17 October 2020

Special Guest Interview with Phillipa Connolly, Author of Timeless Falcon - Volume One: A Novel of Anne Boleyn

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Beth, an enthusiast history student gets the shock of her life, when her professor's gold cypher ring opens up a mysterious portal that takes her to Tudor England and Hever Castle, where she becomes an integral part of Anne Boleyn's life. She's been warned not to meddle or risk changing history, but can she allow her dear friend to go on to become the second wife of King Henry VIII and to end up in the Tower of London to meet a horrific death? Can Beth save herself from the machinations of the Tudor Court, or will she meet the same fate as the queen to be?

I'm pleased to welcome author Phillipa Connolly to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book

I have several works in progress, but my latest offering is a historical fantasy novel with the ability for the main character to time-travel at its core. Timeless Falcon Volume One is the start of the retelling of Anne Boleyn's story through the eyes of a twenty-first century history undergraduate. A cypher ring carries Beth Wickers through a portal from her university in to 16th century Tudor England, where she must negotiate the machinations of the Tudor Court after befriending Anne Boleyn and her family. 

I am working on two other books at present - Timeless falcon Volume Two and the follow up to the first part of Beth Wickers story. I am also working on a non-fiction book called Disability and the Tudors, which focuses on how disabled people were treated in the sixteenth century, from the plough boy, right up to disabled nobility and royalty.

What is your preferred writing routine? 

I like to have a brief idea of a book, I outline the chapters and plot the story, but usually, I research as I write the first draft. In practical terms, I try to make sure I write for a few hours a day.

What advice do you have for new writers? 

Get some initial ideas and notes down on paper; make a plan, but just start writing. Ideas flow from the personalities you are writing about, whether it be fiction or non fiction. Get some friends and beta readers to read your initial drafts and get some feedback, which will then inform how to move your manuscript forward.

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

As the books I have published so far are self published, it is more of a challenge to market your work. I tend to use social media platforms to inform people of my latest books. I created my own author page on facebook a while back and continue to use that. I have also given away free codes for audio versions of my book in exchange for reviews which is a great way of publicising my work too.

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research?

When writing Disability and the Tudors, I discovered that the society in the sixteenth century was quite open to people being different, and that they either were superstitious about instances of disability or honoured people because it was felt that they were closer to God having a disability.

What was the hardest scene you remember writing? 

The hardest thing about writing historical fiction is how much of actual historical events do you put into a novel? How do you keep the story in context without getting bogged down in too many factual and small details. I found getting that balance right quite difficult.

What are you planning to write next?

I'm looking to finish Timeless Falcon Volume Two to continue Beth's story. Once Disability and the Tudors is finished for Pen and Sword books, I am going to be starting on Disability and the Victorians: Christian Charity and Chastisement. Then I need to finish Timeless Falcon Volume Three to finish Beth's time-travelling adventure at the Tudor Court. 

Phillipa Connolly

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About the Author

Phillipa Vincent-Connolly is a secondary school teacher, historian, author, consultant and broadcaster. She is a disabled presenter and broadcaster with cerebral palsy, and a consultant on a new historical drama series featuring disability as a theme in Tudor England, and has filmed pre-production documentary interviews. Phillipa has contributed to Manchester History digi-fest 2020. Phillipa's research focuses on the sixteenth century, and nineteenth century on English history. She works on Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and the early Tudor court, and is especially interested in the intersection of disability, religious, political, and social history. This has led her to write Disability and the Tudors. She is also interested in disability, both physical and learning in both royal and ordinary people's lives. You can follow Phillipa on Facebook and Twitter @PhillipaJC

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