Sunday, 2 February 2014

My Writing Progress Blog

Today is "My Writing Process" blog tour day, when authors answer questions about their writing process. Last week, fellow author Debra Brown posted hers. You can check it out at:

Debra writes Regency novels – I loved her first book TheCompanion of Lady Holmeshire:
Many thanks for the invitation, Debbie. Here goes.

So, what is my writing process?

I write four days a week, leaving the weekend free for research and leisure, or that is the plan anyway. I am often distracted  by other things. First thing in the morning I answer emails, catch up with my online readers and fellow authors. Social networking plays a huge part in book marketing so it may look like play but in actual fact is me hard at work. Then, after coffee, I settle down to write. I aim to add five thousand words a day, sometimes I manage that, sometimes not but it is a good goal to have. One of the main things an author needs, apart from being able to spell, is self-discipline. Once I have done that I usually retire to the sofa or, if the sun is shining, to the garden to plan an outline for the following day. I am lucky. I have a lovely study that looks out across a garden full of flowers and birds to the welsh countryside beyond. Sometimes the only person I see all day is the postman. I think I have the best job in the world.

What am I working on?

A historical novel called Intractable Heart which is the story of Henry VIII’s last wife, Katheryn Parr. It is my sixth full length historical novel and my third set in Tudor England. Katheryn is not as popular as Anne Boleyn whom I featured in my last release, The Kiss of the Concubine but my research is revealing a fascinating woman. Her story has conflict, war, grief, terror, as well as some 'lurve.'  Her story is so interesting that I am glad to wake up in the morning and get started.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Some of the most frequent recurring words in Amazon reviews on my work are ‘different’ ‘refreshing,’ and ‘new perspective.’ I write in the first person, which helps me to strip away the magnificent clothes and jewels and reveal the woman beneath. I think long and hard how it must have felt to marry a man like Henry. A man very much older than oneself (to illustrate the generation gap; Katherine was named after Henry’s first wife Katherine of Aragon), and a man who had already disposed of five wives. Henry was increasingly ill, increasingly erratic and Katheryn was in love with another man, Thomas Seymour. She must have been close to despair on her wedding day. This sort of dilemma is a re-occurring one in Tudor women’s history, and I love to write about it.

Why do I write what I do?

When I first began to write I was advised to stick to what I know and keep to a setting where I am comfortable'. I am far more at home in Tudor England than I am in the modern world. I wouldn’t have a clue what goes on in a modern office, and I am not up to date with all the gadgetry that is essential to contemporary life. I have a master’s degree in Medieval Studies so it seemed natural to write historical novels, especially as that is my genre of choice as a reader. When I first began to write seriously I set my novels in the early medieval period. It was constant requests from readers that prompted me try out a Tudor one and it was a good decision. My career has really taken off since I wrote The Winchester Goose.

How does your writing process work?

The ideas for most of my books have germinated during research for the previous one. For instance, when I was writing The Winchester Goose I came across an article about how Anne Boleyn has been seriously misrepresented by novelists – I read a few of the novels cited in the article and decided she had been maligned rather than just misrepresented. When I wrote The Kiss of the Concubine I made sure I presented her as neither a witch nor a scheming whore. She is a woman in a difficult situation, in love with a difficult man. While I was writing The Kiss of the Concubine I read an article about Katheryn Parr and was surprised to discover how interesting she was. Katheryn was a devout, intelligent and educated woman, the first English queen to become a published author. That is how Intractable Heart was conceived.

Next week the following three authors will be telling you about their writing process:

All my books are available in paperback and on Kindle. My amazon page is here.
For more information please visit my webpage:


  1. Ohhh. A Master's degree in Medieval studies! Fabulous. I bet you loved every minute of that! Great blog, Judith. Your writing day sounds idilic. Katherine Parr sounds like an interesting lady, and as you say, not one we often think about. Good luck with her story. Caroline xx

  2. Thank you Caroline, I can barely tear myself away from Katherine Parr at the moment. Good luck with your own new release.

  3. Great blog Judith and I can't wait to read Intractable Heart!

  4. Hi Judith, I'm excited to learn that you are writing about Katherine Parr. She interests me more than the other wives, perhaps because she knew what she was getting and had to face up to it, and because she managed to survive the man despite the antics of his ministers.

    Thanks for your kind mention of Companion!

  5. Judith very glad to know about your books, would love to read them and hope they become available in Mexico soon on kindle edition.

  6. Thanks for a lovely blog Judith, I loved the Kiss of the Concubine and can't wait to read Katheryn's story.