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Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Spotlight: Karen Harper


As a author I have a split personality as I switch back and forth between writing contemporary romantic suspense and historical novels set in Tudor England. I find King Henry VIII, his six wives and his three children who ruled after him fascinating. That’s true especially of Queen Elizabeth I, one of the greatest “CEOs” of all time, especially because—in a man’s world—she managed to rule on her own.

Elizabeth’s family is the original family from hell. The Tudors make the modern-day Windsors look like the Brady Bunch. Her father had her mother beheaded on (I believe) trumped up charges. Elizabeth had to survive more than one stepmother and a sister nicknamed “Bloody” who imprisoned her in the Tower of London where her mother had met her fate. Elizabeth loved deeply and loved being adored, but she managed to remain (I believe) an actual virgin queen. I’ve written about her at various stages of her life in The Last Boleyn, Mistress Shakespeare (out in paperback this month), and The Queen’s Governess, (out in hardcover this month) not to mention my 9-book mystery series where the young Elizabeth is the amateur sleuth. (By the way, I wrote The Last Boleyn about Mary Boleyn twenty years before Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl, and we have very different views of the Boleyns.)

When I taught high school, my Brit Lit students put on an Elizabethan Festival. Each of many times I’ve been to England, I have haunted (and have in turn been haunted by) Tudor sites. I’ve loved the Cate Blanchett movies on Elizabeth’s life and even watch The Tudors on Showtime, however much those movies and TV show scramble Tudor history.

I hope there’s no cure for Tudormania for myself and thousands of readers, because I’m currently writing another novel called The Irish Princess about a bold woman who both admired and hated a royal family called the _______. (You fill in the blank—and hopefully enjoy these books!)


Anonymous said...

Great post, Karen!

I love the Tudors too. How could you not? So much drama, so much action, so much emotion!

I'll have to check out your books. They sound great.

robynl said...

hi and welcome Karen,

I must check out your books as you are new to me. Thanks for sharing.