A little over two years ago, I finished writing my bit of the last book which I co-authored with my good friend, and erstwhile time travelling companion, Natalie Grueninger, from On the Tudor Trail. In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII was complete.
I’ll be honest, I needed a break from my quill and parchment! I had started writing – initially as a hobby – back in the summer of 2010, having never written anything much more substantial than a diary entry. The first pages of what would, in time, become my own personal opus magum, Le Temps Viendra; a Novel of Anne Boleyn, poured forth from my pen so fast I could hardly keep apace.
It was a magical experience, and one I wish I could touch again. People have spoken of it in creative endeavour and I was lucky enough to experience it; it was like taking dication from somewhere beyond myself. I felt like an instrument being used to tell the story of Anne Boleyn’s innocence. It was a deeply moving, if not an utterly consuming and draining experience. I was completely wrecked by the end of it, feeling as though I had walked in Anne’s very own footsteps to the scaffold.
Like many people, I had always wanted to write a book, but never seriously thought I would actually do it. In fact, I am still a little amazed that I finished the first, let alone that I went on to write to more. But I had become addicted to the Tudors, and in particular to the buildings in which they lived and played out their lives. These buildings remained as a physical connection to the past. I could not get enough of recreating these places in my mind, following in the footsteps of each of Henry VIII’s fascinating consorts, and seeing them afresh through the places they knew and called home.
Two books followed in succession. By the time the second In the Footsteps book was complete, I needed a break. Time to get outdoors more, away from the computer, to open up some new areas of activity within my local community, time to feel that passion for writing (which never really left me) to build up again, until the lure of those ancient buildings and the glamour of the Tudor court ensnared me once more.
I have gladly given myself over to that yearning. And so another journey begins. I am not yet at liberty to speak in any detail about the project, but suffice to say my backpack is getting a dusting down and I am tingling with the thought of all those places, as yet unknown to me, waiting to whisper their secrets into my ear.