‘The Order of the White Boar’

Welcome! To all new members of the Order!

The group of friends who have sworn lifelong loyalty – to each other and to their good lord, King Richard III.

Read about their adventures in The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man (out 26 May 2018). The paperback and ebook can be ordered from Amazon at myBook.to/WhiteBoar and mybook.to/TheKingsMan, from Blurb at http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/8167813-the-order-of-the-white-boar and http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/8770224-the-king-s-man or by contacting AlexMarchant84@gmail.com.

The Order of the White Boar follows the adventures of Matthew Wansford, 12-year-old page to Duke Richard of Gloucester, at Middleham Castle and in Westminster, from the summer of 1482. The King’s Man picks up the story in the spring of 1483, as the Year of the Three Kings unfolds . . .

 

Order Of The White Boar_3d-book            The book on white background

And don’t forget, if you and/or your young people enjoy the book, please leave a review on Amazon, GoodReads or elsewhere – thank you!

 

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Fab review of ‘The King’s Man’ posted by Richard III Society

I was delighted to see the following post yesterday on the Facebook page of the Richard III Society: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=4653844354632351&id=114452911904874

 BOOK REVIEW

This week, in our latest Friday book review, we have our first fiction book – with many thanks to Brianna McPherson for sending her review in.

The King’s Man by Alex Marchant

The King’s Man continues the story of Matthew, a young once-Pageboy to Duke Richard, now of necessity turned merchant’s apprentice in London. As in the first novel, we, the readers, see events play out from Matthew’s point of view – which becomes particularly interesting once he is no longer in Duke Richard’s (later King Richard’s) service: it means that apart from the events he manages to witness firsthand, Matt receives all his information secondhand – and, in turn, so do we. At first I found this quite disappointing – devastating, even – but as the story unfolded, I noticed how clever and wise a move it was.

On the one hand, I wish we’d gotten to remain close beside Richard, Anne, and little Ed throughout the book and see every minuscule detail of their goings-on, and see all their actions and responses as events occurred. On the other hand, so much of what went on, and what the family experienced as a result, is unknown or uncertain: upon reflection, it was a good idea to keep the readers at something of a distance by keeping Matt at a distance. Those tumultuous days were so confusing, and Matt’s experience reflects that very well. Many authors invent and speculate rather than remain silent, which is all well and good – so too does Marchant in places – but there are times for sticking to what is known beyond reasonable doubt, and leaving the ambiguous ambiguous. Marchant does some of both, and uses good discernment just when to do which.

Where certain or near-certain facts were available, they were employed superbly. Where they were not available, the reader either, like Matt, is left to puzzle over what was true (as so many folk were in those days) or was treated to one of the possible scenarios. I was shocked (afterwards very pleasantly so) that Marchant dared to put forth a possible scenario regarding the brothers in the Tower, Edward and Richard. Funny, so many authors will speculate wildly on this or that regarding Richard personally or the situation in general – but often are afraid to touch on the boys themselves, remaining silent about what happened, and allowing them simply to disappear from the story altogether whilst the adults argue “whodunnit.” But something happened to them, and Marchant had the backbone to take a guess at what that something may have been. The scenario put forward in The King’s Man warms my heart, for lack of a better expression. I do like to think that King Richard had a plan of protection in place for his nephews, whether or not it worked. It has also caused me to begin wildly speculating already – shall we be hearing more from little Richard of York in the future? Or will it be left unknown?

In sum, I couldn’t be more pleased and amazed. This book brought laughter, tears (mostly tears, I admit), and a wonderful story that I devoured in just over a day.

I look forward to finding out what adventures the next installment holds.

My thanks to Brianna for writing and submitting this fantastic review, and to the Society for spotlighting it.

Alex Marchant is author of two books telling the story of the real King Richard III for children aged 10+, The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man, and editor of Grant Me the Carving of My Name and Right Trusty and Well Beloved…, two anthologies of short fiction inspired by the king, sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK). A third book in the ‘White Boar’ sequence, King in Waiting, will be published in 2021, as will Alex’s forthcoming timeslip novel Time out of Time.

Alex’s books can be found on Amazon at:

myBook.to/WhiteBoar

mybook.to/TheKingsMan

mybook.to/WhiteBoarBooks1-2

mybook.to/GrantMetheCarving

mybook.to/RightTrusty

My Facebook author page 

My Twitter handle  and Matthew Wansford’s

Instagram: AlexMarchantAuthor

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Launch Day for ‘The Order of the White Boar, Books 1 and 2’ – a story of the real King Richard III

Today is a big day. Not only, as some of you may know, is today, 26 March, the sixth anniversary of the reburial of King Richard III’s mortal remains, following their rediscovery in 2012 after years of work by the Looking for Richard Project. But also, to commemorate that momentous day, it is the launch day for a complete edition of my novel about King Richard – The Order of the White Boar.

