KENT HOLLOWAY ONLINE
The Top Shelf Interview
Let Me Introduce You To...
Candace C. Bowen...
As many of you know, I'm the founder and managing editor of Seven Realms Publishing (http://www.sevenrealmspublishing.com/). When we first started 7R, my former business partner and I decided to specialize in seven distinct genres. One of those genres was "Romance". It was my former business partner's favorite genre after all and I left that aspect of the company completely up to her. So, as we received submission after submission from hopeful romance writers, she was the one in charge of reading them. And I have to tell you, I was definitely getting discouraged. One after another, I heard nothing from my partner but complaints. "This story isn't very interesting." "This one is just written horribly." Or "Arrgh! Why can't I find just one GOOD romance submission?!"
Then, one day, we received a query from Candace Bowen Early describing a very original and fresh story idea involving a deaf girl caught up in political intrigue in the Middle Ages. Now, I'll be honest with you...my former partner hates history. With a passion. The only thing she hated worse than history was historical romance. It's true. She did. So when she came into the office one day after receiving Candace's submission...her eyes bright and smile beaming...I knew something was up. She had read the first three chapters of "A KNIGHT OF SILENCE" and couldn't wait to read the rest. Well, if my partner wanted to actually read more of an historical romance, I knew there had to be something very special about this book. So we did. And we couldn't have been happier.
We promptly contracted Candace and she became the first romance novel Seven Realms was set to publish. The book, honestly, is like stepping back in time...seeing the dark, gritty world of the medieval era in high def. The speech patterns are very authentic. The social makeup historically accurate. It's just an extremely detailed and highly researched book. Plus...let's not forget the most important part...the romance! Now, it's no secret that I'm just not a fan of romance. But I know many of my readers are....and I'm going to tell you right now, A Knight of Silence has it all! A forbidden love. Steamy sex scenes. Knights in shining armor coming to the rescue of a damsel in distress. And it's all done with such style and grace.
Here's the book cover description for A KNIGHT OF SILENCE:
In a battle between love and loyalty, a knight with a painful past is forced to take sides...
Nineteen year old Reina of Kenwick knows a lot about adversity. Deaf from a childhood illness, she is about to be banished to a convent by her cold and distant father.
Baron Fulke of Erlegh has a tragic past. Throwing himself into a life of battle and debauchery, Fulke is removed from the field and commanded to take a bride.
King Henry I. is a changed man since losing his only son and heir in the White Ship sinking. Intent to name his only daughter, Matilda, the first Queen of England, he seeks advantage over powerful opposition. Discovering Reina's unique ability to lip-read, Henry separates the two lovers and coerces Reina to spy for the crown under threat of harm to Fulke.
Fulke and his courageous band of knights enact a plan that will free Reina from the king's grip or cause all of them to be executed for treason in...
A Knight of Silence.
And here is praise for the book for you to consider!
"A medieval masterpiece. It is fortunate that scientists have not discovered Candace Bowen Early yet, for surely she has mastered the art of time travel with her vivid glimpses of life and romance in the Middle Ages. Her accurate portrayals will find you ducking at the sound of steel clashing behind you, or make your palm feel the wool of a tunic on your chest. Bravo to this author!" - Maureen A. Miller, author of the Golden Heart-nominated Widow's Tale.
"A Brilliant Historical Love Story. Beautifully Written, Astonishing and Complex. A Knight of Silence is one of those books you won't forget. A page turner to the final kiss." - Barbara Silkstone,author of The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters.
"A KNIGHT OF SILENCE is both an epic tale of history and a romantic love story." - Virginia Henley, Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Author of sixteen romantic novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Seduced and Desired and the national bestseller A Woman of Passion.
Recently, I had a chance to talk to Candace about her writing, what she has in store for the future, and other things on her mind. Here's what she had to say:
1) What was the inspiration for A KNIGHT OF SILENCE? How did the book come about?
Unlike most authors, I can pinpoint the exact date my writing career began. On March 17, 2008, I watched deaf Actress and Oscar winner Marlee Matlin’s amazing performance on Dancing with the Stars. I realized out of the hundreds of romance novels I have read over the years, not one of them featured a deaf heroine. Inspired, I sat down and worked out a rough outline to the story that would become A Knight of Silence.
2) Your book is very authentic in historical context...from clothing to speech patterns to architecture. Do you have a background in history? What is it about history that you enjoy so much? How much research did you have to do to get all those little details just right?
From an early age, I have been fascinated by Europe’s past. If there was a book pertaining to medieval England or Wales, chances are I read it. While most of my friends in high school were hitting the beach over spring break, I was fortunate enough to explore castles in Europe. Even with all the reading I have done, I found myself filling binders of research as A Knight of Silence progressed in order to get every detail as precise as possible.
3) When did you decide to pursue your writing more seriously? What has the journey in writing been like for you?
The moment I felt confident enough to let my mom read A Knight of Silence was the moment I realized I wanted to pursue a future in writing. It has been a surreal experience to have my first and second attempt at writing published.
4) What authors/movies/TV series are your biggest influences when you write? Who would you say your books more closely resemble in theme, style, etc.?
I would have to say romance authors Kathleen Woodiwiss and Judith McNaught have been my two greatest influences when it comes to writing. To this day, The Wolf and the Dove by Ms. Woodiwiss remains my all time favorite novel.
5) What other projects do you have coming up? Can you tell us a little bit about what we have to look forward to?
I recently contracted my second novel Spur of the Moment with Rhemalda Publishing for a spring 2012 release date. Being a twenty-first to twelfth century paranormal time travel romance, I stepped away from historical fiction, but managed to slip in a few fun twelfth century facts along the way.
My third novel, Jack of Hearts takes place in Victorian England. In a new take on the infamous murders, Jack the Ripper takes on the wrong woman in the form of Mary Kelly's sister.
Currently, I am working on Wicked Embers the sequel to Spur of the Moment. I also have a novel in the works surrounding the daring exploits of Irish buccaneer Grace O’Malley in The Pirate’s Gem.
6) Besides writing, what do you like to do for fun? What are your hobbies and interests?
As mother to a very active six year-old son, my life outside of writing revolves around him.
7) If you could give only one piece of advice to aspiring authors out there, what would it be?
My best advice would be to believe in yourself and never give up.