Interview with Tony Riches & Giveaway of Brandon-Tudor Knight

Happy Monday, dear readers! Today on the blog I am super excited to be hosting the lovely Tony Riches, author of Brandon-Tudor Knight!

I recently reviewed Brandon-Tudor Knight and you can check it out here.

I hope you enjoy the interview. Be sure to enter our giveaway for a copy of the book!

Hello Tony and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Brandon-Tudor Knight!

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

Hi Amy and thank you for the invitation. I’m an historical novelist from Pembroke, birthplace of Henry Tudor, which is why I was inspired to raise awareness of the story of how he became King of England. I’m pleased to say that as well as my resulting Tudor trilogy becoming an international best seller, a group of us were able to raise funding for a life-sized statue of Henry in front of Pembroke Castle.

What inspired you to write Brandon - Tudor Knight?

As a ‘sequel’ to the Tudor trilogy I decided to write about Henry’s daughter Mary Tudor, who became Queen of France. On the 3rd March 1515 Princess Mary, then the widow of King Louis XII, secretly married Charles Brandon, against the wishes of her brother King Henry VIII. As a writer, I enjoyed telling the same story as it would have been seen from Brandon’s point of view – and continued after Mary’s death to include Brandon’s surprising marriage to his fourteen-year-old ward, Katherine Willoughby.

Did you find anything else surprising in your research on Charles Brandon?

The most surprising fact about Charles Brandon is that he is the one person who remained close friends with King Henry VIII – through everything that happened. After his death, Henry VIII is recorded as saying that in all their long friendship Charles Brandon had never knowingly betrayed a friend or taken advantage of an enemy, and asked his council, ‘Is there any of you who can say as much?’

It was pretty brazen for Charles to marry King Henry VIII’s sister Mary without the King’s knowledge or permission. What actions did Henry take upon learning of their marriage?

He could have had Brandon thrown in the Tower – but showed his great mercy by demanding all his sister Mary’s jewels (many of which were rightfully the Crown jewels of France) and fining them both so much that Brandon was never able to pay him back.

You’ve written a lot about the Tudors. What began your fascination with them? Do you have a favorite Tudor?

Jasper Tudor showed amazing dedication to seeing Henry VII safely onto the throne, but my current favourite is Katherine Willoughby. The daughter of Maria de Salinas, who arrived from Spain with Queen Catherine of Aragon, (and named after her) Katherine is the subject of my current work in progress. What makes her special is she lived through the reigns of no less than eight Tudor queens, (nine if you count poor Lady Jane Grey) and two kings!

What was your favorite scene to write?

I enjoyed writing about the unlikely Tudor victory at the Battle of Bosworth – and was able to get a glimpse of what it might have been like by visiting Bosworth on the anniversary weekend, (where over 1000 re-enactors fought it out again for me.)

What was the most difficult scene to write?

Any scenes of childbirth. I was present at the birth of both my children, but have to rely on my wife to help me convey what it might have been like. (Last week I struggled to do justice to Queen Jane Seymour’s horrific three-day delivery of Prince Edward!)

What does your daily writing routine look like?

I aim to write a book a year, doing my research in the autumn, writing through the winter and sending my first draft for editing by the summer (when I like to go sailing and take long holidays). I wake early (sometimes with pages of dialogue in my head) and write a minimum of 500 words a day. I treated myself to an oak writing desk, where I thought I would work, but find I can work anywhere on my MacBook Pro.

Who are your writing inspirations?

I read a great deal, but if pushed would have to say C.J. Sansom and Hilary Mantel have really inspired me. I had already written three chapters of OWEN when I read Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall – and re-wrote it all in her first person present tense, which was quite a challenge.

What was the last historical novel you read?

I’ve just finished reading Bring up The Bodies, by Hilary Mantel. I loved the evocative TV adaptation but hadn’t read the original, which I’m happy to recommend to anyone interested in the Tudors.

What are three things people may not know about you?

I served in the Royal Air Force for fourteen years, enjoy restoring my classic yacht and met my wife when we were both in a group called ‘Black Knight’.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I try my best to ensure historical accuracy in all my books, (the truth is often more amazing than anything I can make up) but where we’ll never know what happened, I like using historical fiction to ‘fill in the gaps’ and bring the story to life.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

My current work in progress, Katherine – Tudor Duchess, takes me up to the coronation of Elizabeth I, so I’m planning an ‘Elizabethan Series’ which will explore Elizabeth’s life through the eyes of several of her most famous courtiers.

Yessssss!!! You had me at Elizabethan :) Thank you so much for spending time with us today!

Brandon - Tudor Knight by Tony Riches

Publication Date: December 3, 2018
Preseli Press

Genre: Historical/Tudor/Biographical

From the author of the international bestselling Tudor Trilogy comes a true story of adventure, courtly love and chivalric loyalty.

Handsome, charismatic and a champion jouster, Sir Charles Brandon is the epitome of a Tudor Knight. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Brandon has a secret. He has fallen in love with Henry’s sister, Mary Tudor, the beautiful widowed Queen of France, and risks everything to marry her without the King’s consent.

Brandon becomes Duke of Suffolk, but his loyalty is tested fighting Henry’s wars in France. Mary’s public support for Queen Catherine of Aragon brings Brandon into dangerous conflict with the ambitious Boleyn family and the king’s new right-hand man, Thomas Cromwell.

Torn between duty to his family and loyalty to the king, Brandon faces an impossible decision: can he accept Anne Boleyn as his new queen?

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Tony Riches is a full-time writer and lives with his wife in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. After several successful non-fiction books, Tony turned to novel writing and wrote ‘Queen Sacrifice’, set in 10th century Wales, followed by ‘The Shell’, a thriller set in present-day Kenya. A specialist in the history of the early Tudors, he is best known for his Tudor Trilogy. Tony’s other international bestsellers include ‘Warwick ~ The Man Behind the Wars of the Roses’ and ‘The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham’.
For more information please visit Tony’s website and his blog The Writing Desk. He can also be found on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, February 28
Review at Passages to the Past

Friday, March 1
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, March 4
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, March 5
Review at Donna's Book Blog

Wednesday, March 6
Guest Post at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Thursday, March 7
Feature at T's Stuff

Friday, March 8
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, March 11
Guest Post at On the Tudor Trail

Tuesday, March 12
Review at Hisdoryan
Feature at To Read, Or Not to Read

Wednesday, March 13
Review at For the Sake of Good Taste

Thursday, March 14
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, March 15
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at A Darn Good Read

Sunday, March 17
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, March 18
Review at Maiden of the Pages
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Tuesday, March 19
Review at The Tudor Enthusiast
Review at Just One More Chapter


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Brandon-Tudor Knight! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Brandon Tudor Knight

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