Cover by Ellie of Book Visuals
The Looking for Richard project team:,, L-R Dr David and Wendy Johnson, Philippa Langley and Dr John Ashdown-Hill (Annette Carson not pictured)

It was a little more than eight years ago, on the day that it was announced to an eagerly waiting world that King Richard’s grave had been rediscovered under that car park in Leicester, that The Order of the White Boar was born. It took just over two years to complete the first draft, then another two years to publish the first of what had in the meantime become two books. (The second, The King’s Man, was published eight months later.)

The original covers…

The details of why one book became two can be found in an earlier blog post (‘Is it “The End”?’). Suffice to say, it wasn’t a difficult decision to restore it to a single book, after it became clear that so many adults enjoyed it in addition to the intended younger readership, with reviewers saying things like

‘A brilliant read for adults and children alike’,

and 

‘Extremely well researched, well-told and well-written, with enough depth to appeal just as much to older readers too’,

I was also delighted with the inclusion of both books on the recommended reading list of the Richard III Society education website –  WarsoftheRoses.com.

So I took that decision, commissioned a fabulous new cover that hopefully appeals to adults (just like Bloomsbury did for J.K. Rowling, see ‘An announcement…’) and prepared the books for publication.

Shortly before that, I took part in the Historical Writers Forum Advent Jolabokaflod Blog Hop (see ‘The End – Part 2‘), a book-giving fest during which I offered a snippet from the forthcoming third White Boar book, King in Waiting, together with a free download of the first book. If you took advantage of that offer (which very many of you did!), you may want to follow it up with a paperback copy of The Order of the White Boar together with its sequel! Then you can read them both straight off…

I’m delighted that Ellie of Book Visuals, who created the cover depicting King Richard about to ride into battle, has joined me for a question and answer about her work and inspiration (see ‘Q&A with Ellie’).

I’m also happy to remind you that The Order of the White Boar, Books 1 and 2 will be officially launched at a Facebook virtual event this Sunday, 28 March, between 4 and 6 pm (BST). I’ll be joined by fellow historical fiction authors J.P. Reedman, Maryann Benbow and Jennifer C. Wilson for two hours of chat about our books and works in progress, together with competitions and giveaways. I hope you’ll be able to join us at https://www.facebook.com/events/434559574492584

Alex Marchant is author of two books telling the story of the real King Richard III for children aged 10+, The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man, and editor of Grant Me the Carving of My Name and Right Trusty and Well Beloved…, two anthologies of short fiction inspired by the king, sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK). A third book in the ‘White Boar’ sequence, King in Waiting, will be published in 2021, as will Alex’s forthcoming timeslip novel Time out of Time.

Alex’s books can be found on Amazon at:

myBook.to/WhiteBoar

mybook.to/TheKingsMan

mybook.to/WhiteBoarBooks1-2

mybook.to/GrantMetheCarving

mybook.to/RightTrusty

My Facebook author page 

My Twitter handle  and Matthew Wansford’s

Instagram: AlexMarchantAuthor

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A Q&A with Ellie from Book Visuals, cover designer of ‘The Order of the White Boar, Books 1 and 2’

On the eve of the publication of the complete edition of The Order of the White Boar, Books 1 and 2, I’m delighted to welcome on to my blog Ellie, from Book Visuals, the designer of my fantastic new cover.

The new cover for Books 1 and 2

Ellie has been kind enough to satisfy my curiosity about her work and inspiration by answering a few questions for me. I hope you’ll find them as interesting as I did.

As ever, it’s best to start at the beginning…

Alex: Hello, Ellie – thank you for joining us today. Can you tell me a little about your background and how you got in to book cover design?

Ellie: I have always loved looking at book covers and trying to figure out how they were made. Last year, I started designing images on Canva, which started terribly, but practice makes perfect, and they slowly improved. After a while, I realized I had hit a dead end with Canva and moved on to Photoshop, where I am constantly learning how to do new things. I have always been surrounded by books and, while you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, I find that I am much more likely to pick up a book that has a nice cover than one that doesn’t. I want to be able to help authors in their quest to have a cover that someone will want to pick up.

Alex: What are your favourite covers and illustrators? Who or what has inspired your work?

Ellie: I don’t have a favourite illustrator, but I love covers that have particularly pretty colours and nature involved. I must say, it was the cover for The Other Cipher (Soli Hansen Mysteries, Book 2) by Heidi Eljarbo that has most inspired my work, and indeed was one of the reasons I started book cover designing. 

