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The Red Queen

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boswellbaxter
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Location: North Carolina
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Postby boswellbaxter » Mon August 9th, 2010, 5:28 pm

I think the nonfiction book about Jacquetta is being written with two historians, David Baldwin and Michael Jones. PG is doing the section on Jacquetta; I think Margaret Beaufort and Elizabeth Woodville also are in it.
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/
http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

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Michy
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Location: California

Postby Michy » Mon August 9th, 2010, 5:29 pm

"EC2" wrote:Not all research should go into a novel - heaven forbid! It would glaze readers eyes, but in order to use your imagination to its full extent, you need to know the nitty gritty.


I once read an author (a really good author, IMO) who said that she does tons of research, keeps files, cards, etc. etc. etc. but then when she actually writes her book she just sprinkles her research knowledge into the story like salt on food. I thought that was a really good analogy.

stumpy
Reader

Postby stumpy » Mon August 9th, 2010, 5:33 pm

I read the White Queen and was very underwhelmed but I had really enjoyed TOBG and Virgin Lover,(if that is the correct title).I think these were good well crafted novels with a sense of period.I wonder if the War of the Roses books were the idea of her publisher because her sense of period is non-existent. To take a character like Edward iv and reduce him to a petulant schoolboy with no charisma is an author who has no feeling for the potential story.
I think the tudor novels were heartfelt and the War of The Roses is work to be got through for contractual reasons as soon as possible.

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cw gortner
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Location: San Francisco,CA
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Postby cw gortner » Mon August 9th, 2010, 5:34 pm

"Michy" wrote:I once read an author (a really good author, IMO) who said that she does tons of research, keeps files, cards, etc. etc. etc. but then when she actually writes her book she just sprinkles her research knowledge into the story like salt on food. I thought that was a really good analogy.


I believe that's basically what most of us do. If I put in everything I've researched, my books would be tomes - and dry as bones. You want the research to add flavor, detail, but not so much that it overwhelms the emotional content, or, conversely, so little that it's like a Dick & Jane primer.
THE QUEEN'S VOW available on June 12, 2012!
THE TUDOR SECRET, Book I in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles
[B]THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI
THE LAST QUEEN
[/B]

www.cwgortner.com

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boswellbaxter
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Postby boswellbaxter » Thu August 12th, 2010, 4:57 pm

There's an interview with PG on Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/interviews/show/543.Philippa_Gregory
Susan Higginbotham

Coming in October: The Woodvilles





http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/

http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

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EC2
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Location: Nottingham UK
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Postby EC2 » Thu August 12th, 2010, 5:18 pm

"boswellbaxter" wrote:There's an interview with PG on Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/interviews/show/543.Philippa_Gregory


Thanks Boswell. I noted:

"My favorite historian is probably Alison Weir, who is so accurate and so detailed"

Hmmmm......
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Thu August 12th, 2010, 5:31 pm

I read the interview -- I was intrigued by her comments that she can write anywhere, even in some very noisy and busy public places. I can't imagine being able to focus enough to write anything decent. But maybe other people are better at tuning things out than I am.....

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EC2
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Location: Nottingham UK
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Postby EC2 » Thu August 12th, 2010, 5:52 pm

"Michy" wrote:I read the interview -- I was intrigued by her comments that she can write anywhere, even in some very noisy and busy public places. I can't imagine being able to focus enough to write anything decent. But maybe other people are better at tuning things out than I am.....


I used to write in the pub when I first starting going with my dh and he'd take me to noisy darts matches! But I wasn't published then - LOL!
I can pretty much turn it on and off if I'm in a crowded situation where the general background noise is just rhubarb, but if one tunes in to particular sound e.g. a screaming 2 yr old, then that can interfere.
Perhaps she puts on an MP3 with classical music or something.
Les proz e les vassals

Souvent entre piez de chevals

Kar ja li coard n’I chasront



'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'


Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal



www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Miss Moppet
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Location: North London
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Postby Miss Moppet » Thu August 12th, 2010, 5:56 pm

"Michy" wrote:I read the interview -- I was intrigued by her comments that she can write anywhere, even in some very noisy and busy public places. I can't imagine being able to focus enough to write anything decent. But maybe other people are better at tuning things out than I am.....


I can write on the Tube, as long as I can sit down. I don't mean just fiction but lectures, blog posts, whatever. I think it depends on the person, some people need peace and quiet and privacy to be able to concentrate, others don't. With the amount of touring and publicity PG does, I think she would need to be adaptable about where and when she writes, otherwise she couldn't be anything like as prolific as she is. She's just lucky to have the right temperament!
Last edited by Miss Moppet on Thu August 12th, 2010, 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu August 12th, 2010, 5:57 pm

A comment on PG's writing style-- with disclaimer. My first Gregory was the Queen's Fool, which was ok on plot, put in lots of detail, but had the period 'feel' all wrong and so many little things wrong, it still annoys me. I decided I'd pass on more of this author.

Despite that, I read the Boleyn Inheritance because it was given to me as a gift, and was pleasantly surprised. A much better feel for the sensibilities of the time.

Finally, last year I read the Other Boleyn Girl, simply because so many of my guild thought it was wonderful. I read it concurrently with Wolf Hall, and I must say that I liked PG's book better than Hilary Mantel's. PG's writing flowed and was quite evocative, good enough to make me overlook the switch in the sister's ages and a number of other tweaks to the history. (So you see, I CAN deal with historical tweaks, as long as the plot is good enough!) Mantel's writing seemed clunky and overdone in comparison.

I flipped through a few pages of the Other Queen and also the White Queen in my local bookstore. They both read almost like outlines in comparison to the rest.

I don't care what Ms. Gregory says, doing something well, especially a creative act like writing, takes time and effort. It seems clear that the time and effort that goes into maintaining celebrity status has edged out her writing. And her research has always been sloppy, so the historian in me won't put up with lousy writing on that account.

As a reader, I'm going to vote 'no, thanks' with my money and my eyeballs. If she decides to go back to producing decent work, I'm sure the readers on this forum will let me know.


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