In 16th-century England, two teenage best friends find themselves on an exciting journey from the country to the Queen’s court in the hope of being named ladies-in-waiting. But Sybille and Rose soon discover they aren’t the only girls who have their sights set on attending Her Majesty. The girls must compete against worldly and cunning opponents, among them mean-girl Avis and her entourage of back-stabbing co-horts, tipping the balance in their already-tenuous friendship.
Soon, the grand hall is more like the hallway of a prestigious finishing school, with girls fighting for the attention of a dashing, young earl, amid parties fueled by drinking and indiscriminate dalliances. As the tension between Sybille and Avis heats up, the focus on Rose wanes, allowing her to turn her attention to more important matters – like getting close enough to the Queen to learn her secrets.
But being close to the Queen is not without its challenges. And when rumors of Rose’s influence make their way around the castle, no one, not even the Queen, will be safe.
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Interview with the Author
- Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?
I’m a word count guy. If I get caught up in the “scene or two a day” mentality, I can lull myself into a false sense of accomplishment…and that’s an easy way to fall behind deadline, which is something I pride myself on (almost) never doing. You know what I mean? Say I just wrote a quick scene that’s only a couple paragraphs long…does that get me off the hook for the day? No way. The same is true for page count…when you know all you have to do is get through the next page to meet your quota, your subconscious can step in and start some pretty creative paragraph breaking and tab action. Word count sees through all the tricks.
- What gave you the inspiration for your book (and the series)?
When my sister was planning an after prom party with two friends, things went supremely sour and the trio went their separate ways…continuing to plan their own individual parties. Drama ensued, to say the least. I know it feels done and like an 80s movie, but once I combined it with my love all of the things Tudor it seemed to truly crackle. I couldn’t resist.
- What sort of research did you do for this book?
Reading, reading, and more reading. I have two shelves filled with books. I also have a friend who’s a college professor, and her area of expertise overlaps with the world of my book. She was an invaluable resource and advisor.
- Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?
Ha! I’m so sad I’ve never heard the term “pantser” till now. Where’s it been all my life? Yes, I’m a bit of both. Of course, I have a picture of what the end might be. But as I’m writing I try not to jam the characters into the scenes…when you do that, you can damage them or misshape them…and no one wants that. I try to be as flexible as I can with this middle story-telling territory and with my image of the ending. All the while keeping my characters/plot on track and staying true to the major dramatic question.
- Do you prefer at certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?
Music! I was big into Vivaldi with TUDOR ROSE.
- What book(s) are you reading now?
I just finished a Joe Hill book and have started THE DRY by Jane Harper.
- Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked) recently?
Loved: SEX EDUCATION, BETTER CALL SAUL, and REIGN.
About the Author
Author Bill Doyle was born in Michigan, and wrote his first mystery at the age of eight. He has gone on to write critically acclaimed and bestselling children’s books, including stories of real-life war heroes in “Behind Enemy Lines: True Stories of Amazing Courage”; the pick-your-own-adventure “Worst Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure: Everest”; the historical fiction mystery series Crime Through Time; the Henry & Keats series including “Attack of the Shark-Headed Zombie”; the Scream Team series about Bad News Bears-type monsters playing sports; and soon-to-be released series “The Prizewinners of Piedmont Place.”
Additionally, Bill has served as editor at Sesame Workshop, TIME for Kids and SI Kids. He’s written for LeapFrog, Weekly Reader, Rolling Stone, Comedy Central, National Geographic Kids, and the American Museum of Natural History. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the film school at New York University where he was taught by the likes of Arthur Miller and David Mamet.
Bill lives with two dachshund-headed canines in New York City, and you can visit him online at www.BillDoyleBooks.com.