The Other Cipher (Soli Hansen Mysteries Book 2) eBook: Eljarbo, Heidi:  Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Alex: That is a particularly evocative design, for a rather different genre from mine! Which genres do you particularly like designing for – and reading yourself? Which would you prefer to avoid – in terms of designing and/or reading?

Ellie: My favourite covers to design are Young Adult and Romance covers. I am not a fan of designing Horror covers. I find it much easier to make a cover inviting and pretty than horrific! I like reading practically anything, especially young adult books and thrillers. I don’t have a book genre that I don’t like reading, but that said, I am not the biggest fan of books that drag on, or that have pages upon pages of description.

Alex: What author (dead or alive) or book would you most like to design a cover for?

Ellie: There are quite a few authors that I would love to design covers for, and they are all authors that I love reading. I would love to create a cover for a Nicholas Sparks book. I have several of his books on my shelf, and the covers have inspired some of my own.

Alex: Away from books specifically, do you have any favourite artists? What most draws you to their work?

Ellie: I have always loved the Impressionists and their artwork. When I was younger, I did a school project on them and their work, and I became obsessed with Monet. I even had one of his paintings hung up in my room (not a real one, though!) Recently, I have loved watching videos of people painting with watercolours and Bob Ross tutorials. I like these in particular because every piece of art starts simply and builds until it is a masterpiece. Sadly, I am a travesty with a paintbrush.

Claude Monet - Wikipedia
‘Impression, Sunrise’ in the Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris, which gave the Impressionists their name. The name was originally derogatory – which is rather difficult to believe now!

Alex: During the pandemic, some writers haven’t been able to write, others can’t stop writing. Many readers are experiencing similar things. Has lockdown helped or hindered you in your work – or indeed your reading?

Ellie: I created Book Visuals, my book cover design business, in lockdown, so it has definitely been a time that has helped my work. Likewise, I have done more reading in lockdown than I did the year before. With restrictions on what is open and where I can go, sitting down with a book or my computer to design a cover has given me something to do. 

Book copy.png
The Book Visuals logo

Alex: Talking of lockdown, this question can be particularly pertinent for creative people (literally as well as figuratively). Do you have a room of your own?

Ellie: I have a room that I work in, which has a desk, a bookcase and far too many house plants. I go there when I have work to do or when I design covers. Sometimes I do some writing, but lately I haven’t been doing this as much. Having a room to shut myself away in has been very helpful during lockdown, as it puts me in a work mindset and helps me get more done.

Alex: Apart from visiting/hugging family and friends, what’s top of your list for where to go/what to do once lockdown ends?

Ellie: My family has always been the kind of family to visit every single historical site possible, and some of them I’ve been to so many times I could walk around them blindfolded. Before lockdown, I will admit, I didn’t enjoy these outings that much and would have preferred to stay at home watching a movie or reading. However, during lockdown I haven’t been to any of these places, and I am secretly missing them. As soon as it is possible, I would love to go to one and spend the whole day there. Oh, and to a restaurant, so I don’t have to wash up after eating!

Many thanks, Ellie, for spending time with us today. I’m sure she’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the cover she’s designed for The Order of the White Boar, Books 1 and 2, if you’d like to leave any comments below. Or do come along to the launch event on Sunday if you can and discuss this striking cover there, along with chatting to several guest authors, and taking part in competitions and giveaways (at https://www.facebook.com/events/434559574492584).

Ellie and Book Visuals can be found at:

https://www.bookvisuals.com/

Book copy.png

and on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BookVisuals

Alex Marchant is author of two books telling the story of the real King Richard III for children aged 10+, The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man, and editor of Grant Me the Carving of My Name and Right Trusty and Well Beloved…, two anthologies of short fiction inspired by the king, sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK). A third book in the ‘White Boar’ sequence, King in Waiting, will be published in 2021, as will Alex’s forthcoming timeslip novel Time out of Time.

Alex’s books can be found on Amazon at:

myBook.to/WhiteBoar

mybook.to/TheKingsMan

mybook.to/WhiteBoarBooks1-2

mybook.to/GrantMetheCarving

mybook.to/RightTrusty

My Facebook author page 

My Twitter handle  and Matthew Wansford’s

Instagram: AlexMarchantAuthor

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Final Line-Up for Launch Party for ‘The Order of the White Boar, Books 1 and 2’

Our final line-up of guest authors for the launch of The Order of the White Boar, Books 1 and 2 is now in place.

