Welcome to my stop on Candace Robb’s A Conspiracy of Wolves blog tour with Love Books Tours!
Many thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Group for arranging the following interview with Candace Robb…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
I write historical crime fiction, so I have two broad sources. I delve deep into historical research for my ideas, as well as reading the literature of the period. And, for the crime element of my books, I study humanity and the psychology of communities in crisis. Visiting historic sites in the UK can also provide ideas—geography, weather, the layout of town and countryside have all fed me ideas. The city of York is one of my richest sources of inspiration. I have two active historical crime series at present, both set in late medieval York. My current book is the 11th in the Owen Archer mysteries, a series that has spanned 1363 to 1374 (so far) and, though based in York, has on occasion taken my sleuth, a former captain of archers, to southwest Wales, Windsor, Westminster, and Yorkshire at large, from Leeds to Scarborough and stops in between. The Kate Clifford mysteries (three so far) are more firmly set in York and begin in 1399, with a focus on the conflict between Richard II and his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, now King Henry IV in the third book. Not only does my research for the two series overlap, but so do some of the characters, and, of course, the city of York, which is a crucial part of all the books. So far it’s not a tangle, but provides a rich crossover of ideas—some that might not work for one series are just the ticket for the other.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
Oh, that would be telling! But I do have fun with historical figures in my books—Geoffrey Chaucer is a favorite of mine.
How do you pick your characters’ names?
With care for being as historically accurate as possible. I also do my best to avoid confusion—not always possible when including historical figures.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
A nutshell? I do my best to write every day.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
I never know how to answer this. On what day? In what genre? And the moment I name 5, I’ll regret all I left out. I read eclectically and enthusiastically.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Geoffrey Chaucer. First I’d engage him in general chit chat to see whether I’ve caught his essence in my books. And then I’d ask the big one: Did you rape Cecilia Chaumpaigne? He might not tell the truth right away, but it would be interesting to see how he handled that hot potato.
Were you a big reader as a child?
I devoured books. All sorts. My mother convinced the librarians at our local library to give me an adult card when I was 11 because I’d exhausted the children and teen sections. I was in heaven! I loved the experience of being so lost in a story that I surfaced confused about the weather or the time of day.
When did you start to write?
I told stories before I had the idea to write them down. The first things I wrote down were poems. You know the sort, rhyming, silly, but so much fun.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
Is there a book you wish you had written?
Re-write the ending of any book? All the books with unsatisfying, Pollyanna endings. But they’re immediately forgettable. Don’t remember!
I wish I’d written Madeline Miller’s Circe. It is perfect. Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls is a close second.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
Circe No, that’s wish fulfilment. I honestly don’t know. I’ve never wanted to write memoir.
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
One of mine? Magda Digby. To the Glen of the Patriarchs near Mt. Rainier. We’d brew something together over an open fire.
Someone else’s character? Circe. Again, I can’t imagine her in a cafe. We’d be near the sea, drinking something herbal and empowering out of polished stone cups.
What are you working on right now?
The 12th Owen Archer. I hate to say much more about it, except that it involves music and vicars choral. But one has little to do with the other. Or Owen may decide otherwise.
Tell us about your last release?
A Murdered Peace is the third book in the Kate Clifford series.
It is deep winter in York, 1400. The Epiphany Rising, meant to relieve the realm of Henry the usurper and return King Richard to the throne has, instead, spelled his doom. As long as Richard lives, he is a threat to Henry; so, too, the nobles behind the plot. The ringleaders have been caught, some slaughtered by folk loyal to Henry as they fled west, and the king’s men now search the towns for survivors.
A perilous time, made worse for Kate Clifford by the disappearance of Berend, her cook and confidante, shortly after Christmas. Her niece saw his departure in a dream—he said he was honor bound to leave. Honor bound—to a former lord? One of the nobles who led the uprising? Is he alive? She is hardly consoled when Berend reappears, wounded, secretive, denying any connection to the uprising, but refusing to explain himself. When he is accused of brutally murdering a spice seller in the city, Kate discovers a chest of jewels in his possession. Some of the jewels belong to her old friend Lady Margery, wanted by the king for her husband’s part in the uprising. For the sake of their long friendship, and the love she and her wards bear for him, Kate wants to believe Berend’s innocence. So, too, does Sir Elric. And he has the powerful backing of the Earl of Westmoreland. All Kate need do is confide in him. If only she trusted her heart.
Do you have a new release due?
1374. When a member of one of York’s most prominent families is found dead in the woods, his throat torn out, rumours spread like wildfire that wolves are running loose throughout the city. Persuaded to investigate by the victim’s father, former Captain of the Guard Owen Archer is convinced that a human killer is responsible. But before he can gather sufficient evidence to prove his case, a second body is discovered, brutally beaten and stabbed to death. Is there a connection? What secrets are contained within the victim’s household and circle of friends? And what does apprentice healer Alisoun know that she’s not telling?
Teaming up with Geoffrey Chaucer, who is in York on a secret mission on behalf of Prince Edward, Owen’s enquiries will draw him headlong into a deadly conspiracy.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
I like to be spontaneous, so it’s never the same.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
Follow me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/CandaceRobb), Twitter (@CandaceMRobb), Book Bub, Goodreads. Sign up for my newsletter on my website (www.candacerobbbooks.com), and, of course frequently check there for news, events, and my latest blog.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Candace 🙂
- When a member of one of York’s most prominent families is found dead in the woods, his throat torn out, rumours spread like wildfire that wolves are running loose throughout the city. Persuaded to investigate by the victim’s father, Owen Archer is convinced that a human killer is responsible. But before he can gather sufficient evidence to prove his case, a second body is discovered, stabbed to death. Is there a connection? What secrets are contained within the victim’s household? And what does apprentice healer Alisoun know that she’s not telling? Teaming up with Geoffrey Chaucer, who is in York on a secret mission on behalf of Prince Edward, Owen’s enquiries will draw him headlong into a deadly conspiracy.
Candace Robb has read and researched medieval history for many years, having studied for a Ph.D. in Medieval & Anglo-Saxon Literature. She divides her time between Seattle and the UK, frequently visiting York to research the series. She is the author of ten previous Owen Archer mysteries and three Kate Clifford medieval mysteries.
happy reading 🙂