3 May 2020

Book Launch Q & A with Olivia Longueville and J. C. Plummer, Authors of Robin Hood's Widow (The Robin Hood Trilogy Book 2)


New on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Robin’s duty to his king sends him on an odyssey that will unfold from the streets of Paris to the banks of the Danube.  From incredible triumphs on the battlefields of the Crusade, to harrowing sea voyages, to a desperate dash across the frozen landscape of Central Europe, Robin Hood must ensure that King Richard safely returns to England.

Meanwhile, the outlaws of Sherwood Forest rise again under a new leader—and she is unwavering in her pursuit of justice against the tyranny of Sheriff de Argentan.  Marian endures the heartbreak of widowhood only to find strength and purpose as she leads a small band of devoted men in her quest for vengeance
while she protects Robin’s legacy.

Sir Guy of Gisborne, tormented by his conscience and enslaved by the sheriff, faces the wraith-like fury of the woman he once loved.  How do you find forgiveness when you have committed an unforgivable crime?  He must attempt a daunting journey of redemption, while finding inspiration from an unexpected source.

And through it all, Robin, Marian, and Guy are entangled in a web of treachery spun by the King of France and his sinister advisor, Montlhéry, as the plot to dismantle the Angevin Empire and take the throne of England from the Plantagenets boldly continues.

Part two of an exciting three-part retelling of 
the Robin Hood legend!



Author Q&A with Olivia Longueville and J.C. Plummer


Robin Hood has been featured in many books, movies, and television shows.  How is your trilogy different?
We have taken a fresh approach to the Robin Hood story, and we’re excited to share our vision with fans of the legendary hero.   
In our first book, Robin Hood’s Dawn, we reimagined the origins of the Robin Hood legend, which included exploring his family dynamics: an aloof, selfish father and a kind-hearted mother devoted to ministering to the poor.  One theme is how the consequences of immoral actions and secret sins can reverberate across generations.  This is part of Robin’s legacy from his father.
We cast Robin as a hero fighting against the tyranny of a lawless government official. When Robin is falsely accused of a shocking crime by the new Sheriff of Nottingham, he could have retreated to a safe place beyond the reach of the sheriff.  However, he feels a responsibility to the people because he believes in the intrinsic value of every human being.  Instead of running away, he stays to protect the people from the sheriff.  And this points to another theme: one person can make a difference by taking a stand for what is right.
The second book, Robin Hood’s Widow, picks up where the first book ends. Robin is alive and still with King Richard in the Holy Land, but Marian, the sheriff, and Guy of Gisborne have returned to England thinking that Robin Hood is dead.
Robin Hood’s Widow explores themes of grief and redemption, while featuring Marian’s adventures as leader of the outlaws. Her story is interwoven with Robin’s quest to return home while fulfilling his obligations to King Richard.
In this book, we wanted to explore both the stages of grief and their non-linear nature. Experiencing loss and grief is not like climbing stairs; you don’t complete one stage, progress to the next, and eventually arrive at acceptance. The emotional turmoil of an earlier stage can reappear and reassert itself during the process.
That being said, this story is not sad or depressing; Robin Hood’s Widow is an optimistic tale of triumphing over adversity.

You’ve emphasized how your Robin Hood story has been reimagined.  Will fans of the traditional ballads still recognize this as a Robin Hood story?
There is a lot of variety in the many books and screen adaptations of the Robin Hood legend.  We wanted to create a story that was respectful towards fans of the original ballads and legends without adhering to the same storylines that have been previously written.  We hope that all Robin Hood fans will enjoy this fresh retelling of the story.
However, we felt that Marian is a character who deserves more attention.  All too often she is a background character with little to do.  With this in mind, we have focused on creating a Lady Marian who will figure more prominently in the story, especially in Robin Hood’s Widow, where she takes center stage as the leader of the outlaws. She must learn how to lead while finding clever ways to thwart the sheriff and rob those supporters of Prince John who dare enter Sherwood Forest.  We also wanted Marian to be feminine and believable as a woman of the 12th century.   
Robin Hood’s Dawn introduced many familiar characters from the Robin Hood legends: Maid Marian, Little John, Allan-a-dale, Will Scarlet, Much the Miller’s son, Guy of Gisborne, and the Sheriff of Nottingham. In Robin Hood’s Widow, Brother Tuck, a Knight Templar, will join the outlaws.
Readers will also meet real historical figures such as Richard the Lionheart, King Philippe II of France, Prince John "the Lackland", Eleanor of Aquitaine, and many others, including Ranulphus Besace.  Who was he?  Well, he was a real person who was King Richard’s personal physician!

