28 September 2020

Guest Interview with Tonya Ulynn Brown, Author of The Queen's Almoner

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

Thomas Broune is a Reformer and childhood friend of the young queen, Mary Stuart. When Mary embarks on a new life in her estranged homeland of Scotland, Thomas is there to greet her and offer his renewed friendship. But the long-time friends grow closer, and Thomas realizes his innocent friendship has grown into something more. 
Yet he is a man of the cloth. Mary is the queen of the Scots. 
Both of them have obligations of an overwhelming magnitude: 
he to his conscience and she to her throne. 

I'm pleased to welcome author Tonya Ulynn Brown to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book.

When the young, headstrong queen of Scotland returns to her homeland after being away for 13 years, her childhood friend, Thomas, is there to greet her—and protect her. But as their friendship grows, Thomas soon realizes that the little queen who left Scotland so many years before, has grown into a passionate, young woman; a force to protect himself from. When loyalty to his queen causes Thomas to make some decisions that have life-changing consequences, Thomas must come to terms with his choices, and find peace for his mistakes. 

What is your preferred writing routine?

With every book I have written, I have done something different. I don’t always plot or outline my stories. Sometimes I just start writing and see where the characters take me. However, with historical fiction, there has to be a great deal of research before the story can be finished, and so, a lot of times I find myself writing, researching, correcting my historical mistakes, writing, researching, correcting…you get the idea. 

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Just do it! You must start somewhere and the longer you put it off, the longer before your story is told. Do not worry about all the details. Once you have the basic story written, then you can go back and improve it. Don’t let fear or lack of self-confidence hold you back. Everyone had to start somewhere. YOU must start somewhere too. 

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books? 

By far, I would have to say social media. Each platform has its benefits and I like them all for different reasons. Twitter has an amazing community of writers that are so supportive. Yet, I feel more connected to my followers on Instagram, and have found a great community of like-minded history lovers with whom I feel that I can really share my love of history, which in turn all ties back to my book. I have only recently discovered the book blogging community and I have found them to be amazing as well! I especially love when I come across book bloggers who love the same types of books that I do. I feel like we are kindred spirits and I take great interest in their opinions because I know they will not steer me wrong. Hopefully, others feel the same way when they talk about my books!

5. Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research.

Just an interesting little tidbit. I discovered that Mary Queen of Scots wore a white wedding dress when she married her first husband, Francis. White was not a traditional color for wedding dresses until Queen Victoria wore it on her wedding day almost 300 years later. However, Mary chose to wear white because it was her favorite color. It was quite a step out of the ordinary because white was the color of mourning in France at the time where her first marriage took place. 

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?

The hardest scene for me to write in The Queen’s Almoner was the attempted kidnapping of Mary. I think battle scenes, where there is a lot of sword fighting, are difficult. I did quite a bit of research on weaponry and sword fighting, and I think I even watched a few videos of people sword fighting. Explaining the intricate moves that a swordsman uses in a way that the reader can understand what is going on is a challenge. Hopefully, I pulled it off!

What are you planning to write next?

I am working on continuing the saga of the Stuart monarchs with both Mary’s and Thomas’ children. The North Berwick witch trials, which plagued James’ earlier reign before becoming king of England, will be central to the story.

Tonya Ulynn Brown

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About the Author

Tonya Ulynn Brown was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, USA, but now calls southeastern Ohio home. She spent her younger years right out of college, living in Europe and teaching English as a second language. She attributes her time in Eastern Europe as being one of great personal growth, where her love for history, the classics, and all things European was born. Tonya holds a Master’s degree in Teaching and is now an elementary school teacher where she uses her love of history and reading to try to inspire younger generations to learn, explore and grow. Along with all the historical characters that she entertains in her head, she lives with her husband, two sons and a very naughty Springer Spaniel. Her mother has also joined their home, making for a cozy and complete little family. Find out more at Tonya's website and find her on Facebook and Twitter @MrsBrownee2U

1 comment:

  1. Such a fabulous interview! Thank you so much for hosting the blog tour for The Queen's Almoner.


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