Interview with Susan Fraser King, author of Queen Hereafter + GIVEAWAY!

PhotobucketPassages to the Past is thrilled to bring you an interview with the lovely Susan Fraser King, author of Queen Hereafter, which is being released today!!  

Make sure you scroll to the bottom of the post to enter the 3 copy giveaway!

A big thanks to Susan for taking time to answer a few questions and cheers to a fabulous release day!

Both of your hardcover novels have been set in Scotland and I see that you are a frequent visitor there. What is your connection with Scotland; do you have Scottish ancestors or is it simply a personal connection? 

I've loved Scotland as long as I can remember; it’s partly family ties and partly just that inexplicable mystery that draws us to certain places. I'm part Scottish, descended from Frasers who immigrated to upstate NY in the late 19th century. My grandmother was born in Scotland, and married an Irish doctor here. She had red hair and a dimpled smile - I got the auburn tones, but the Fraser dimples went to my cousins! And we have wonderful Scottish friends who help keep the ties fresh too.

I've been to Scotland several times, and have written several novels set there as Susan King, Sarah Gabriel, and Susan Fraser King. So the settings and history in my hardcover releases are cumulative from studying history in graduate school, writing several previous novels, and traveling in Scotland.

Were there any lessons that you took away from the writing of Lady Macbeth that assisted you with writing Queen Hereafter?

Lady Macbeth was the most challenging book I had written so far in scope and depth of research, and the first where I needed to rely on a complex chronology of historical events. With Queen Hereafter, a good deal of the research groundwork was done in terms of historical time, setting, social and cultural details, which helped the process for the second book. There are some continuing characters too. Lady Macbeth returns in Queen Hereafter, and Malcolm Canmore, who was a shadowy villainous guy in the first book, had to be fleshed out as a protagonist in the second. Some settings are the same, and that helped as well. For Queen Hereafter, the research and stringing together of the chronology was as challenging, but different. For Lady Macbeth, there was one document regarding her, so the whole thing had to be figured out based on the history and the actions of the people around her. For Margaret, there is a contemporary biography and lots more information in the historical record. The process of figuring out her story was different in that regard.

What inspired you to tell the story of Margaret of Scotland?

She's fascinating! Margaret is one of the most interesting women in medieval history, particularly because we know so much about her personally and historically. She was a Saxon princess raised in Hungary and then England, was shipwrecked in Scotland while fleeing from the Normans, and she married King Malcolm of Scotland, who evidently fell in love with her on sight--though political advantage weighed heavily too. She resisted the marriage, but later their match was regarded by their own contemporaries to be one of love and respect. Her personal confessor, Bishop Turgot, wrote her biography, so we learn about her from a friend. Turgot (an Anglo-Dane who escaped from the Normans) depicted her in glowing medieval terms, but he gave exciting hints of the real Margaret. Peeling away the ideal layers, we can see her temper, her flaws, her kindnesses, her opinions. She was a determined young woman who pressured herself to be perfect, who was very aware of her responsibilities and critical of her shortcomings. His book about Margaret is a gold mine for historians as well as for a novelist.

How do you think Margaret would feel about being canonized as a saint after her death?

She would have thought herself not worthy. Margaret was devout and devoted to her causes, and did her utmost to help others from her position of privilege, but she also diminished herself through humble comments and excessive fasting, according to Turgot. She felt that charitable deeds were more essential even than demonstrating faith. Her Hungarian great-grandfather (or great-uncle), King Stephen, became a saint--she would have been more proud of that than for herself, I think!

Her sons, as kings and an archbishop in Scotland, initiated her sainthood and she was canonized almost 60 years after her death, so that isn’t part of the novel, which covers the early years of her marriage. I wanted to depict a young woman who had the potential to become the gentle, troubled mature queen who starved herself, who died of heartbreak days after her husband’s death, and whose later canonization was urged by those who loved her.

Writing about a pious medieval woman was not the easiest part of creating her story, and so the story brings out her temperamental and mischievous side too. Anyone who had eight healthy babies and cuddled orphans in her lap, and who stole gold from her husband's treasury and released his ransomed prisoners on her own was not only about saintliness!

What are you currently reading?

Currently I'm totally absorbed in The Hunger Game novels, and I'm reading Kathryn Johnson's wonderful The Gentleman Poet. And I like to keep up with the latest historical novels of my sister Word Wenches http://wordwenches.typepad.com too!

