Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Interview with Susan Higginbotham

Today and tomorrow, Cindy Thomson will be visiting with award winning author, Susan Higginbotham.

Susan Higginbotham’s first novel, The Traitor’s Wife, won the gold medal for historical/military fiction in the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Her second novel, Hugh and Bess, was reissued in August 2009, and her third novel, The Stolen Crown, will be published in 2010. She has a master’s degree in English literature and a law degree, both of which have actually proven useful. Susan lives in Apex, North Carolina, with her family.

Welcome to PASTimes, Susan. Tell us a little about what you write.

I write biographical historical fiction set in medieval England. The Traitor’s Wife and Hugh and Bess, which tell the story of the Despenser family, are set in fourteenth-century England during the reigns of Edward II and Edward III. My forthcoming novel, The Stolen Crown, is set during the Wars of the Roses. It is narrated by Henry, Duke of Buckingham, and his wife, Katherine Woodville, sister to Queen Elizabeth Woodville.

Are you a full-time writer or do you hold a day job? What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in protecting your writing time?

I have a full-time job working for a legal publisher. Fortunately, I work out of my house and have flexible hours, so when I’m really on a writing tear I can run to my PC. I don’t have much of a problem protecting my writing time because I do most of my writing between 11 pm and 1 am—when everyone else in the house is asleep or hunkered down in their rooms.

What historical time periods interest you the most and how have you immersed yourself in a particular time period?

My favorite periods are the late thirteenth through early Tudor periods. I immerse myself in them by reading everything I can find about these periods. Sometimes that can distract from day-to-day life in the twenty-first century!

Introduce us briefly to the main characters in your most recent book.

Hugh le Despenser and Bess de Montacute are historical figures who married in 1341. Hugh’s father and grandfather were executed horribly in 1326 by Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer, who forced Edward II off the throne. Elizabeth is the daughter of William de Montacute, who was made an earl by Edward III as a reward for his assistance in helping Edward III rid himself of Roger Mortimer. Hugh is struggling to restore his family’s good name, and Bess, a spoiled young girl who’s much younger than Hugh, is aghast at the thought of marrying a man whose family has such a tarnished past.

What are you working on now?

Come back tomorrow to find out and read part two of the interview with Susan Higginbotham. Leave a comment this week for a chance to win a copy of Hugh and Bess. Please leave your comment before 8:30 Friday morning and leave your contact information in the form of name[at]domain[dot]com.


Wanda said...

Hugh & Bess would be interesting to read about. Pleas enter my name in your draw. Thanks.
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

Amanda said...

I've been hearing a lot of good things about this book. Hugh and Bess sound like such interesting historical characters.

Renee said...

I've never heard of Susan Higginbothan *GASP*! How did that happen because these books look incedible!!!! I'm definitely putting them on my wishlist! I loved the interview, I agree books from your favorite time period can "...distract from day-to-day life..."! Please enter me can't wait for part 2 of the interview!


Katherine said...

This book looks amazing.
Please enter me for this drawing.


Abi said...

I love historical books. Thanks for making us aware of this author.

Casey said...

Sounds like a good book. I enjoy the occasional story set in Tudor England.


Virginia said...

Great interview! Your book sounds like a very interesting read. It would be different then anything I have ever read.


windycindy said...

Greetings! How wonderful to win such an award for one's first novel.
The cover of her book is lovely.
My name was Spencer and I have read where it comes from the word dispenser. My Grandfather came from England, so I like that the family name is Dispenser. Please include me in your book drawing.
Many thanks, Cindi