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Raleigh: Tudor Adventurer

Tony Riches illuminates the life of one of Queen Elizabeth I's favorites

Today I welcome British novelist Tony Riches to the blog, to celebrate the release of his fabulous new novel Raleigh: Tudor Adventurer. Tony has a gift for bringing to life the historic figures who played key roles in Elizabeth I’s court. With this new release, he has created a captivating portrait of one of the Queen’s favorites, Sir Walter Raleigh.

Tudor adventurer, courtier, explorer and poet, Sir Walter Raleigh has been called the last true Elizabethan.

He didn’t dance or joust, didn’t come from a noble family, or marry into one. So how did an impoverished law student become a favorite of the queen, and Captain of the Guard?

The story which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy follows Walter Raleigh from his first days at the Elizabethan Court to the end of the Tudor dynasty.

AM: Welcome, Tony!

TR: Thank you for inviting me to your blog Amy.

AM: What’s the tagline or ‘elevator pitch’ for your book?

TR: The true story which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy follows Walter Raleigh from his arrival at the Elizabethan Court to the final days of the Tudor dynasty.

AM: How did you come up with the idea for your book?

TR: Raleigh – Tudor Adventurer is the third book in my Elizabethan series, which portrays different facets of the enigmatic Queen Elizabeth I through the eyes of three of her favourites:

AM: What inspired you to write about that particular era or character?

TR: I was born in Pembroke, birthplace of Henry Tudor, and decided to tell the true story of the Tudor Dynasty, from Owen Tudor’s first meeting with Queen Catherine of Valois to the death of Queen Elizabeth I.  I’ve always been intrigued by Raleigh, who has been called the last true Elizabethan.

AM: How did you create a realistic setting for your story?

TR: I have spent many years researching life in Elizabethan England, and have access to a treasure trove of original letters and court records. I also visit many of the locations in my books to gain a sense of the atmosphere and geography, including Youghal in Ireland, and Raleigh’s house at Sherborne Castle in Dorset.

AM: What surprised you in the course of your research?

TR: Most of the things I was taught about Walter Raleigh at school proved to be wrong. Raleigh is credited with introducing the potato and tobacco to Britain, but I’ve seen no evidence for either, although he certainly promoted both. Even the story of Raleigh laying down his cloak down for the queen to walk in a ‘plashy place’ at Greenwich is also questionable. First recorded by Thomas Fuller, (born twenty years after the event), the story, in ‘Worthies of England’, was not published until 1662.

AM: Do your research findings guide the plot, or do you plan out the plot first and flesh it out with research?

TR: I follow a timeline based on detailed research, then develop the plot to bring the story to life. Readers have told me they like to learn about the Tudors from my books, so I feel a responsibility to be as accurate and authentic as possible.

AM: What is your usual writing routine?

TR: I like to start early – and sometimes wake with entire passages of dialogue in my head! I treated myself to an oak writing desk, but usually write on my MacBook Pro. I write a book a year, researching locations and sources through the summer months, writing through the autumn and winter, and editing in the spring.

AM: Do you have any tips for other writers about historical fiction research?

TR: Track down primary sources where you can, as even the best historians have a point of view which can influence their interpretation. I particularly like to find letters written by my characters, which can offer invaluable insights, invaluable details – and a sense of their ‘voice’.

AM: Do you prefer to write in silence or with background music? If music, what kind and why?

TR: I often write with music playing in the background, and have loads of playlists for different moods. During my Elizabethan series I like to listen to Agnus Dei from Mass for five voices, by William Byrd, which you can find on YouTube here:

AM: What do you have planned for your next writing project?

TR: I’ve started researching three books on ladies of the Elizabethan Court, which makes a change after writing about three men. As well as having a privileged ‘insider’ view of the queen and her world, they are less well known, so make good subjects.

AM: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

TR: A keen motorcyclist, I have a Ducati Scrambler, a Triumph Thunderbird, and a vintage Norton Commando which I ride when the sun shines. I also enjoy sailing and kayaking around the Pembrokeshire coast and rivers.

Where to buy the book

Available on #KindleUnlimited.

Universal Link:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:

More about Tony

Tony Riches is a full-time UK author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the lives of the Tudors. He also runs the popular Stories of the Tudors’ podcast, and posts book reviews, author interviews and guest posts at his blog, The Writing Desk. For more information about Tony’s books please visit his website and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches

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  1. The Coffee Pot Book Club says:

    Thank you so much for hosting the blog tour for Raleigh – Tudor Adventurer.
    All the best,
    Mary Anne
    The Coffee Pot Book Club

    1. Amy Maroney says:

      It was my pleasure, Mary Anne!

  2. Julie Cassin says:

    Intrigued enough to read these and look forward to the triology about the women!!!

    1. Amy Maroney says:

      Fantastic — you’ll enjoy Tony’s books!

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