Well hello there everyone!
Today is another day of My May Birthday Bash! And Today we are celebrating Gilt by Kathleen Longshore! Gilt had it's birthday yesterday on May 15th (Ashlyn and I's Birthday). So if you have not grabbed a copy of Gilt yet you must get one as soon as possible! You won't regret it! So check out this awesome and fun interview with the author, Kathrine Longshore. Remember to comment so you get an entry in the giveaway!
What was your inspiration to write your book?
My inspiration to write GILT came from the history itself. I’d been reading about Henry’s wives for a while, wanting to know more about the women of the era. Catherine Howard was his only wife who was a teenager when he married her. I wanted to write for teens. It seemed like a good fit.
But as I learned more about Catherine, as I read the accounts of her actions, I was inspired to do more. She is often portrayed as a dumb blonde, or an innocent corrupted. Even historians label her ignorant, flighty, promiscuous. People make much of the tragic love affair with Thomas Culpepper. I wanted to find a different angle. Portray Culpepper’s history as I really see it. And give Catherine the voice of a worldly manipulator. A Queen Bee long before she became Queen.
Why did you start writing books for young adults? And why this genre?
I think for me, writing for young adults was what I am meant to do. It just took me a while to get here. I tried journalism, chick-lit, travelogue, poetry, creative non-fiction, picture books…Then I attended a workshop on voice at a conference. We wrote short pieces and shared them. Afterwards, Sydney Salter, author of MY BIG NOSE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS, approached me and asked what I write. I told her middle grade. She said, “You really have a great voice for YA. Maybe you should try it.” And that struck a chord. The teen years are full of everything – mistakes, friendships, betrayals, happiness, desperation. First love. And that’s what sold me. The adventure of it all. I write historical novels because I love history. The characters who inhabit it. It’s a kind of magic, breathing life into facts and opinions, turning them to the side and (hopefully) making them relevant to a modern audience.
I wish I’d written WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel. Talk about breathing life into history. Thomas Cromwell is so real in that novel, I felt I could reach out and touch him. The history is exact and the voice seemingly effortless – it makes me want to cry how good it is.
What’s wonderful and worse is that the sequel, BRINGING UP THE BODIES, is coming out next week (May 22). And I won’t let myself read it for fear her interpretation of the Tudor era will subconsciously influence mine. I’ll have to wait until I’m finished with the Royal Circle series.
Are you currently working on anything new? If so can we get a clue on what it is ;D?
I’m working on the second book of the series right now. Not a sequel, more of a companion. It’s set several years earlier and features an (almost) entirely different cast.
What is the best part about having your book released in May?
That it coincides with your birthday, Ishita! I love May. The weather isn’t too cold or too hot and everything is in bloom. And in the Tudor era, May was important – the beginning of the hunting season, the celebration of May Day, spring breathing life into a world ravaged by winter. Having my book published in May just seems...well-fated.
Favorite food ?
London. The Tower, the West End, the British Museum, Covent Garden, Westminster Abbey…Fish and chips, double-decker buses, the Tube…everything I love is there.