Thursday, November 22, 2012

An Interview with Alison Weir

An interview with Alison Weir by Nancy Bilyeau.
NB: How much is known about Richard III's daughter, Kate Plantagenet? Was it more challenging or more interesting to develop her character and plot, since there is less documentation of her life than Katherine Grey's?

AW: Yes, she is mentioned in only four documents--a gift to any novelist, as her life is a blank canvas. But I knew the context of it, as I've studied Richard III's reign over many years. I had to rely on a lot of detective work, inference and probability.

NB: Why did you decide to tell their stories in one book, and not write a book on each of them?

AW: The idea for the book evolved gradually. It was originally going to be based on the premise that Perkin Warbeck really was Richard, Duke of York, but I couldn't make that work, given the source material and the flimsy premise on which he based his claim. I liked the idea of a mystery with a supernatural theme, possibly a timeslip. I wanted to find a new way in which to explore the fate of the Princes in the Tower, and I needed a love story to replace that of Perkin Warbeck and Katherine Gordon. I also wanted to write a sequel to Innocent Traitor. It occurred to me too that writing about Richard III from the point of view of the daughter who loved him would be a novel approach. Eventually, all these ideas came together--and after many nights spent lying awake wondering how to meld them!
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