Feb 202014

Interview: Lissa Bryan + Giveaway

What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always written stories in my head. Sometimes, they were original stories, and other times, I took books and movies and wrote a new ending for them, or sent the characters off on new adventures. I had no idea anyone else did that until I discovered fanfiction. I gathered up my courage and decided to try my hand at a few stories of my own. One of them became popular and it brought me to the attention of my publisher, The Writer’s Coffee Shop. They asked me if I would be interested in writing a novel. Three books later, here I am. My head still hasn’t stopped spinning.

What books have influenced your writing?
The book that had the greatest influence on this one was Margaret George’s magnificent Autobiography of King Henry VIII. That was the book that introduced me to Will Somers. He wasn’t a main character in that book, but he was apparently very important to the king. He was included in at least three family portraits, and was the king’s confidant. I always wondered what Will thought when he watched the fall of Anne Boleyn.

What kind of research did you do to write this book?
It was extensive, but it was also a lot of fun. I’ve always been fascinated with the Tudor era, so I owned a lot of books about the period already, and I was able to access scans of original source documents over the internet, which is amazing.

I’m not a historian, but I wanted to be as accurate as possible. If I was writing a dinner scene, I wanted to make sure all the dishes I described were eaten at the time, and how they were prepared. I even checked with NASA to get the correct phase of the moon for one of the dates in the story. I know most people will never notice little details like that, but I wanted to do my best.

Did you base any of the characters on real people?
This book was very different for me because almost everyone in the book is a real historical figure. Only Emma and a few of the servants are invented characters. It presented a lot of questions and quandaries for me. How would I present these characters, based on the historical evidence we have? As an example, a lot of what we “know” about Anne Boleyn was written by her enemies, and I felt I had to take that into account. Conversely, historians have recently started to rehabilitate the reputation of Jane Parker, but I feel there’s enough evidence to suggest she had a taste for sly intrigue. It was all a question of which sources to believe, and which accounts to give more weight than others.

I felt like I had to explain these decisions and the evidence I had to support them. When I turned in the manuscript, it had sixty-three pages of notes at the end! My editor gently insisted I had to whittle that down … quite a bit. And so, that’s how the book’s blog was created. I needed a place for the notes.

What input, if any, did you have in the cover design?
I’m fortunate enough to be with a publisher that believes the author should be involved in every stage of the creative process. When I was trying to decide what sort of image I wanted for the cover, I encountered one of Arthur Rackham’s illustrations for a 1909 children’s book called Undine. It showed a woman in a flowing gown standing in the churning waves. I loved the concept and was fortunate enough to work with a gifted graphic artist, L. J. Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations. She was able to take my original vision and turn it into something incredible.

What are your thoughts on ebooks? (i.e. love them, hate them, wave of the future)
I adore them! I’m with a traditional-style publisher, but many of the talented writers I’ve met in my journey have explored non-traditional publishing methods. The ebook revolution has created an environment of unprecedented freedom for both authors and readers. Readers have never had more choice available, and authors are no longer forced to go through publishers to reach their audience. It’s a time of wonders, of endless possibility. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Interview: Lissa Bryan + GiveawayUnder These Restless Skies by Lissa Bryan
Published by The Writer's Coffee Shop on Feb 20, 2014
Genres: Adult, Historical fiction, Paranormal
, Goodreads

Will Somers has always thought himself unlovable. When he encounters a creature of myth and magic, he seizes the chance to finally have a wife and family of his own. Emma is a selkie—one of the immortal fae-folk of the sea—bound to Will by the magic of her kind, and eager to learn about life on land. She has to learn to adapt quickly to human customs, because Will is headed for the court of Henry VIII, to serve as the king’s fool. It’s a glittering, dangerous world, where a careless word can lead to the scaffold and the smallest of gestures is loaded with political implications. Anne Boleyn is charmed by Emma’s naïveté and soothing selkie magic and wants Emma for her own fool. Can Will protect his newfound love from the dangers that lurk in every shadow? Circa regna tonat: around the throne, the thunder rolls.

About Lissa Bryan

Lissa Bryan

Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot.... though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.

She is the author of three other novels, Ghostwriter, The End of All Things, and Under These Restless Skies.

Tour Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway with three prizes: a set of ebooks (Under These Restless Skies, The End of all Things and Ghostwriter), a paperback copy of Under These Restless Skies, and an ebook copy of Under These Restless Skies.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

  2 Responses to “Interview: Lissa Bryan + Giveaway”

  1. I love the Tudor period of history, so I’ve TBR’d on GoodReads!

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