Katherine the Queen: the remarkable life of Katherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII (St Martin's Press, historical biography, 23 November 2010)
Please tell us your latest news!
I am currently researching a third book on the rivalry between the Tudors and the Stewarts in the 16th century
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favourite author is Charles Dickens, whose powers of characterization remain unsurpassed.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
As a child of eleven, at school, through reading English literature
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don't expect to make a fortune - you won't!
How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
I think they are very pleased, and yes, they do read my books.
Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer? Or Still do?
Yes, I write full time. Before I became a writer I was an academic, teaching at various universities in the New York area when I lived in the USA and then I worked for more than 20 years for British Telecom, as a senior manager in corporate relations, before going back to research and writing.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
It is very organized and well-tried. Yes, of course I outline. I don't see how anyone could write non-fiction any other way.
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example..get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place
I start at nine, as I used to do when I worked in an office, and carry on till lunchtime, except in the winter, when I normally stop to go out for a walk in the morning, while there is still enough daylight (it gets dark by 4pm in England in the winter months) and then resume for a while after lunch. The idea of anyone writing in a cosy place strikes me as odd. Surely we all work at computers these days? Writing is not a cuddly occupation.
What main genre do you write in?