I’m delighted to announce that Jennifer C. Wilson, author of the Kindred Spirits books and The Last Plantagenet?, will also be joining us on Sunday 28th March between 4 and 6 pm UK time (don’t forget, the clocks go forward the night before, so the time will be BST…)

The Last Plantagenet?: A ‘giddily romantic’ time-slip tale in the court of King Richard III by [Jennifer C. Wilson, Ocelot Press]

So, together with J.P. Reedman and Maryann Benbow, we have a stellar cast of Ricardian authors!

We’re all very much looking forward to seeing you there! 😀🐗📚👑

https://www.facebook.com/events/434559574492584

Alex Marchant is author of two books telling the story of the real King Richard III for children aged 10+, The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man, and editor of Grant Me the Carving of My Name and Right Trusty and Well Beloved…, two anthologies of short fiction inspired by the king, sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK). A third book in the ‘White Boar’ sequence, King in Waiting, will be published in 2021.

Alex’s books can be found on Amazon at:

myBook.to/WhiteBoar

mybook.to/TheKingsMan

mybook.to/WhiteBoarBooks1-2

mybook.to/GrantMetheCarving

mybook.to/RightTrusty

My Facebook author page 

My Twitter handle  and Matthew Wansford’s

Instagram: AlexMarchantAuthor

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Launch Party for ‘The Order of the White Boar, Books 1 and 2’

I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be hosting a little launch party on Facebook for the publication of The Order of the White Boar, Books 1 and 2

Between 4 and 6 pm UK time on Sunday 28th March, I’ll be joined by several guest authors for chat, competitions and giveaways – all to do with our good King Richard III and our various works in progress.

The event can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/events/434559574492584

Why not come along and join us?

Alex Marchant is author of two books telling the story of the real King Richard III for children aged 10+, The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man, and editor of Grant Me the Carving of My Name and Right Trusty and Well Beloved…, two anthologies of short fiction inspired by the king, sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK). A third book in the ‘White Boar’ sequence, King in Waiting, will be published in 2021.

Alex’s books can be found on Amazon at:

myBook.to/WhiteBoar

mybook.to/TheKingsMan

mybook.to/WhiteBoarBooks1-2

mybook.to/GrantMetheCarving

mybook.to/RightTrusty

My Facebook author page 

My Twitter handle  and Matthew Wansford’s

Instagram: AlexMarchantAuthor

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17175168.Alex_Marchant

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‘The Order of the White Boar’ – two bestselling books in one! #CoverReveal!

Further to yesterday’s post (‘An announcement … is on its way…’), I’m delighted to announce that the first two books of my ‘Order of the White Boar’ sequence, telling the story of the real King Richard III, are now available in a single volume.

From today, the ebook of the full story of Richard’s life from 1482, The Order of the White Boar, Books 1 and 2, is available for pre-order from Amazon at the following links (publication date 26 March 2021). The paperback version of the two-books-in-one will also be available on 26 March at the same place:

mybook.to/WhiteBoarBooks1-2

I’m also delighted to present its fabulous cover for the first time – designed by the wonderful (and very patient!) Ellie of Book Visuals.

I’m certain that any one, of any age – 10 or 110, or any number in between – would be happy to be seen reading a book with this cover! So if anyone you know was hesitant to read King Richard’s story as told by Matthew Wansford because ‘it’s for kids’, send them in the direction of this new version – and the reviews of the original version that say, for example:

‘I bought this book for my teenage nephew, but could not resist a sneaky peek … I was hooked … A perfect book choice for children and adults alike.’

‘Despite being a book for children, it is so wonderfully written that it is suitable for adult readers too.’

‘Originally bought it for my son but just couldn’t resist reading it as well. While this is certainly aimed at younger readers, it’s a lot of fun for the grown-ups as well.’

‘I enjoyed every minute. This is a book that can be enjoyed by all ages.’

‘A brilliant read for adults and children alike.’ 

‘Although this is written for middle grade children, I still thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult and as someone who knows this time period well.’

‘Extremely well researched, well-told and well-written historical fiction from and for the younger point of view, with enough depth to appeal just as much to older readers too. Full of angst, action and tension.’

‘A thoroughly enjoyable read. I’d recommend it to historical fiction fans young and old… I read this and the sequel back to back.’

That last reviewer would have found it even easier to read both books back to back if they’d been able to order it via:

mybook.to/WhiteBoarBooks1-2

Glad to be of service!

Loyaulte me lie!

Alex Marchant is author of two books telling the story of the real King Richard III for children aged 10+, The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man, and editor of Grant Me the Carving of My Name and Right Trusty and Well Beloved…, two anthologies of short fiction inspired by the king, sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK). A third book in the ‘White Boar’ sequence, King in Waiting, will be published in 2021.

