This book had me gripped from the beginning. The author has a true gift in making the characters in the book come to life, and therefore enabling me to feel empathy for them. When reading this book I was transported back through time to the 16th century and found it very hard to put down. All in all it is a very enjoyable, thought provoking book. I would recommend it to everyone as not only is it a good read, it is very informative of how it was to live in those days. Brilliant!!
- Amazon.co.uk Customer Review
Irene Watson, the Managing Editor of Reader Views, once asked me, just out of curiosity, how I find authors for my small publishing business, Copperhill Media, and it took a while to come up with the right answer. We don't advertise much. Still, we enjoy a constant stream of new authors, just enough to keep our small team busy. At the current rate we publish roughly between five and ten novels a year.
First, there is our "maverick" business model, which appeals to new writers who don't even contact traditional publishers or literary agents due to their reluctancy to accept authors with less than a Dan-Brown-Potential. Naturally, there are also writers who were rejected too many times. We, in turn, don't act like a traditional publisher. Neither are we a vanity publisher. We accept literature that meets our standards (a good writing style and a reasonable potential for sales), and we work with our authors to improve their works. We provide the ISBN and the distribution channels, and the author keeps the copyright.
My favorite story is that of Peter Carroll, a 77-year-young Englishman. Born in Barnet, England in July 1933 and with a standard education, he was called up into the RAF in 1951 and served five years as a medic. Since then, until his retirement, he has mainly been involved in accounting and running his own business with his son. Like a cat with nine lives he has survived an air crash, a lift fall and a serious aortic aneurysm and thanks his Karma faith for that. He now lives in beautiful Torbay in South Devon, has been married to his wife Daphne for 51 years and has two children and four grandchildren.
Peter Carroll is the author of Queen of Misfortune, the fictional story of Lady Jane Grey as told by her beloved tutor, John Aylmer. It follows John Aylmer’s close relationship with Jane as her tutor and later, as she grows up, her lover.
I had the distinct privilege, besides the author and his editor, to be the first to read Queen of Misfortune, and I have to admit I was not prepared for the deep emotions that came with reading Peter Carroll's novel. Not only is Carroll's excellent writing style absolutely captivating, but he also manages to convey with ease the intense feelings of love, joy, pain, and grief. As the sub-title ("Life is but a rehearsal for our everlasting love, my dear Lady Jane Grey") indicates, Queen of Misfortune is not merely a Lady Jane Grey Novel; it is a story of true and unconditional love with almost Shakespearean dimensions. "Romeo and Juliet" comes to mind.
It is quite incomprehensible why such an excellent work of writing has been rejected so many times. After having read Queen of Misfortune I wanted to publish it, and since our first contact in September of 2010, Queen of Misfortune is now available all over the world as hardcover, paperback, and the Amazon.Com Kindle Edition.
Now that “Queen of Misfortune” is available in the market, I felt inclined to learn more about Carroll's view on the subject and how he actually came to writing. Here are my questions and his answers:
The obvious question: What triggered the idea to Queen of Misfortune?
My cousin lives in Leicester, England and, knowing my interest in Tudor history, took my wife and I to see the ruins of Bradgate House where Lady Jane Grey, the nine day queen, was brought up. Immediately I felt a presence of mind there and going into the history of this poor girl I wanted to write about her, feeling that she had not had a fair deal on earth.
Why did you make the decision to write and how is writing life treating you?
I have always been interested in telling verbal stories, to my children, grandchildren and young people so felt it apt to put something into the written word. Now I am retired I am able to extend the vocation and it helps keep my mind alert (78 on the 1st July)
How long did it take to write Queen of Misfortune?
Three years researching and I guess seven years having rewritten it twice and added another chapter after advice I should give it some romance to help it sell, else it would only attract academics.
Where/how did you find the material for your research?
Starting in the visitors centre at Bradgate - the British museum for Jane’s letters, the Tower of London where she was sadly beheaded and of course the various websites.
How did your search for a publisher go?
I sent three chapters usually of my book to about seven publishers and all were rejected - often I almost came to the end of my tether looking for probable publishers who were interested in history and I also tried several literary agents. Then looking into the success of other writers I tried the US market and the rest is history. I found a publisher who believes in me.
How do you write, i.e. do you have a special place? Do you write at certain times? What motivates you to write?
I have a very quiet study and, when writing Queen of Misfortune, numerous pictures and photographs of my subject pinned to the wall.
I prefer to write in the morning when I feel my mind is more alert and concentrative , but hourly short exercise is important for me also. Images and ideas in the mind motivate me to write, it may sound odd but often I feel these are coming down to me and all I have to do is translate into the written word.
What's up next?
I have started writing excerpts for a new novel about the wicked John Dudley who lured Lady Jane to her demise and his involvement with Robert Kett and the Kett’s uprising in Norfolk.
But given the notion that this subject would not create much interest, although it would involve a lot of action I am tempted to write something quite different, something I started a couple of years ago based on a guy who talks to plants!
Well Doctor Doolittle spoke to animals didn't he!
Totally out of context: What's your view on Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich?
I am old enough to remember them well - my brother, John played drums for Gene Vincent for a while and Dave Dee was at the scene of the automobile accident that killed American rock star Eddie Cochran and injured Gene Vincent…
Bend it, bend it drew me to them
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.
A real catchy number heard on Radio FM
A group who had found their niche
The group formed in 1961 in fact
Originally called Dave Dee and the Bostons from Wiltshire, UK
There was something sprightly about their act
But Dave was always the king pin, the mainstay
They were part of the new sixties sound
When England swung like a pendulum do
It was all magic and their numbers played all around
Like the Beatles, the Animals, Lulu to name but a few
For me, although sadly Dave has passed on
Their music remains in the mind
Save me, Hold Tight and the legend of Xanadu
They were all special, five of a kind.