Last September I was fortunate enough to attend the Historical Novel Society conference in London. One of the most pleasant parts of the conference (besides, well, being in LONDON!) was the good luck of meeting Hazel Gaynor. Sometimes you just click with someone and Hazel is just that kind of person. Had I known that she was a Kindle best-selling author, I might have been too intimidated to talk to her. I was thrilled when Hazel tapped me to participate the Next Big Thing Blog Hop.
But before I begin to answer the ten questions that are part of the NBT, here is a little more about Hazel:
Hazel Gaynor is a freelance writer and author. Her debut novel The Girl Who Came Home – A Titanic Novel was a Kindle Historical Fiction bestseller in 2012 and with over 100 five-star reviews, is still riding high in the Kindle charts. Hazel is a guest blogger and features writer for national Irish writing website writing.ie. She also writes ‘Off The Shelf‘ a book review blog for hellomagazine online. Hazel was the recipient of the Cecil Day Lewis Award for Emerging Writers in October 2012. She lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.@HazelGaynor www.facebook.com/hazelgaynorauthor
How The Next Big Thing Blog hop works: An author answers ten questions and then tags up to five authors to do the same thing the following week. And away we go:
1) What is the working title of your next book?
It’s a very hardworking title that changes frequently. So far it’s been Not a Lesser Light, The Good Daughter, and Mine Own Good Daughter. Right now I’m sticking with Mine Own Good Daughter,the greeting Sir Thomas More used in letters to his daughter Margaret while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
My husband converted to Catholicism shortly before our wedding and chose St. Thomas More (patron of attorneys) as his Confirmation saint. When I was on bed rest with our first child I did nothing but read and eventually happened upon a book my husband had received as a Confirmation gift. I knew a little about Sir Thomas More but didn’t realize what an incredibly talented person he was–really the original Renaissance man (a poet, playwrite, novelist, statesman, orator) and, above all, a devoted father. I starting reading more books about him and noticed that his daughter Margaret was always mentioned, but remained always on the periphery. I wanted to know more about this daughter who was described as “the most educated woman in Britain” her father’s “soulmate.” The more I researched, the more I found Margaret to be heroic, witty and full of spunk.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Firmly historical fiction.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh, how I love this question! I realized that Emily Blunt was my Margaret when I saw Young Victoria.
I’d love to give Russell Crowe a chance at tackling Sir Thomas More (N.B.- I haven’t yet seen Les Miserables, so I might change my mind after that?) As for Will Roper, Margaret’s passionate but oft-times misguided husband, I’m still casting.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
That is a cruel, cruel question, but here goes:
Set during the tumultuous reign of Henry VIII, Mine Own Good Daughter is the story of a daughter caught between the King’s desires and saving her father’s life, while trying to keep her marriage and family from being destroyed.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m hoping for a great agent who finds a wonderful publisher!
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
The first draft took about five years. Ouch. That always hurts to admit.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’d like to think of it as Philippa Gregory meets Jane Austen.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to tell Margaret’s story!
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well, there is a legend that Margaret bribed the executioner to rescue the severed head of her father from London bridge. There is a pretty dramatic scene in the novel about it!
I’m passing the baton to my friend and fellow Nashvillian Kristin Coile, who will be posting her responses to the ten questions next Wednesday at www.kmcoile.com Here’s more about Kristin:
Kristin Coile is a free lance writer, health care attorney, and mystery author. She just completed her first novel, Warning Signs, and has started its sequel. An avid animal lover and advocate, Kristin’s novel features a unique protagonist: a female ASPCA animal cruelty investigator. Kristin lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, two boys, and two furry canine companions.