Alex’s books can be found on Amazon at:

myBook.to/WhiteBoar

mybook.to/TheKingsMan

mybook.to/WhiteBoarBooks1-2

mybook.to/GrantMetheCarving

mybook.to/RightTrusty

My Facebook author page 

My Twitter handle  and Matthew Wansford’s

Instagram: AlexMarchantAuthor

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17175168.Alex_Marchant

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An announcement! … is on its way…

I feel like I’ve been somewhat quiet again of late. There have been various reasons for that – some good, one or two less so.

Once again, the UK is in lockdown owing to the pandemic. I suspect I’m not alone in having found the events of the past year difficult in many ways. Often my escape has been to flee to the fifteenth century – or at least my version of it, which it has to be said, is somewhat less complex than the present day. Writing the third book in the White Boar sequence, King in Waiting, and travelling in my mind to its various locations, allowed me to forget the dreaded covid for hours at a time.

P1040516
Somewhere in England…

As mentioned in a previous blog post (‘The End – Part II‘), I wrote those momentous words for that book in early December. I still had some work to do on the manuscript before I could send it out to readers for critique. Imagine my discomfort, if you can, when a couple of days later I started to cough, and then lost my sense of smell…

I was immensely lucky. My brush with covid was very mild and I’ve experienced no ongoing effects [I’m touching wood here]. In fact, I spent the final days of my quarantine in splendid isolation, with nothing to distract me from putting those finishing touches to my manuscript. It’s now safely with readers, while I sit here awaiting their verdicts and preparing for the next round of work on the book in advance of publication later this year.

But as before, when I finished the first draft of The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man, I have felt somewhat bereft. I miss these characters I’ve spent so much of the past two years with – especially while out on those solitary walks on the windswept moor (solitary, that is, apart from my new loyal hound, Gunner). I miss wrestling with stubborn plot points and hearing Matthew’s thoughts, and Alys’s ripostes, and Roger…, well, just Roger…

No photo description available.
My loyal, not-so-royal hound

So, what next? I’m sure some authors go straight to the next book idea and get on with it, putting this (half-)finished one behind them until it’s time to start work on it again. I did before – working on a new draft of Time out of Time, a book I’d finished a few years before. I didn’t finish that draft then before I returned to Matthew and friends. I could get back to it now. But I know it’s going to take a few months to knock it into shape – and before that, I’ll be called back to Matthew’s side to finalize ‘King in Waiting’ for the printer.

What could I do instead? I needed a small project, one that wouldn’t sweep me off into the sunset with fascinating new characters and an exciting new premise that would make me reluctant to force myself back to the drudgery of editing and preparing ‘King in Waiting’ for publication. And at that point, a small idea I’d had wormed its way back into my mind.

Back in the autumn, I donated a copy of The Order to an online auction for the UK charity Children in Need, the Children in Read auction. To my surprise, rather than it appearing in the ‘children’s fiction’ category, alongside such as J.K. Rowling, Anne Fine and Cressida Cowell (I like to hobnob when I can!), it was placed in the ‘historical fiction’ one. Admittedly, there it hobnobbed alongside such authors as Bernard Cornwell and Maggie O’Farrell, but it made me think.

The books are aimed squarely at children and I have a twelve-year-old in mind as I write. But since their publication, I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of adults of all ages who have come up to me at events and told me how much they enjoyed them. Or who have written reviews saying that they read the books before giving them to young relations. It was a very pleasant surprise as I had no idea they would appeal so widely.

When Bloomsbury Publishing realized adults were enjoying the Harry Potter books as much as children, they decided to re-release them all in new, adult-friendly covers – so that adults wouldn’t be embarrassed if seen reading a children’s book in public. (A topic I covered in a previous blog post – ‘Books for children?‘)

Media of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
The 2015 adult edition

Well, what’s good enough for J.K Rowling is good enough for me! But in addition, my two books were originally written as a single continuous story (as detailed in ‘Is it “The End”?‘), which proved, at 130,000 words, to be too long for the target readership: usually ten to twelve year olds are seen as reading books no more than 60,000-80,000 words long. So it seemed the perfect opportunity to reunite the two books in a single volume – for an adult readership perfectly capable of reading a book that long…

The upshot it that I’ve spent the past few weeks preparing a new book for publication – but only ‘new’ in a sense. The Order of the White Boar, Books 1 and 2 together, with a lovely new cover, will be available for pre-order as an ebook in the next few days. The paperback will be available, all being well, on the publication date of 26 March. (Some of you may spot the reason for picking that date.)

So – that announcement? Tomorrow, Sunday 28 February, I’ll be doing the cover reveal. And maybe the link for the ebook pre-order will also be available then for you to share with friends and family who may not have been keen to read the ‘children’s version’ of the books! 😉 

Watch this space!

