Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Guest Post with W.H. Doyle - Tudor Rose

Photo Content from W.H. Doyle

Author Bill Doyle was born in Michigan, and wrote his first mystery at the age of eight. He has gone on to write critically acclaimed and bestselling children's books, including stories of real-life war heroes in "Behind Enemy Lines: True Stories of Amazing Courage"; the pick-your-own-adventure "Worst Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure: Everest"; the historical fiction mystery series Crime Through Time; the Henry & Keats series including "Attack of the Shark-Headed Zombie"; the Scream Team series about Bad News Bears-type monsters playing sports; and soon-to-be released series "The Prizewinners of Piedmont Place."

Additionally, Bill has served as editor at Sesame Workshop, TIME for Kids and SI Kids. He's written for LeapFrog, Weekly Reader, Rolling Stone, Comedy Central, National Geographic Kids, and the American Museum of Natural History. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the film school at New York University where he was taught by the likes of Arthur Miller and David Mamet.

Bill lives with two dachshund-headed canines in New York City, and you can visit him online at

Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 - 9
Series: Tudor Rose
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: Month9Books (April 9, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1946700673

W.H. Doyle has been writing best-selling books for younger readers with major publishers under the name Bill Doyle. His has written for Rolling Stone, edited several magazines, created interactive experiences for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and developed critically-acclaimed digital storybooks. He lives in New York City.

Oh! This “deleted scene” request dredges up some tricky memories for me…and I love it. The scene below was the original start of TUDOR ROSE. In it, I begin with the POV of a supporting character, Aunt Clemence, and then after a transitional space, I switch to the POV of one of the three main characters, Sybille. I thought it’d be kind of cool to have a more universal view of the world coming from one of the side characters…a way of getting across exposition in a less obvious way. But my editor at Month9Books convinced me that early head-hopping in a book isn’t clarifying, it’s dizzying. She was 100 percent right. I recast the scene—and the entire chapter—as being from the POV of the main-est of my main characters, Rose…and it’s so much better. 

“If ever there’s a perfect day for a purity examination,” Aunt Clemence thought cheerily, “it would have to be today.”

The sun was making its first appearance in weeks, the orchards were dotted with the bright colors of autumn, and the violent storms of the past month appeared banished from their little corner of England. Aunt Clemence knew she’d been right to turn her niece’s examination into a banquet of sorts. What a spectacular day to show off her London connections—and her position as the town’s most powerful widow!

Then again, she realized, the weather didn’t much matter. The citizens of Gordonsrod would brave a typhoon for free wine—even if it was the cheapest she could buy. And the thirsty townsfolk didn’t disappoint. Forty strong, they flocked to her one-story house in their Church-going best, squeezing around her parlor table where servants had strewn week-old sweetmeats and pigeon pies. 

As the guests mingled and laughed and drank, Aunt Clemence decided she was probably the wittiest creature alive, flitting about the room like the most clever of girls. True, she was fifty and required a cane to walk and support her immense weight. But she was sure no one noticed that—or the canker that had sprouted on her lip. Her neighbors were certainly too busy jealously admiring her as she hobnobbed with London aristocracy.

Yes, if you asked Aunt Clemence the day really was going perfectly.

Of course, if you asked her niece Sybille Maydestone, the girl who’d soon be prodded to determine the status of her virginity, you’d get a very different answer.

In 16th-century England, two teenage best friends find themselves on an exciting journey from the country to the Queen’s court in the hope of being named ladies-in-waiting. But Sybille and Rose soon discover they aren’t the only girls who have their sights set on attending Her Majesty. The girls must compete against worldly and cunning opponents, among them mean-girl Avis and her entourage of back-stabbing co-horts, tipping the balance in their already-tenuous friendship.

Soon, the grand hall is more like the hallway of a prestigious finishing school, with girls fighting for the attention of a dashing, young earl, amid parties fueled by drinking and indiscriminate relations. As the tension between Sybille and Avis heats up, the focus on Rose wanes, allowing her to turn her attention to more important matters – like getting close enough to the Queen to learn her secrets.

But being close to the Queen is not without its challenges. And when rumors of Rose’s influence make their way around the castle, no one, not even the Queen, will be safe.

You can purchase Tudor Rose at the following Retailers:

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