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I love the excitement of the beginning, all those fresh ideas, the research, the characters and situations and possibilities coming to life. And I love the mad pace and exhilaration of finishing a book, when I'm immersed and won't come up for air until it's done. It's the middle I'm not too crazy about, when all the puzzles pieces are scattered in disarray and I'm wondering what I'm doing, until it takes shape.

Lastly, do you have any advice for aspiring historical fiction writers?

Read, read, read and write, write, write, and make sure that your understanding of the history is a good, solid foundation, no matter how far your imagination flies at the same time. The writing and storytelling is just as important, even more so, than the history, another thing to keep in mind. Work on stories that could bring something new to the field of historical fiction. Readers love fresh stuff, publishers love it too. And best of luck to you!


Susan, thanks again for agreeing to be on Passages to the Past, I really enjoyed Queen Hereafter and wish you all the best for the release!!

Thank you, Amy, it's really fun to visit here. I love your website and have lurked here many times. And I hope Queen Hereafter finds a place in many TBR piles and in many hearts!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

SUSAN FRASER KING is a multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author and a former art history lecturer. She holds a B.A. in art and an M.A. and most of a Ph.D. in art history, with postgraduate work in medieval studies. Her books are widely praised for historical detail and a lyrical writing style, and she has won multiple honors and awards for her novels w/a Susan King and Sarah Gabriel. Queen Hereafter, is Susan's latest novel. Lady Macbeth: A Novel (Crown Publishing, February 2008) was her first hardcover mainstream novel. Susan visits Scotland as often as possible for research and relaxation, and lives in Maryland with her family.

For more information, please visit Susan's WEBSITE.

ABOUT THE BOOK

by Susan Fraser King

Publication Date:  December 7, 2010
Crown Publishing
352p

SYNOPSIS:  Refugee. Queen. Saint. In eleventh-century Scotland, a young woman strives to fulfill her destiny despite the risks . . .

Shipwrecked on the Scottish coast, a young Saxon princess and her family—including the outlawed Edgar of England—ask sanctuary of the warrior-king Malcolm Canmore, who shrewdly sees the political advantage. He promises to aid Edgar and the Saxon cause in return for the hand of Edgar’s sister, Margaret, in marriage.

A foreign queen in a strange land, Margaret adapts to life among the barbarian Scots, bears princes, and shapes the fierce warrior Malcolm into a sophisticated ruler. Yet even as the king and queen build a passionate and tempestuous partnership, the Scots distrust her. 

When her husband brings Eva, a Celtic bard, to court as a hostage for the good behavior of the formidable Lady Macbeth, Margaret expects trouble. Instead, an unlikely friendship grows between the queen and her bard, though one has a wild Celtic nature and the other follows the demanding path of obligation.

Torn between old and new loyalties, Eva is bound by a vow to betray the king and his Saxon queen. Soon imprisoned and charged with witchcraft and treason, Eva learns that Queen Margaret—counseled by the furious king and his powerful priests—will decide her fate and that of her kinswoman Lady Macbeth. But can the proud queen forgive such deep treachery?

Impeccably researched, a dramatic page-turner, Queen Hereafter is an unforgettable story of shifting alliances and the tension between fear and trust as a young woman finds her way in a dangerous world.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Passages to the Past has 3 copies of Queen Hereafter up for grabs!  One copy from the publisher, one from myself (I received an extra) and a signed one from Susan herself!

- To enter, please leave a comment below and include your email address.
- Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents ONLY.
- For +1 additional entry each, please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting or posting on Facebook.  You can use the SHARE buttons below and please include the info in the comment section below.
- Giveaway ends on December 17th.

GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL!!


Photobucket

68 comments:

  1. Looks good! Please enter me to win a copy. mljcwsu at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh this book looks very good! I love historical fiction! Thanks for sharing this interview with the author. I am new to your site, I just found you on twitter. But I really like it so far, Your site is full of so many good historical novels! If you could enter me in the giveaway that would be great. My email is romancebooksonline@gmail.com

    I also tweeted this on twitter, at http://twitter.com/#!/RomanticBook/status/12048721357316096

    I am new to twitter too and don't know how to shorten the url. Sorry! :(

    ReplyDelete
  3. It sounds like the author did extensive research into the history of the queen. I love it when authors put so much time and effort behind their stories. It always shows in their writing. I would love to read it.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. Sounds like a really good book. Tore923@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. This sounds like an emotion filled story that I definitely want to read.
    I really enjoyed the interview.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love books that flesh out religious figures, especially saints -- and Ms King's comments about making Margaret real made me smile. This sounds like a marvelous book. Thank you for the interview and giveaway!

