Thursday, December 3, 2009

Interview with Brandy Purdy

Brandy Purdy, author of The Boleyn Wife, provides fascinating insight into her beginnings as a writer.

1. At what age did you start reading books?

I think I actually started reading at about age four or five, but I looked at books, like children's picture books or adult books with photographs and illustrations that appealed to me from the time I was physically able to, I remember I always loved to look at books with historical costumes and castles and things like that. I was a classic movie fan from a very early age and even before I could read, or was old enough to understand, them I used to get books about classic films filled with glamour portraits of stars like Jean Harlow and Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers from the library and look at those.

2. Growing up, who were your favorite Authors?

I've always been drawn more to the subjects of books than who the author is. I read "Gone With The Wind" at an early age, when I was about ten I think, because that has always been my favourite movie, and "Green Darkness" by Anya Seton has also been a great favourite of mine since I read it when I thirteen or fourteen.

3. Describe the thought process behind self publishing your first book?

I spent about five years being represented by my first agent, trying to get published in the traditional way, when it didn't happen I decided I didn't want all that hard work to just be stuffed into a drawer and forgotten about or thrown away someday by someone who didn't care and saw it as just junk or old papers. Since no one else would take a chance and gamble on me, I decided to do it myself. And, in all honesty, I think I was a bit rankled by the fact that those around me, people who did not understand or care about the intricacies of the publishing industry and realize the difficulty in getting published, assumed that my failure to do so meant I wasn't any good, that I had no talent and had just been wasting my time and ink cartridges all those years. I suppose a part of me wanted to prove them wrong, to silence the complaints and criticisms if possible.

4. When you are working on a new book, what little things do you do to help get the thought process going?

I read and take notes about the subject and I also like to look at portraits of people and places from the era. I always look for little details, things that will jump out and latch onto my mind, that I can use in some way to lend the story a special touch.

5. Who are your favorite authors now?

I still read more for subject than for author. I read mostly historical fiction, biographies, true crime, and books about ghosts and real-life unsolved mysteries, really just anything that grabs my attention.

6. Is the Tudor Period your favorite period in time?

I don't know, if I had a time machine it might be nice to visit but I wouldn't want to stay in any era without the advantages of modern dentistry.

7. If you could write about anything, absolutely anything, what would you write about?

I don't know, I suppose whatever I felt drawn to at that particular moment.

8. Is there a particular chapter in your books that mean the most to you?

The chapter called "In The Dungeon of Warwick Castle" in The Confession of Piers Gaveston.

9. If you could be a Character from either of your books, who would you be and why?

Anne Boleyn, because she was confident, assertive, talented and creative, and never lonely. Granted many despised her and her life wasn't all sunshine and lollipops, but she had the ability to fascinate and captivate, to inspire loyalty and passion.

10. Everyone wants to be remembered for something, Brandy, what would you like to be remembered for?

I'm not ambitious, so being famous or leaving a publicly available legacy doesn't matter all that much to me, I would rather be remembered as having been special to, or even loved by, one person, and that I was an important part of his life. Having talent, and having that talent appreciated and admired is a very nice thing indeed, but I know from personal experience that published works and praise are not a balm against loneliness.

Thanks for sharing with us on the blog, Brandy.

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