A Conversation with Kate Emerson, author of SECRETS OF THE TUDOR COURT: BETWEEN TWO QUEENS 1. When Nan first came to your attention as a historical figure in The Lisle Letters, as mentioned in your Author Note, did you immediately begin to imagine the arc of her story line for this novel? What was your process for developing the fictional version of this woman from the historical references?
The plot of Between Two Queens
was inspired by a combination of things. I’ve written a number of historical mysteries and novels of historical romantic suspense, so I’m always on the lookout for a good, real-life conspiracy/spy story. I’ve also written biographies, so the stories of interesting women tend to appeal to me. That said, I didn’t immediately fix on Nan as the protagonist. Her mother is the central character in The Lisle Letters
and Nan’s youngest sister Mary is the one with the most romantic story. But Nan, in addition to being at court and having caught the king’s attention in real life, also had more interesting gaps in what is known about her. In developing a fictional character from a real woman, I try to answer all the questions that aren’t answered in the historical record. Was Nan the king’s mistress? Did he really consider marrying her? If so, why didn’t he marry her? What happened in Nan’s life between the events recorded in