Do the first two books of the trilogy end in cliff-hangers? Are the books stand alone? 
We have structured the trilogy so that the books do not end in cliff-hangers, and we have endeavored to create a sense of completion in each of the books.
Although we want readers to start with Robin Hood’s Dawn, we know that some might be more interested in Robin Hood’s Widow. Therefore, we have endeavored to provide enough information in the second book so that a new reader will not be lost.
Both Robin and Marian are guarding secrets that will be revealed in Robin Hood’s Widow!

How did each of you become interested in writing this story and working together as co-authors?
Olivia:
I love to tell stories with multi-dimensional characters.  I speak several languages, and I enjoy writing stories in different languages.  My favorite legendary hero is Robin Hood, and my favorite historical figure is Anne Boleyn.  My first novel is an English-language alternate history featuring Anne Boleyn.
The story of Robin Hood’s Widow is very special to me, and I wrote the original version after I experienced a devastating personal loss. Readers might be surprised to learn that Robin Hood’s Widow was written before Robin Hood’s Dawn!
I met Coleen (J.C.) on the Internet, and we decided to co-author a Robin Hood Trilogy with Robin Hood’s Widow as its centerpiece. 
It is amazing that we have accomplished so much even though we have never met each other in real life.  We talk on the phone and frequently exchange Skype messages and emails.  We have been working together long-distance despite living in very different time zones.
Coleen (J.C.)
I had previously done editing work for other authors, and in 2015, I was inspired to create my own stories. 
I wanted to write a book that would honor the legend of Robin Hood as a man who stood against the tyranny of a powerful government official; a man who fought for justice and fairness because he recognized the intrinsic value rooted in the humanity of all people. 

So, you’ve never met, you come from different countries, different cultures, and speak different languages.  How can you co-author a book?  Is it because you have similar writing styles?
Coleen:
Fortunately, Olivia is fluent in English, because that’s the only language I know!
Olivia:
We have found that we have a lot in common—especially our love of writing and of history.  We have to work hard to merge our writing styles, but we have successfully done this.
Coleen:
That’s true.  Olivia and I have very different “voices” and writing styles.  You might even say they are nearly opposite styles. 
I write in a straightforward, expository style, with a minimum of descriptive elements and metaphorical flourishes.  I am good at explaining things, organizing ideas, and creating natural sounding dialogue.
Olivia:
My writing is characterized by lush romanticism and passionate lyricism.  I love to create metaphors and descriptions which excite the imagination of the reader in a vivid and dramatic way.
Coleen:
In some respects, Olivia’s words are the emotional heart of the story, and my words represent the rational intellect.  Of course, it’s not quite that cut-and-dried, but it is one way to describe how two people with such different styles have come together to create Robin Hood’s Dawn and Robin Hood’s Widow.

To learn more about the Robin Hood Trilogy, visit www.angevinworld.com

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About the Authors

Olivia Longueville has degrees in finance and general management from London Business School. Currently, she is working in investment banking and is also helping her father run the family business. Longueville loves historical fiction, considering herself an amateur historian, and she is passionate about historical research, genealogy, and art. She has undertaken in-depth research into the history of the Valois dynasty, the French Renaissance, the Tudors, and the Plantagenets. Find out more at her website http://olivialongueville.com/ and find her on Facebook and Twitter @O_Longueville

J.C. Plummer graduated Summa Cum Laude from Washburn University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Anthropology. She then earned a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Science from Dartmouth College. Growing up on a small farm in Kansas, Plummer developed a lifelong fascination with history and a curiosity about other cultures and people. Coauthoring The Robin Hood Trilogy has merged her passions for history, culture, and technology into one unique, exciting project. As an author and historian, Plummer's goal is to provide thoughtful and entertaining storytelling that honors the past, is mindful of the present, and is optimistic for the future. To learn more about the Robin Hood Trilogy, visit www.angevinworld.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @JC_Plummer.


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