On New Title Tuesday, you will find books that have been out for less than three months, in all different genres, with all sorts of authors. If you would like to be featured on NTT, use the contact form to let me know.
The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham, by Tony Riches
Genre: Medieval Historical
The year is 1441. Lady Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester, wife of Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, one of the richest men in the country and next in line to the throne, hopes to one day become Queen of England. Then her interest in astrology and the dark arts, combined with her husband’s ambition, leads their enemies to accuse her of a plot against the king.
The beautiful Duchess Eleanor is found guilty of sorcery and witchcraft. Rather than have her executed, King Henry VI orders Eleanor to be imprisoned for life. For ten years, she lives as the king’s prisoner in the finest palaces in the country, such as Leeds Castle in Kent, to some of the worst conditions, in Peel Castle on the windswept Isle of Man.
Finally she is taken to the Welsh fortress of Beaumaris Castle on the Island of Anglesey. More than a century after her death, carpenters restoring one of the towers of Beaumaris Castle discover a sealed box hidden under the wooden boards. Thinking they have found treasure, they break the ancient box open, disappointed to find it only contains a book, with hand-sewn pages of yellowed parchment.
Written in a code no one could understand, the mysterious book changed hands many times for more than five centuries, between antiquarian book collectors, until it came to me. After years of frustrating failure to break the code, I discover it is based on a long forgotten medieval dialect and am at last able to decipher the secret diary of Eleanor Cobham.
What was the first thing you thought when you saw your published book the first time?
‘Eleanor’ was my fourth novel, so the early excitement is replaced by the realisation that now the hard work starts. It doesn’t seem to get any easier, despite all the ‘awareness raising’ experience I gained over the past five years.
When did you first decide to call yourself a writer? What prompted the decision?
I was writing regularly for magazines for over twenty years – but it was only when my first book was published that I started adding ‘writer’ to my bio. Now, eight books and many thousands of words later, I feel comfortable calling myself an ‘author’.
What is your best advice for someone just starting their first manuscript? Halfway through? Just finished?
I think it was Stephen King who said the only way to become a writer is to WRITE. For someone starting out, my advice is to just write, whenever you can, and not to worry about your first draft being perfect. Halfway through is a good time to take stock of things like plot and character development and asking if the story starts when it should. (This probably means scrapping that ‘foreword’ you liked so much and launching right into the action.) Just finished? Find some honest ‘beta readers’ and take careful note of what they tell you.
About the Author
Tony Riches is a full time author of best-selling fiction and non-fiction books. He lives by the sea in Pembrokeshire, West Wales with his wife and enjoys sea and river kayaking in his spare time. For more information about Tony’s other books please visit his popular blog, The Writing Desk and his WordPress website and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches. His latest historical fiction novel is The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham, the amazing story of one of his wife’s distant ancestors, who was imprisoned for life for treason and necromancy.