11 February 2022

Special Guest Post by Dr Mickey Mayhew, Author of House of Tudor - A grisly history


Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

Gruesome but not gratuitous, this decidedly darker take on the Tudors, from 1485 to 1603, covers some forty-five ‘events’ from the Tudor reign, taking in everything from the death of Richard III to the botched execution of Mary Queen of Scots, and a whole host of horrors in between.

I'm pleased to welcome author Mickey Mayhew to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book

My latest book explores the dark underbelly of the Tudor era; a strange, contradictory time when people paid taxes and went to university, whilst at the same time believing in witches and spirits and the like - civilisation, with a savagery simmering just beneath the surface; a bit like Twitter, really! 

The Tudors are so alien to us in some respects that they might as well be from another planet; the things we take for granted would quite probably horrify them. Also, people tend to kid themselves when they think that some of these people were ‘foward-thinking’ and the like; I find it very hard to believe that a sixteenth-century woman would embrace gay or trans rights or show even a smidgeon of religious tolerance. No, it would horrify them; our world would horrify them. And their world was, quite frankly, rather horrific as well. 

The way they treated animals would make more 21st century citizens recoil in horror; Elizabeth I was a prime example; she really enjoyed bear-baiting, hunting and bloodsports in general; I mean, she really enjoyed them. Historians spend so much time showering these people with adulation that they seem almost afraid to confront the reality of what they were really like. Elizabeth I may have ruled England for nearly 45 years but by all accounts, she was not a particularly nice person. Beyond animals, you only need examine the way she treated the women who bore claims to her throne to underline the fact, not to mention her near-pathological vanity/jealousies...

What is your preferred writing routine?

I write from 9am until 2.30pm every day, at home; can’t work in a library because even the dull background noise grates on me!

What advice do you have for new writers?

I can only offer the same tired old cliché, simply because it happens to have more than just a kernel of truth in it - perseverance, as Anne Boleyn found out, really can elevate you in life!

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

Twitter can be wonderful, but it isn’t for the fainthearted!

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research

That decapitated people often remain alive for up to forty seconds after losing their head; so, the last thing Anne Boleyn, Thomas More etc saw was probably the inside of a wicker basket, splattered with their own blood...

What was the hardest scene you remember writing? 

See above!!

What are you planning to write next?

I’m working on something concerning Anne Boleyn which, believe it or not, has never been done before; then I’m turning my attention to Russia’s royals, the Romanovs, for three books which I’ve just signed the contracts for.

Mickey Mayhew

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About the Author

Mickey Mayhew is an author from London, working mainly on Mary Queen of Scots and the Tudor reign; he has a PhD focusing on the online 'cult' surrounding the 'tragic queens' Anne Boleyn and Mary Queen of Scots. He wrote The Little Book of Mary Queen of Scots (published by The History Press) in 2014 and then I love the Tudors (published by Pitkin Publishing) in 2016. House of Tudor - A grisly history is due to be released by Pen & Sword Books in 2022, to be followed by a new book concerning Mary Queen of Scots; these form part of a six-book deal, with four more titles to follow. Previously to this, he was co-author on three books relating to Jack the Ripper, whilst fictional work includes the urban fantasy trilogy The Barrow Boys of Barking, beginning with Jack and the Lad and concluding, for now, with Jamie's Big Bang. His tongue-in-cheek memoir Mickeypedia is also now available, with all proceeds going to the Anna Kennedy Online charity. Find our more at Mickey's website http://www.mickeymayhew.com and follow him on Twitter @Mickey_Mayhew

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