Alex Marchant is author of two books telling the story of the real King Richard III for children aged 10+, The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man, and editor of Grant Me the Carving of My Name and Right Trusty and Well Beloved…, two anthologies of short fiction inspired by the king, sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK). A third book in the ‘White Boar’ sequence, King in Waiting, will be published in 2021.

Alex’s books can be found on Amazon at:

myBook.to/WhiteBoar

mybook.to/TheKingsMan

mybook.to/GrantMetheCarving

mybook.to/RightTrusty

My Facebook author page 

My Twitter handle  and Matthew Wansford’s

Instagram: AlexMarchantAuthor

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17175168.Alex_Marchant

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A new translation of Mancini’s ‘De Occupatione’ by Annette Carson

As you may (or may not) be aware, one of the few still-existing contemporary sources for the events of the summer of 1483, so important in the story of King Richard III, is the manuscript by Dominic Mancini entitled De Occupatione Regni Anglie per Riccardum Tercium (‘The Occupation of the Throne of England by Richard III’).

Generally viewed as the only ‘eye-witness’ account of the events, it was only discovered in the 1930s and translated at the time by C.A.J. Armstrong, under the perhaps somewhat less than unbiased title ‘The Usurpation of Richard III’! Many people have questioned whether the original translation was as impartial as it should have been – or whether it was coloured by the ‘traditional history’ of Richard as propagated over the centuries in service of the Tudor dynasty’s preferred story. I myself used it with caution in research before writing the relevant sections of The King’s Man.

For some years, Annette Carson, member of the Looking for Richard Project team, and others argued that a new translation was necessary. And now, in the absence of anyone else taking the task on, Annette herself is about to publish a new translation – available from Monday 22 February via Amazon.

As Annette says, the new translation offers: ‘A thoroughgoing analysis of where Mancini derived his attitudes and information, where his knowledge was sadly deficient, his uncritical acceptance of what he was told, and some of the myths perpetuated by his ignorance. (And that’s only the Introduction 🙂.)’

Huge thanks are owed to Annette for taking on this task!

May be an image of 1 person and smiling
Annette Carson

Full details of Annette’s work can be found at

https://www.annettecarson.co.uk/357052362

And her author page can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/Annette-Carson/e/B00MC73V7S/

Alex Marchant is author of two books telling the story of the real King Richard III for children aged 10+, The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man, and editor of Grant Me the Carving of My Name and Right Trusty and Well Beloved…, two anthologies of short fiction inspired by the king, sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK). A third book in the ‘White Boar’ sequence, King in Waiting, will be published in 2021.

Alex’s books can be found on Amazon at:

myBook.to/WhiteBoar

mybook.to/TheKingsMan

mybook.to/GrantMetheCarving

mybook.to/RightTrusty

My Facebook author page 

My Twitter handle  and Matthew Wansford’s

Instagram: AlexMarchantAuthor

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17175168.Alex_Marchant

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“The End – Part II” – and a Special #Giveaway and Excerpt from “King in Waiting” for the Jolabokaflod Blog Hop!

Are there any two words that make an author happier (apart perhaps from ‘royalty payment’ or ‘publishing contract’) than ‘The End’? At least when written, at last, on the very final page of the first draft of their latest book?

A couple of weeks ago, while still wondering what to write for my contribution to this month’s Historical Writers Forum Advent Blog Hop, I wrote another blog post, celebrating five years since I wrote those special words for The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man (see ‘Five Years Ago Today … Is it the End?‘). On that occasion, the end seemed to arrive very suddenly, though it had taken me two and a half years to reach that point. Yesterday the moment was long anticipated – and in fact, it was rather later than I had planned, owing to certain unexpected ‘obstacles’ in the final days…

But yes, again after more than two long years of preparation and writing, I have finally written those two magic words at the end of ‘King in Waiting’, the working title of the third book in the White Boar sequence. And, once again, I’ve sealed the fates of certain characters who have become old friends. It’s an emotional time on many levels.

It will, of course, be some time before the book is published. But, in the meantime, I have a little something to offer those of you who may have been waiting (patiently or less so!) for the book to appear – as well as for anyone reading this who may not yet have met Master Matthew Wansford and his friends in the time of the Wars of the Roses.

The Giveaway!

To fit in with the theme of Jolabokaflod – the wonderful Icelandic tradition of giving books as gifts on Christmas Eve – which is also the theme of the Historical Writers Forum Advent Blog Hop, I will be giving away FREE ebooks of The Order of the White Boar via Amazon for the next two days (Friday 4th and Saturday 5th December) – and, if your appetite is whetted by that, its sequel, The King’s Man, will also be discounted on an Amazon Countdown deal for the following week (5th to 12th December, priced from 99p/99c).