    I tweeted!

    audra
    unabridgedchick at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love historical fiction, especially when I know I can depend on the author's accuracy of research. This book sounds wonderful. Thanks for the interesting interview, and for the generous giveaway.
    lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I absolutely fell in love with Lady Macbeth and counted down the days to the release of Queen Hereafter, I was literally on pins and needles until today! I pre-ordered it yesterday to have it delivered to my Kindle and the first thing I did upon waking this morning was turn on my Kindle. I now have it downloaded and am anxiously waiting until my lunchbreak to dive into it!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I can't enter so I just came around to read the interview. Sounds like such a good book, and I always did like her son David for some reason

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like that a lot of research has gone into this book. I expect that it will be very exciting and interesting to see how the friendship between Margaret and Eva ends. I would love to read this book.


    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  11. http://www.passagestothepast.com/2010/12/interview-with-susan-fraser-king-author.html

    I tweeted. My Twitter name is Carolee888.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'd love to read it especially of Scotland. nancysoffice at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sounds fabulous! Would love to win!

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for such a great giveaway.

    +1, I blogged, http://bit.ly/e7mxwI
    +1, another, http://bit.ly/fciqkq

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think I forgot to add my email address.
    tradingaddress at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a wonderful author to interview. Her 'Lady Macbeth' is one of my favorite novels and I have been SO EXCITED for her release of this one! I have been fascinated by Margaret of Scotland since visiting her chapel in Edinburgh and cannot wait to read more about her.

    Please enter me in the giveaway

    strawn(dot)elizabeth(at)gmail(dot)com

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wonderful interview ;) I'd love to read this and win an autographed copy for sure!
    Roberta
    rlphilbr13@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Just shared qiveaway post on facebook...love those share buttons ;)
    Roberta
    rlphilbr13@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just tweeted the post giveaway.
    Roberta
    rlphilbr13@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Added the giveaway to my blog sidebar: http://con-tain-it.typepad.com
    Roberta
    rlphilbr13@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. What an amazing giveaway! Thank you!

    taylor_ward11@yahoo.com

    http://allthingshistoricalfiction.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  22. This book looks good. I love the cover too. I would love to win. I tweeted
    http://twitter.com/share?text=Passages+to+the+Past:+Interview+with+Susan+Fraser+King,+author+of+Queen+...&url=http://www.passagestothepast.com/2010/12/interview-with-susan-fraser-king-author.html%3Fspref%3Dtw

    marcie.turner@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have had this one on my Amazon wishlist since I saw it and am so excited it has finally come out! Wonderful interview and I cannot wait to read the book!
    candc320@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh - I have been eyeing this book for a while! How cool would it be to win it!? Thanks so much for the contest! :)

    apereiraorama @ gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for the great giveaway!
    ldsmith1818@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Fabulous interview! I cannot WAIT to read this book! Thanks so much for the giveaway! :-)

    tiger_fan_1997 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Fantastic post! Please enter me.
    Laura
    laura.leahj@gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. This book looks really good! Thanks for the giveaway!


    taffy(dot)lovell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love historical fiction so this is a book I'd love to read.

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Just read Lady Macbeth and loved it. She is one of my fave fictional characters and I once got into an argument with Shakespeare prof over Lady MacBeth's psychologic strength. (cost me a grade) To read a book on her was so entertaining! I love novels that give a new slant on an old character. I would cherish this book.

    annfesATyahooDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  31. Just read Lady Macbeth and loved it. She is one of my fave fictional characters and I once got into an argument with Shakespeare prof over Lady MacBeth's psychologic strength. (cost me a grade) To read a book on her was so entertaining! I love novels that give a new slant on an old character. I would cherish this book.

    annfesATyahooDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  32. I tweeted this giveaway (@SoftFuzzySweatr)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Facebooked this giveaway (Anne Fescharek)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thank you for including me in the giveaway.

    tiredwkids at live dot com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    justpeachy36@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm such an idiot! I'm 'anonymous' from earlier. I accidentally submitted the form before I was finished with it. Please cancel that post and use this one!

    I blogged here,
    +1, I blogged, http://bit.ly/e7mxwI
    +1, another, http://bit.ly/fciqkq

    tradingaddress at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  37. No need to enter me. I think that is some very solid advice for aspiring writers.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thank you all so much for the lovely comments! And special thanks to Amy for such wonderful interview questions and for inviting me to Passages to the Past. Glad you all enjoyed the interview!

    And for those of you who loved LADY MACBETH, an extra thanks as well! How lovely that so many of you have been looking forward to the release of QUEEN HEREAFTER. Endless thanks and big smiles from the author. :)

    Good luck to all in the giveaway!

    ~ Susan Fraser King

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love books set in Scotland! Thank you for the great interview and the generous giveaway.

    Please count me it1
    Jules
    onebookshy at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I have been looking forward to the release of this book since seeing the cover several months ago. It certainly makes you want to know who this is and what she is doing. Margaret of Scotland is not an historical figure I am familiar with. She sounds like a fascinating woman. How fortunate for us that you sound such good historical accounts.
    Best of luck on the release of QUEEN HEREAFTER.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  41. I finally figured out how to use the little share button.
    I have shared it on Facebook (Patricia Barraclough).

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  42. Excellent interview -- definitely I'm putting this on my list! xo

    ReplyDelete
  43. I really want to read this one!

    cmdaphne(at)tds(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks for another excellent giveaway! :D

    +1 Sidebar: http://thebookpixie.blogspot.com/

    +1 Tweeted: http://twitter.com/thebookpixie/status/12751809814728704

    +1 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=176921455668469&id=695450277

    ~Briana
    thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  45. This sounds like an amazing book! Thanks for the chance to win :)

    +1 http://twitter.com/#!/TawniBookWorm/statuses/12754154728456192

    thebookwormsorg@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I would love to win a copy! And the interview was a great read as well. I just discovered your blog and am excited to go through the rest of your recommendations, it seems like we have very similar tastes in books.

    jmartinez0415 AT gmail DOT com

    Here's the link to the tweet I posted of your blog post as well:

    http://twitter.com/#!/crazylilcuban/status/12792748432171008

    ReplyDelete
  47. Great interview - great-looking book! Please enter me! JDQ1175@aol.com
    Let Them Read Books

    ReplyDelete
  48. I would love to read this book.

    choateorama(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  49. This sounds like a book I would really enjoy! Thank you for the giveaway!

    tweet
    http://twitter.com/CarolAnnM/status/13770037156388864

    mittens0831 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  50. This looks so good! And I *love* the cover :oD

    quarterback.girl[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  51. +1 tweeted: http://twitter.com/RivkaBelle/status/15160819423649792

    quarterback.girl[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I'd love to read this- thanks for the chance!
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  53. It sounds wonderful - count me in please :)
    bingomamanorma(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  54. I love historical novels. It would be a pleasure to read this book!
    elena.cacahuete(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  55. tweet:
    http://twitter.com/spelena/status/15508849381351424
    elena.cacahuete(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thanks so much - this one has such a beautiful cover.

    libneas[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  57. Tweet Tweet:
    http://twitter.com/#!/LibbysLibrary/status/15557549705142272

    libneas[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  58. Posted it:
    http://libslibrary.blogspot.com/2010/12/passages-to-past-interview-with-susan.html

    libneas[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  59. Lady MacBeth was a wonderful read. Now I can't wait for Margaret's story. Thanks for this opportunity.
    nigheandonn at yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  60. bmeagher@sympatico.caDecember 16, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    Oh to win......perchance to read!

    bmeagher@sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  61. I would absolutely love to win a copy of this one!

    bj19662001 (at) yahoo (dot) ca

    Thanks Amy!

    ReplyDelete
  62. would love to win this exciting book

    ReplyDelete
  63. Thanks for the giveaway! I've been really curious about this one because Margaret sounds so fascinating. I love Scottish history as well. I like that she's reading The Hunger Games. Very cool :)
    Thanks!

    Amanda
    libraryofmyown at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  64. Ohhh I'd love to win a free give a way!! WHat great books!!
    cosklynn@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  65. Ohhh I'd love to win a free give a way!! WHat great books!!
    cosklynn@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  66. Yes - please enter me in the contest!

    I also tweeted - http://twitter.com/kherbrand/status/15605842434854913

    kherbrand at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  67. posted on fb
    wiebers1989 at bellsouth dot net

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 

Passages to the Past
All rights reserved © 2013

Custom Blog Design by Blogger Boutique

Blogger Boutique