Nicola Cornick on History, Heroines and Her New Book!

ShadowsCara/Andrea here. Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing my good friend and fellow Word Wench Nicola Cornick on her new book, House of Shadows, which releases in the UK and Australia on November 5th! (U.S. readers can purchase it through Book Depository.) It marks an exciting new direction for her, as she branches out from her award-winning Regency romances into a new genre—historical mystery/suspense! It weaves together the story of three women, linked through the centuries by two jeweled artifacts that . . . Oh, but rather than give away any spoilers, let's have Nicola tell us about the story! 

Nicola 2House of Shadows is a big change for you, shifting from Regency romance to historical romantic mystery/suspense. Tell us a little about the challenges.

To begin with I didn’t imagine it would be a big change because I clung to the idea that there was a Regency storyline in the book and thought that would at least give me some familiarity. However despite that I soon realized I was in unchartered waters. There were so many challenges! I’m not a plotter by nature – when I write I’m a total pantser who finds it difficult even to come up with synopsis for a whole book so planning the three different timelines was very difficult for me. The other thing I found very hard was writing a contemporary storyline. Years back I had tried to write contemporary romance and my editor at the time said, very kindly, that I should perhaps stick with historical! So I didn’t approach it with much confidence. I was lucky that one of my writing friends helped me work on the dialogue in particular.

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In Search of Lost Kings

Richard III car parkNicola here! Today I’m thinking about lost kings, by which I mean those monarchs whose bodies have vanished and whose current whereabouts are unknown. This may seem an odd thing to be thinking about (but you know writers – we think about all kinds of weird stuff!) but two things have put it in my mind. First there’s the ongoing debate about where King Richard III is to be re-buried after the sensational discovery of his body last year beneath a car park in the city of Leicester. The other reason I’m musing on lost kings is that much to my surprise, whilst doing the research for my current manuscript I discovered I’m actually writing about one – Frederick of Bohemia, whose body disappeared in the 1630s. More on Frederick later.

The archaeological dig to find the burial site of King Richard III last year fascinated people in the UK and far beyond. Perhaps it was because Richard has always been one of the most controversial of English kings, bitterly dividing opinion over whether he was a good guy or not. Perhaps it was also the fact that his death in battle and subsequent fate was the stuff of rumour and legend. Whilst the discovery could not throw any light on the biggest mystery of all that surrounds Richard – that of the fate of his nephews, the Princes in the Tower – it did reveal a wealth of information about the king himself, his physical appearance and the way in which he died.

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