If you prefer a paperback, or wish to give copies as gifts yourself (maybe in children’s stockings – they are primarily children’s books after all!), both paperbacks will be available at a discount throughout December too.

For all the offers, go to: myBook.to/WhiteBoar & mybook.to/TheKingsMan – or contact me direct for signed copies!

The Teaser!

But in addition to free and cheaper books, I thought I’d offer a small taster of the ‘King in Waiting’ to tide you over, and maybe as a little teaser…

A location from ‘King in Waiting’

I had thought to offer an excerpt suitable to the coming Yuletide festivities as I did last year (see: christmases-with-richard-plantagenet-1482-1485/), but a snippet from slightly earlier in the narrative seemed more appropriate. So here we have a journey in the early part of December, in which we meet again Matthew, late page to King Richard III, but now companion to another member of the Plantagenet family, and one or two of his friends whom you may (or may not) know…

Excerpt from ‘King in Waiting’…

It was a day of relative tranquillity as we sailed south within sight of the high stone walls and wave-dashed bastions of Calais – the literal calm before the storm. And when it came, it was a storm so immense that not a single man or woman or beast aboard escaped its dire effects. Those of us with no jobs to do could at least lie quiet in our bunks, our eyes closed against the surging and tossing of the timber walls and decks about us, where every object not tied up or lashed down was thrown about at each buffet of the wind, and no one had the heart or mind or stomach to chase about to secure it again.

Yet the sailors still had their tasks to perform, however their insides might churn or their heads roil with the gargantuan swell of the sea. I dared not dwell on how any could climb the rigging or furl the heavy canvas sails, or perform any of the other jobs required of them through those terrible, chaotic, storm-filled days.

In my delirium and nausea I lost count of the days and nights that passed before I saw anything or anyone beyond the four walls of the cabin, let alone glimpsed the sickly glow of the thundery sky or breathed the fresh salt air upon the deck. But at long last, one afternoon, the heaving of the world around me lessened, and I hauled myself up the narrow ladder and scrambled through the now-opened hatch, and stood once again upon the freshly scrubbed deck.

High above, black tatters of clouds scudded across the lowering sky and rain lashed at my still-feverish face. The storm whipped at the ship still, but it was clear the worst was past. About me, sailors, soaked through and blue-edged with the cold of the winter late afternoon, nodded to me as they went about their work. Their pinched faces told of their recent hardships with no need for words. It would be some time before snatches of song were the background to their tasks again.

Hours later, brands blazed against the black of the night sky and the gale no longer tore at the sails. Roasting meat spat and crisped above the coals of braziers close to the main mast, and the rich aroma brought the water springing in my mouth and the rumbles of hunger deep in my insides for the first time in what seemed a lifetime. Crew and passengers drew together to cluster about the approaching dinner, the murmur of conversation and scraps of laughter erupted again at last, and once-pale features and drained eyes reflected the colours and glints of the flames. The lilting notes of a sailor’s pipe drifted across the growing gathering, and for the first time in many months, I wished that I had my old lute to hand. After the trauma of past days, it would have been fitting to offer up a song of thanks for our final deliverance.

It was only when the trenchers of succulent mutton had been passed out, and my teeth had torn wolfishly at my first food for some days, that Alys at last emerged from the captain’s quarters. She had been the honoured guest there, with her maid, since our first evening aboard. The captain, who had taken instead a hammock alongside his men, greeted her courteously and led her through the parting waves of his sailors to warm herself by a brazier. Her smile when her eyes alighted on me was slow and wan, not the usual quick flash, and her cheeks were pale and thin.

I collected another hard biscuit and slab of roasted flesh from the sailor tending the nearest fire – himself a boy younger than I, with huge dark eyes in his wasted face – and made my way across to where she stood, hunched beneath her thick fur mantle. She murmured her thanks as I passed her the steaming food, and then again when I returned from a brief search, bearing an empty barrel for her to use as a stool.

“How are you, Alys? I’ve not seen you since the storm began.”

“I’ve felt better,” she said, as she perched on her makeshift seat, something of her normal manner returning. It would perhaps be a while before her colour did, for all she was now tearing at the meat as I had a few minutes before. She swallowed a mouthful or two before raising her eyes to me again. “It’s good to be out of that foetid cabin at last. Not that I was not grateful to be in there, with only two of us to think of. How is Edward? And Lord Francis?”

