22 April 2016

Guest Post ~ Inspiration to write Jane the Quene, by Janet Wertman

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

All Jane Seymour wants is a husband; but when she catches the eye of a volatile king, she is pulled deep into the Tudor court’s realm of plot and intrigue....  Jane believes herself virtuous and her actions justified, but early miscarriages shake her confidence and hopes. How can a woman who has done nothing wrong herself deal with the guilt 
of how she unseated her predecessor? 

I actually didn’t get truly inspired to write Jane the Quene until about the fourth draft! Let me explain…

I had always harbored a passion for Anne Boleyn. Thirty years ago, I came up with this amazing premise for a book: a secret diary that she’d penned, that one of her ladies hid and gave to Elizabeth at a time in her life when the parallels could guide her. Great concept, right? Even so, I let career and young children sidetrack me for a good ten years before I finally got serious in September 1998.

I wrote more than a hundred pages in only a month, and was researching a minor question when a strange result came up. An Amazon listing for a new book that had just been published in May, The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn. My book. Written by someone else.

After three days of wallowing, I came up with a new plan: I’d rework what I had but tell Jane’s story instead.  Well, that might have saved my psyche, but it didn’t really motivate me. I stumbled through several drafts over the years, never as enthusiastic as I’d been over my original idea, and just kept putting them aside.

Then I had my “aha” moment three years ago, after I told my tale of woe to a friend who’d never heard it. The conversation made me reconsider what was Anne’s story and what was Jane’s, and realize that Jane needed more of a voice. I finally saw the triumphs and tragedies in the three-act structure of Jane’s life (Commoner, Schemer, Queen), and how they paralleled those in the three-act structure of the Seymour “reign” (Jane, her brother, her son).

That insight finally anchored Jane for me as the tragic heroine of a story that really needed to be told – and that I really wanted to tell. It also gave me a new perspective that changed everything. I had learned long ago from karate that if you want to break a board, you can’t aim AT it, you must aim BEYOND it. All those years I had focused on writing a single book – but now I had a trilogy to complete.

From there it all fell into place, and I relished every moment of uncovering the story – just as now I’m enjoying moving forward with the sequel. And in case you’re wondering, yes I have another trilogy behind this one (taking us through Elizabeth’s story) - and another after that (I’m going to do a Star-Wars inspired circle back to cover Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn). I’ve got a lot of boards to break!

Janet Wertman

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About the Author

Janet Wertman grew up within walking distance of three bookstores and a library on Manhattan’s Upper West Side – and she visited all of them regularly. Janet spent fifteen years as a corporate lawyer in New York, and co-authored The Executive Compensation Answer Book. After moving to Los Angeles with her family and switching careers, Janet became a highly successful grantwriter for non-profits took up writing fiction. Janet is thrilled to finally be releasing the first book in The Seymour Saga series: Jane the Quene The second book, The Path to Somerset, will chronicle Edward Seymour’s rise after Jane’s death to become Lord Protector of England and Duke of Somerset – taking us right through Henry’s crazy years. Finally, the third book, The Boy King, will cover the reign of Jane’s son, Edward VI, and the string of betrayals he suffered. Find our more at Jane’s website janetwertman.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @JaneTheQuene.

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