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.
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 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’,
‘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:
My Twitter handle and Matthew Wansford’s