Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated ...... Anne and Henry

Next up is a modernized version of a real life tragic romance. Everyone knows the story of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn...and it's ending. This next pick sets the iconic story in highschool and I am officially dying to read it.

Read this Goodreads synopsis and you'll be itching to read this one as well. If you're fascinated by The Tudors you'll definitely want to add this one to your watch list.
Wild, brazen, mischievous, bewitching

Driven, haunted, charming, magnetic

Apart, they are bound to destroy themselves. Together, they are bound to destroy each other.

Henry Tudor's life has been mapped out since the day he was born: student president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning political career just like his father's. But ever since the death of Henry's brother—perfect, high-achieving Arthur—his family has been twice as demanding. And now Henry's trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any girl who's not Tudor approved.

Then Anne Boleyn crashes into his life.

Anne is wild, brash and outspoken. She is everything Henry is not allowed to be—or to want. But soon Anne is all he can think about. His mother, his friends, and even his girlfriend warn him away, yet his desire for Anne consumes him. Henry is willing to do anything to be with her. But once he has her, their romance could destroy them both.

Inspired by the true story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, Anne & Henry reimagines the intensity, love, and betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time. 
I got Dawn to spill some secrets, design some amazing sounding tea, and dish on bringing the historical into modern times.

1. Describe Anne and Henry in Twitter format (140 characters or less)

Inspired by Tudor history, Anne & Henry reimagines the intensity, love & betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time. (YA)

2. If someone were to make a tea flavour in honour of your book, what might be included?

I love this question! The base ingredient would have to be cacao, not only because chocolate is delicious, but also because it’s soothing—and this story is a rollercoaster of emotion. The “tea chemist” (is that a thing?) would then add a heaping teaspoon of nutmeg (known for it’s ability to attract love and increase desire), cinnamon (for its aphrodisiac properties), a hint of cumin (for its ability to strengthen relationship bonds), and of course, a dash of deadly nightshade.  Though, in retrospect, the “tea chemist” should probably have added a lot more cumin ;-)  

3. Can you share a secret about your book (either it's world, it's characters, or something that helped inspire the story)?

This book began as a development project initiated by D4EO Literary super agents Mandy Hubbard and Bree Ogden. Both were on my “most desired agent” list, and so when Mandy put out the “audition call” I leapt at the chance, not knowing at the time that the super secret project would be a reimagining of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII as a high school romance. How lucky!

After I was selected as the “winning” writer (I may have cried…a lot), Mandy and Bree gave me a loose outline—and all of the creative freedom I could imagine. I was inspired by several factors: a) Anne Boleyn holds a very special place in Bree Ogden’s heart, and I was driven to do justice to this character for her, b) Mandy Hubbard is a brilliant agent and writer, and I wanted to show her that she had made the right choice by taking me on as both the writer for this story, and also as my agent, and c) My stepfather is obsessed with Anne Boleyn. I grew up listening to his love for her, and so, I wanted to capture not only his love—but the world’s love—for this person. I am amazed by how passionate people are about Anne Boleyn.

I loved researching for this book, and then fell deeply in love with the characters I’d created. I knew I would need to dig deep to bring to life the intensity of their relationship, and honestly, every chapter of this book was an emotionally draining experience. But I couldn’t be more proud of the end result.

4. This is a modernization of historical events. What challenges did you face while bringing it into current times?

The question I am most asked is: So—this is a thriller, right? Because everyone knows Henry chopped off her head. True—he did. But Anne & Henry is definitely not a thriller. (Though, I admit, I toyed with that a bit…because thriller is near and dear to my heart…)

Obviously, some of those historical facts were tricky to replicate, but I had so much fun drawing parallels to the modern world. If anything, my fabulous editor, Sara Sargent, had to reign me in. I may have gotten a little carried away with “royal” references in the first draft.

For me the most challenging part was actually re-envisioning Henry. I knew exactly what I wanted from Anne—flawed, but also strong and redeemable. Whatever version of history you believe, this is something that always resonates about Anne. But in real life, Henry wasn’t the most likeable guy, and in my opinion, not the most handsome. I always thought I would love Anne more—but now, I’m not even sure myself. I really love this Henry, and I hope managed to keep his essence.

5. If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel? 

Before writing this book, my answer may have been slightly different—but now, I’d loved to witness first hand the dynamics of the Tudor Dynasty. It’s not enough to have read the (many) books about this whole period in time or to have watched the (many) movies and TV adaptations. I feel a connection to the era, and would love to see what it was really like. 

6. What three things do you need while revising?

Diet Coke



While these may seem incredibly cliché, the revision process is both exhilarating and overwhelming for me. I have always associated Diet Coke with my personal creativity (as in, I’m useless without it), and chocolate with calming my nerves. But the thesaurus is new. As my editor notes, I tend to have a lot of breathing, smirking, laughing, blushing, heart racing, and giggling moments in my first drafts. Going through Anne & Henry with my thesaurus at the ready was life-changing.

7. If possible, please share the first line of Anne and Henry. (only answer if not too spoilery).

The Tudor ballroom glitters like we’re backstage at a Vegas burlesque.

I want to thank Dawn for taking the time to answer these questions. I am so glad that so many people who adore Anne Boleyn shaped this novel. I adore her, and it makes me happy to think she'll be treated fairly in this novel.

I have to admit that I am SUPER curious about Anne's fate in this novel. Historically we know what happens, but obviously that cannot happen in this modern adaptation. I wonder what the modern equivalent will be?! If anything, finding out makes this novel worth picking up. It also sounds like one of those novels that surprise attacks you with the sheer amount of feelings you end up having.

Anne and Henry is released Fall 2015 and no pre-order links are available yet but you can add it to your Goodreads account in the meantime.

Be sure to check back later on during the event for a chance to win Anne and Henry (or any one of my featured titles!).

You can follow Dawn Ius on Twitter, visit her official website, and learn more about the book from the publisher website.

Do you like novels that take inspiration from real events? Do you like stories that modernize those events?Let me know in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. I was definitely excited to learn more about Anne and Henry. And that first line is very intriguing.


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