A conversation with Tony Riches, Historical fiction author of Tudors
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a full time historical fiction author and specialise in the lives of the Tudors. My Tudor Trilogy was a best-selling series on Amazon UK, US and Australia
Where were you raised? Where do you live now? Do you have any pets?
Like Henry Tudor, I was born in the Welsh town of Pembroke, a connection which inspired my fascination with the Tudor dynasty. As part of my research I followed in Henry’s footsteps from Pembroke to exile in remote Brittany, then back to Mill Bay and on to the battle at Bosworth, where he became King Henry VII.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
‘Katherine – Tudor Duchess’ is the true story of Katherine Willoughby, one of the most unusual ladies of the Tudor court. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Katherine knew all his six wives, his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and his son Edward, as well as being related by marriage to Lady Jane Grey. I was inspired to research her story after writing ‘Brandon – Tudor Knight’, about her first husband, champion jouster and best friend of the king, Sir Charles Brandon.
What genres do you write on? Is there a particular genre you want to try writing in the future?
I specialise in Tudor historical fiction, although my book ‘The Shell’ is set in present day Mombasa and based on an incident when I was on holiday in Kenya.
What are the common traps for aspiring writers? How did you tackle them?
It’s important to find an experienced editor – and listen to their advice.
What do you think will be the initial thoughts of your readers while reading your book?
I hope to draw my readers into an emotional connection with my characters, and to enable them experience what it was like to live in Tudor times.
Tell us about your writing process. Do you follow a unique way for writing Fiction?
I like to write twenty-five chapters of about 4000 words each, to arrive at a first draft for editing of 100,000 words. I write one book a year, starting in the autumn, and aim to have the editing completed in the spring, so I have the summer free for researching the next book – and sailing!
Who are your favorite authors? What is your favorite genre to read? *
Hilary Mantel and CJ Sansom are my favourite writers and although I read widely, I enjoy good historical fiction.
Describe your ideal writing spot. When you’re writing what’s your drink and snack of choice?
I treated myself to an oak writing desk with a green leather writing surface, and thought that was where I would write – but I actually work on my MacBook Pro, wherever I happen to be.
Words of wisdom for your fellow authors.
It’s good to write every day – and remember just one page a day is a book a year.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
I discovered that if you write a series, you can build a loyal readership. I like to write trilogies, and am currently working on the first book of my new Elizabethan trilogy
How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
I never underestimate readers, but also do my best to make sure there is enough historical background for them to understand the issues of the time.