October 8, 2015
Hello amazing readers and welcome to our Tour Stop for
Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius
presented by Simon & Schuster Canada!
We are so excited to have Dawn on the blog today with a quick Q&A!
In this wonderfully creative retelling of the infamous—and torrid—love affair between Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, history collides with the present when a sizzling romance ignites in a modern-day high school.
Henry Tudor’s life has been mapped out since the day he was born: student body president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning political career just like his father’s. But ever since the death of his brother, the pressure for Henry to be perfect has doubled. And now he’s trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any girl who isn’t Tudor-approved.
Then Anne Boleyn crashes into his life.
Wild, brash, and outspoken, Anne is everything Henry isn’t allowed to be—or want. But soon Anne is all he can think about. His mother, his friends, and even his girlfriend warn him away, but his desire for Anne consumes him.
Henry is willing to do anything to be with her, but once they’re together, will their romance destroy them both?
Inspired by the true story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, Anne & Henry beautifully reimagines the intensity, love, and betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time.
Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!
Thank you for taking part in the tour, MaryAnn. I love your blog! (The banner image is stunning.)
Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)
Inspired by Tudor history, ANNE & HENRY reimagines the intensity, love & betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time. (YA)
What was your inspiration for writing this book? Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?
This book actually began as a development project initiated by literary agents Mandy Hubbard and Bree Ogden. I “auditioned” without knowing anything about the concept, and won the chance to write ANNE & HENRY, as well as full representation from Mandy Hubbard—my dream agent! When I learned about the details of the project, I was thrilled, because my childhood is peppered with memories of my stepfather literally gushing about Anne Boleyn. By the time I finished researching the book, I had fallen in love with her as well. I’m really lucky because even though Mandy and Bree gave me a loose outline, I had full creative license with the plot and characterization. ANNE & HENRY is definitely a book of my heart.
Tell us about the main character(s).
One of the things that resonated for me about Anne Boleyn’s real life character was her courage to be true to herself in the face of so much dissent. She was not well liked for many reasons—and yet, that didn’t stop her from achieving her goals. I loved that “take no crap” attitude that bled from the pages of the history books and it was important for me to capture that. Obviously, high school is ripe with cliques, and in a town like Medina—where money is King, and friendships began on the playground—Anne’s differences really stand out. She doesn’t have a hope of fitting in. It’s more than the fact that she rides a motorcycle and bucks the rules. And yet, she’s had to develop a thick skin. Beneath that, she has a soft, vulnerable side that sometimes pushes her to make bad choices.
Henry. Sigh. Poor guy. The real Henry was a bit of a player (I mean, let’s face it, most people remember him for having five wives and numerous mistresses) but he also had a bit of a bad rap….at least in the beginning. At the start of his reign, he wasn’t really “ruling” but rather following everyone else’s rules—such as being forced to marry his dead brother’s widow. He was driven by lust and unfortunately, perceived as weak by…almost everyone. I know those aren’t great traits for a young adult “hero”, but it wouldn’t have made sense for me to leave those qualities out of my version of Henry. Hopefully, readers still sympathize with his plight…at least until he becomes a true cad. (It broke my heart to turn him…)
Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?
I had such fun writing this book, that several of the chapters are memorable for one reason or another. But perhaps my favorite is the poker scene for a couple of reasons. #1 — I love the emotional interaction between Anne and Henry. They’re coming to some realizations that factor into the next few scenes, and it was fun to see the shift in their characters. #2 — I had very limited knowledge of how to play Texas Hold Em, and my husband spent about three nights playing hand after hand with me to teach me the language / technique. Gambling was something the real Anne and Henry enjoyed, so it was fun to modernize that. Plus, I actually won a few hands against my husband!
Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing? If so, why?
The end. Pretty much everyone knows how the real story ended, but ANNE & HENRY isn’t a thriller and so I had to get really creative. I struggled for almost the entire book, not knowing HOW I would end it. But once I figured it out, I had so much fun writing that scene.
What sort of projects do you have going on right now. Any new books coming out?
I am really excited about my September 2016 YA from Simon Pulse. It’s called OVERDRIVE and is an edgy heist / mystery set in Las Vegas. This book is truly a culmination of some of my favorite things and I can’t WAIT to share it.
It was great having you on the blog today! We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success!!
Thank you so much, MaryAnn. I had a lot of fun answering your great questions!