I have been writing, off and on, as long as I can remember. My first stab at a historical novel was in junior high school, where I whiled away my study halls writing about the adventures of five orphaned siblings living through the Blitz. Fortunately, most of the details have escaped me, but as I recall my characters had an endless supply of money and very few relatives to get in their way. Aside from the remarks such as "There's a war going on, you know" that I cleverly threw in once in a while, the characters could have just as easily been living in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., in the 1970's (like me) as in London in the 1940's. But everyone has to start somewhere, eh?
In college I spent more time hanging out at the school newspaper than I did in the classroom, but I can't say the time was wasted because I got more practice at writing. After college, I worked at various clerical, secretarial, and editorial jobs before finally entering law school a tad late in life. (I used to say that I had clothes older than some of my classmates, and I wasn't off by far.)
After completing law school (here's a link to an article I wrote while there), I worked for several years as a solo practitioner. After a few years, I was ready for a change. When I saw an ad for a job with a legal publisher that would allow me to work at home, I jumped at the opportunity. I'm still working full-time at that job today.
One day while surfing the Internet, I came across an online version of Christopher Marlowe's Edward II. I'd read the play in graduate school, but when I reread it, I became absorbed in the drama itself, then intrigued by the historical background to it. I began doing research, and that's when I discovered Eleanor de Clare and her fascinating life. So fascinating, I felt compelled to write about it—hence my first novel, The Traitor's Wife. Having acquired a taste for writing biographical historical fiction, I found that I couldn't stop.
Who are my own favorite authors? In my idea of heaven, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Jane Austen will have each written a new novel every year or so since their deaths, and the celestial bookshelves will be sagging with their works. There'd be a new Shakespeare play to attend often as well. As for more recent authors, my favorites include Anne Tyler, the Rabbit novels of John Updike, and P. D. James. I'm a relative newcomer to reading historical fiction, but I've found the novels of Sharon Penman, Margaret Campbell Barnes, Brenda Honeyman, and Jean Plaidy to be particularly enjoyable.
A daughter can be a dangerous weapon in the battle for the throne of England Frances Grey harbored no dream of her children taking the throne. Cousin of the king, she knew the pitfalls of royalty and privilege. Better to marry them off, marry them well, perhaps to a clan like the Dudleys.
Jane Dudley knew her husband was creeping closer to the throne, but someone had to take charge, for the good of the country. She couldn't see the twisted path they all would follow.
The never–before–told story of the women behind the crowning of Jane Grey, this novel is a captivating peek at ambition gone awry, and the damage left in its wake.
A man other than my husband sits on England's throne today.
What would happen if this king suddenly went mad? What would his queen do? Would she make the same mistakes I did, or would she learn from mine?
Margaret of Anjou, queen of England, cannot give up on her husband-even when he slips into insanity. And as mother to the House of Lancaster's last hope, she cannot give up on her son-even when England turns against them. This gripping tale of a queen forced to stand strong in the face of overwhelming odds is at its heart a tender tale of love.
Award-winning author Susan Higginbotham will once again ask readers to question everything they know about right and wrong, compassion and hope, duty to one's country and the desire of one's own heart.
Trapped in the Wars of the Roses, one woman finds herself sister to the queen...and traitor to the crown
Forced to marry Hugh le Despenser, the son and grandson of disgraced traitors, Bess de Montacute, just 13 years old, is appalled at his less-than-desirable past. Meanwhile, Hugh must give up the woman he really loves in order to marry the reluctant Bess. Far apart in age and haunted by the past, can Hugh and Bess somehow make their marriage work?
Just as walls break down and love begins to grow, the merciless plague endangers all whom the couple holds dear, threatening the life and love they have built.
Award-winning author Susan Higginbotham's impeccable research will delight avid historical fiction readers, and her enchanting characters will surely capture every reader's heart. Fans of her first novel, The Traitor's Wife, will be thrilled to find that this story follows the next generation of the Despenser family.
From the bedchamber to the battlefield, through treachery and fidelity, one woman is imprisoned by the secrets of the crown.
It is an age where passion reigns and treachery runs as thick as blood. Young Eleanor has two men in her life: her uncle King Edward II, and her husband Hugh le Despenser, a mere knight but the newfound favorite of the king. She has no desire to meddle in royal affairs—she wishes for a serene, simple life with her family. But as political unrest sweeps the land, Eleanor, sharply intelligent yet blindly naïve, becomes the only woman each man can trust.
Fiercely devoted to both her husband and her king, Eleanor holds the secret that could destroy all of England—and discovers the choices no woman should have to make.
At its heart, The Traitor's Wife is a unique love story that every reader will connect with.