What inspired you to write "The Harlot's Tale?"
I’d always hoped to write more than one book about Bridget for a couple of reasons. First, I found (and still find) her to be an enormously interesting character, and I want to get to know her better. The only way to do that is to write!
With each book in the series – I’ve written four so far, and sketched out a fifth – I try to put Bridget in a different situation. Half the fun of writing the books is to find out how she will react to the various challenges that come her way, whether it is the siege of the city in The Midwife’s Tale, or the puritan take-over of city government in The Harlot’s Tale.
Down the road, I’ll bring in witchcraft, and the execution of Charles I.
What was different about writing "The Harlot's Tale" than some of the other things that you have written?
Most obviously, it’s the first time I’ve written a sequel. In some ways it was great to have the luxury of another three hundred pages to spend with my characters, but I was always aware that readers would compare it to The Midwife’s Tale, and I didn’t want to disappoint them!
What was your research process like for this book? Did you find out any interesting/strange facts?
Most of the new research I did for this book was about prostitution in medieval and early modern England. It was quite depressing, of course, but also fascinating on many different levels.
I think my favorite tidbit was that prostitutes would adopt new names for themselves, including Claire Clatterbollocks. I cannot imagine what man would want to hire a prostitute with the last name “Clatterbollocks”, but it obviously worked for her!
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My first piece of advice is to write and write and write, and then revise, revise, revise. I suppose a few people are born writers, but most of us have to work if we want to be average. The only way to get better at writing is by writing. (And maybe taking a class.) I’d been writing for ten years before I started The Midwife’s Tale, and even so my first draft was terrible.
Second, think long and hard before deciding to self-publish. If you have a book that hasn’t sold or landed you an agent, there’s nothing wrong with putting it in a drawer and writing another one. I conducted an informal poll among some friends and about half have a finished novel tucked away somewhere. If you hang on to that book, have the option of coming back to it and revising it for publication. If you self-publish, that book is out there, and it’s never coming back.
If you could choose three fictional characters to bring with you to a deserted island, who would you bring and why?
Wow, great question! Is Robinson Crusoe too obvious a choice? Not only would he help the rest of us to get us settled, he is from York, where The Harlot’s Tale is set, so he could fill in some of the details I might have missed.
I’d also bring Tyrian Lannister [spelling?] from Game of Thrones. Once Robinson got us housed and fed, he’d be great company during the long nights sitting around the fire. And if the island were invaded, I imagine he’d figure out a way to save us.Finally, I’d go with Indiana Jones. He’s educated enough to keep Tyrian happy, but he’s also a man of action. And who knows when a bull-whip might come in handy?
Follow the Rest of the Tour:
Monday, January 6
Review at Unabridged Chick
Review at Words and Peace
Tuesday, January 7
Review at A Bookish Affair
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, January 8
Review at Broken Teepee
Interview at A Bookish Affair
Thursday, January 9
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Friday, January 10
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Monday, January 13
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, January 14
Review at Impressions in Ink
Interview & Giveaway at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, January 15
Review at Book of Secrets
Thursday, January 16
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Friday, January 17
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Monday, January 20
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Tuesday, January 21
Review at The Most Happy Reader
Wednesday, January 22
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Interview at The Most Happy Reader
Thursday, January 23
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Friday, January 24
Review at The Musings of ALMYBNENR
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader