Interview with Helen R. Davis & Giveaway

Hello Helen and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about The Most Happy & Evita, My Argentina!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your novels?

I am mostly an alternate history author, but I began my books with Eva Peron, which I did not do as an alternate history because I felt the lessons to be learned from her life were too important

What inspired you to write about these maligned women from history?

Precisely that fact. Many times these women were unfairly vilified by either those who had conquered their nations, such as Cleopatra, or were merely in the wrong place at the wrong time, such as Anne Boleyn. Evita I felt was very enigmatic and while I found that she had her detractors for a reason, I still admire her tenacity. Evita and Anne were both women that I feel while their virtues outweighed their vices, their neuroses outweighed their talents, to quote Gareth Russell about Anne Boleyn. That is, I also feel, true about Eva Peron.With Cleopatra, people forget she was fighting for Egypt and she was a queen regnant and as such, she was in charge of her nation. Unlike Anne Boleyn or Evita, Cleopatra had power and she used it to try to keep her people independent.

What type of research did you do for writing the novels?

I went down to Argentina to research Evita. There's only so much one can do from books and biographies. I interviewed people who had known Evita for this book, including a man who personally was helped by her Foundation. He cried at the mere mention of me asking about her and was delighted that I cared about her legacy. I spoke also to a tour guide whose family had moved to the middle class because of her. One of my colleagues in Argentina also presented the manuscript to someone who knew Eva and her husband and he was impressed. My only regret was not following up on that contact.

With Anne Boleyn, I've not yet been to England, so my research came from doing many biographies and non fiction histories, as well as some dramas. I was inspired by Anne of the Thousand Days, which, while not accurate in parts, is I feel still the best film about her, bar none.

Did you find anything in your research that was particularly fascinating or that helped shaped the novels?

I found Anne Boleyn resisted Henry a lot more than The Tudors or Phillipa Gregory would have us believe. Karen Lindsay, the author of Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A feminist reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII called Henry's pursuit of Anne sexual harassment. While I wouldn't go that far, Anne tried very hard to resist him. I also found she gave quite a bit to charity as queen and was far more conciliatory with Mary than popular history portrays it, although I do feel that was misguided on her part. Evita I found that she actually donated all her jewels, gowns and furs she was so maligned for to the poor at her death. Sadly, the governments succeeding her husband did not abide by her wishes.

What appeals to you most about Alternative History? Why did you choose to write in that genre?

What doesn't is a better question.

What was your favorite scene to write?

With Anne Boleyn, I so enjoyed the whole thing and was said it was over. But if I had to pick one scene, the scene where Anne shows Jane Grey and Elizabeth Mary Stafford's fate.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

Except for Evita's trip to Paris, I hated every second of writing that book. The research for it was more interesting.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

In high school.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

It had to have been my college professor who said I could not write to save my life. I was so hurt at the time I did not write anything other than school assignments for a year and a half. After I went to Argentina, my creative floodgates opened though, and I wrote the first draft of Evita.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Jean Plaidy.

What was the first historical novel you read?

Jean Plaidy's The Lady in the Tower.

What is the last historical novel you read?

The most recent one I read was Norah Lofts' Crown of Aloes about Queen Isabella.

What are three things people may not know about you?

1. I am a vintage video game fan and the old Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy games are my love

2. I love the French cartoon Barbapapa

3. I only use natural perfumes.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

Ancient Egypt, anything with France, the Queens of England

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

Swim, play video games, practice acting. You might say Evita inspired me to become an actress as well!

Lastly, what are you working on next?

My acting career and a sequel to Cleopatra Unconquered, called Cleopatra Victorious, and a children's book called Truth and Tell Travel the Solar System.

Sounds exciting! Thank you so much for spending time with us today!

Evita...My Argentina by Helen R. Davis

Publication Date: February 10, 2017
Custom Book Publications
eBook & Paperback; 228 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical

EVITA … My Argentina

Evita Perón tells her own spectacular story.

Tracing her life back to her humble beginnings, when she is abandoned by her father, Evita takes the reader on her journey to become an actress and later, to the pivotal moment when she meets Colonel Juan Perón. Never content to stay in her husband’s shadow, Evita reveals how she shares his belief that Peronism will help the working class. Eventually she begins doing work on her own as the president of the Society of Benevolence, helping the poor and winning the peoples’ trust.

As the times change and women get the vote, Evita becomes even more powerful, running the Ministries of Labor and Health, starting a foundation, and organizing the first female party, The Female Peronist Party.

A larger-than-life story, told in her own fictional words, the powerful novel is as educational as it is entertaining.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Most Happy by Helen R. Davis

Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Callipe Editorial

Genre: Alternative Historical Fiction

Anne Boleyn is known throughout the world as the beheaded wife of King Henry VIII, a woman for whom Henry discarded a Spanish princess and who was later discarded for the woman who gave Henry his longed-for son. Love her or hate her, it cannot be denied her romance with Henry VIII changed the course of English and European, and perhaps World History, forever.

This is a novel that imagines Anne Boleyn giving Henry a son and taking the reins of power as Regent of England when Henry VIII perishes in a jousting accident.

Told in the voice of the infamous Anne Boleyn, we are treated to the 16th century world that has recently become famous through programs such as The Tudors. We meet Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, and many of the personalities of the mid-16th century albeit in an altered setting.

How would this era and time, a pivotal one in Western Civilization, have changed if one of the movers and shakers of the period, Anne Boleyn, had not been struck down in her prime by the man who once adored her?


About the Author

Helen R. Davis is an American author. Her first novel, Evita: My Argentina was previously published as Evita: My Life and republished with Custom Book Publications in Hong Kong. Her second novel, CLEOPATRA UNCONQUERED, which is the first in a series, imagines a world in which Antony and Cleopatra, rather than Augustus Caesar, are the victors of the Battle of Actium. the sequel, CLEOPATRA VICTORIOUS, will be released soon, followed by the titles CLEOPATRA MAGNIFICA and CLEOPATRA TRIUMPHANT. Her third novel, or at least, her third historical novel/alternate history, THE MOST HAPPY, will be published with Callipe Editorial, based out of Madrid Spain, on July 25th, 2017.

For more information, please visit Helen Davis' website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 6
Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 7
Feature at Pass Me That Book (The Most Happy)

Thursday, August 9
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Friday, August 10
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective (Evita)

Monday, August 13
Review at Donna's Book Blog (The Most Happy)

Wednesday, August 15
Feature at Naomi Finley's Blog

Friday, August 17
Feature at Passages to the Past

Monday, August 20
Review at Pass Me That Book (Evita)

Wednesday, August 22
Review at Donna's Book Blog (Evita)

Friday, August 24
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away one paperback & one eBook of The Most Happy & one eBook of Evita! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Helen Davis - Most Happy & Evita

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