be unveiled outside Pembroke Castle, ensuring the life of this enigmatic king is not forgotten.
I’m also delighted to add that after all these years researching the lives of the early Tudors, all three books of the trilogy have become international best sellers. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the readers around the world who have been on this journey with me. Although this is the end of the Tudor trilogy, I am now researching the life of Henry’s daughter Mary and her adventurous husband Charles Brandon, so the story of the Tudors is far from over.
Glad to hear it! I thoroughly enjoyed reading HENRY and will be intrigued to see the story of the Brandons which has always seemed sidelined. Happy writing and thank you for being my guest today.
Connect with Tony at his blog The Writing Desk and website www.tonyriches.com.
You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.
The Tudor Trilogy (including HENRY) is available on Amazon UK Amazon US and Amazon AU.
So what’s HENRY about?
Bosworth 1485: After victory against King Richard III, Henry Tudor becomes King of England. Rebels and pretenders plot to seize his throne. The barons resent his plans to curb their power and he wonders who he can trust. He hopes to unite Lancaster and York through marriage to the beautiful Elizabeth of York.
With help from his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, he learns to keep a fragile peace. He chooses a Spanish princess, Catherine of Aragon, as a wife for his son Prince Arthur. His daughters will marry the King of Scotland and the son of the Emperor of Rome. It seems his prayers are answered, then disaster strikes and Henry must ensure the future of the Tudors.
“A fine end to a superbly researched and well-written trilogy, one I would recommend to anyone with an interest in this period of history.” Best-selling author Terry Tyler
Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO, AURELIA and INSURRECTIO. The sixth, RETALIO, will be published in Spring 2017. Audiobooks now available for the first four of the series