“Well enough, I thank you,” came his lordship’s voice from the darkness behind her. His tall, lean figure emerged into the pool of light cast by the nearest brand. Beyond him, two smaller shapes, also swathed in cloaks, were making their way back towards our cabin. They were trailed by a sailor bearing a tray of meat and wooden cups from which pale plumes streamed into the night-time breeze. I recognized the two Burgundians as they dipped down beneath the deck. I turned back towards the fire, and caught Lord Francis watching me.

“Edward, however, is not so well,” he said. Then he raised his hand as I moved to leave. “No, do not go to him, Matthew. Stay and rest a while. He is but a little melancholy again. The sea sickness and foul air and lack of food have taken their toll. Their excellencies are taking him meat and drink, and I’m sure that will help.”

He squatted down by the brazier and rubbed his hands towards its glow as the captain bustled up with a hunk of roast mutton for him and cups of mulled ale for us all. As we supped and ate and supped again, and the voices of two or three sailors joined the pipe in a wistful song, Lord Francis spoke again.

“I think we must all be watchful in the days and weeks to come. Our young king in waiting is steadfast in his aim, but when adversity strikes… well, it may be that his confidence can be shaken. If he remains determined to pursue the throne, then we must do our utmost to help him steer the right course – or he may lead us all into dangerous waters.”

The Offer

The Order of the White Boar ebook is free for two days, The King’s Man is priced from 99p/99c for one week, and both paperbacks are on discount throughout December.

And don’t forget to sign up to my blog to get advanced warning of when ‘King is Waiting’ will be published!

Happy Yuletide!

And don’t forget

The Jolabokaflod Historical Writers Forum Advent Blog Hop will be continuing right up until Christmas Eve, with a gift with every post. The rest of the Hop is as follows:

Dec 3rd Sharon Bennett ConnollyDec 5th Cathie DunnDec 6th Jennifer C WilsonDec 8th Danielle AppleDec 9th Angela RigleyDec 10th Christine HancockDec 12th Janet WertmanDec 13th Vanessa CouchmanDec 14th Sue BarnardDec 15th Wendy J DunnDec 16th Margaret SkeaDec 17th Nancy JardineDec 18th Tim HodkinsonDec 19th Salina BakerDec 20th Paula LoftingDec 21st Nicky MoxeyDec 22nd Samantha WilcoxsonDec 23rd Jen Black24th Lynn Bryant

Alex Marchant is author of two books telling the story of the real King Richard III for children aged 10+, The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man, and editor of Grant Me the Carving of My Name and Right Trusty and Well Beloved…, two anthologies of short fiction inspired by the king, sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK). A third book in the ‘White Boar’ sequence, King in Waiting, will be published in 2021.

Alex’s books can be found on Amazon at:

myBook.to/WhiteBoar

mybook.to/TheKingsMan

mybook.to/GrantMetheCarving

mybook.to/RightTrusty

My Facebook author page 

My Twitter handle  and Matthew Wansford’s

Instagram: AlexMarchantAuthor

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17175168.Alex_Marchant

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Jolabokaflod – the Christmas Giveaway

And… we’re off!
Here’s the first blog post with fantastic giveaway from Sharon Bennett Connolly – why not head off to her blog to read an excerpt and see what you can win?
The full line up for the blog hop can be found at: https://paulaloftinghistoricalnovelist.wordpress.com/historical-writers-blog-hops/

Dec 4th Alex Marchant; Dec 5th Cathie Dunn; Dec 6th Jennifer C Wilson; Dec 8th Danielle Apple; Dec 9th Angela Rigley; Dec 10th Christine Hancock; Dec 12th Janet Wertman; Dec 13th Vanessa Couchman; Dec 14th Sue Barnard; Dec 15th Wendy J Dunn; Dec 16th Margaret Skea; Dec 17th Nancy Jardine; Dec 18th Tim Hodkinson; Dec 19th Salina Baker; Dec 20th Paula Lofting; Dec 21st Nicky Moxey; Dec 22nd Samantha Wilcoxson; Dec 23rd Jen Black; 24th Lynn Bryant

History... the interesting bits!

It is my pleasure to be the one to kick of the Historical Writers’ Forum Christmas Advent Blog Hop. And what better way to celebrate the end of 2020 with a book giveaway or special offer for practically every day of advent – so be sure to follow the blog hop through our Facebook page.

You could be a winner!

This year we are celebrating with Jolabokaflod as our Christmas blog hop theme! If you are not familiar with Jolabokaflod, it is the wonderful Icelandic tradition of giving books as gifts on Christmas Eve – except we are doing it for Advent.

And my contribution to Jolabokaflod is a signed paperback copy of my first book, Heroines of the Medieval World – either for yourself or as a gift for a friend or loved one – the dedication is entirely up to you!

Heroines of the Medieval World…

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