Friday, June 01, 2012

Blog Tour, Author Interview: Brandy Purdy (and Giveaway, too!)

I am pleased to welcome Brandy Purdy, who wrote The Queen's Pleasure to Always With a Book.  You can read my review of her book here.

About the author: Brandy Purdy (Emily Purdy in the UK) is the author of the historical novels The Confession of Piers Gaveston, The Boleyn Wife (The Tudor Wife), The Tudor Throne (Mary & Elizabeth), and The Queen's Pleasure (A Court Affair). An ardent book lover since early childhood, she first became interested in history at the age of nine or ten years old when she read a book of ghost stories which contained a chapter about Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London.

For more information on Brandy Purdy and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE or her BLOG. You can also find her on FACEBOOK.

Also, be sure to check out all the other stops on the blog tour and follow the tour on Twitter (hashtag: 


What inspired you to write this book?
When I was a little girl, about nine or ten years old, I read a book of unsolved mysteries and there was a chapter on the mysterious death of Amy Robsart. I was fascinated by the story and, having already become enthralled by the Tudor saga after reading a chapter on the ghost of Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London in a book of ghost stories, every time I came across a new book about the Tudors I would always flip to the index and see if there was anything about Amy. I was disappointed to discover how little was actually known about her. Even in fiction she seemed a nonentity, or overshadowed by the more glamorous Elizabeth. It was like she only mattered because of how she died and the inconvenience it caused her husband and the Queen. I think I always knew I would write, it's always been there, like an instinctive part of me, and even at that young age I wanted to give this woman back the voice that had been lost to time and history. And I said to myself if I ever became a writer, this was a book I had to write; it just seemed important to me.

What gets you started on a new book?
A combination of the pressure of having a deadline looming ahead of me and a story or a life I want to explore, the challenge of trying to bring something different or special to it.

As a child, did you ever dream that you would be a published author? As a child did you like to read and write and if so, what were your favorite books?
Books have always been the only constant in my life. I've always found it difficult to find people I fit with, and as a result I've always been very lonely from early childhood to the present day, so I've always read a great deal, but I only dabbled in writing. I have always read anything that grabs my attention, on a variety of subjects, all kinds of fiction and non-fiction. I remember reading Gone With the Wind for the first time when I was ten and falling in love with historical fiction, though it was already my favorite movie (I'm crazy for classic movies) and it's still one of my favorite books too. I also love Green Darkness by Anya Seton, Karleen Koen's Through A Glass Darkly, and David Stenn's biography of my favorite actress Jean Harlow.

What's your writing routine? Do you write every day or just when the mood strikes?
Since I've been under contract with Kensington I've had to try to become more disciplined, but that's easier said than done. I normally can't write during the day because there are just too many distractions, especially since I live with a very difficult and cantankerous elderly father, so I usually read, do research and take notes, work on my blog or take care of any correspondence or promotion, or go out, do errands, and just try to live during the day. I usually start writing around 9:00 or 10:00 pm and I go until my eyes give out, I hit a snag, or just want to stop and do something else instead, and sometimes the mood just isn't there and I don't like to try to force it - when I do, I just end up deleting whatever I've written later. I'm guilty of taking time off to do something else probably more often than I should, usually to watch a movie or read. And if I start reading a good book during the day, I often find it very difficult to put it down when it's time for me to concentrate on my own book. I have to have music when I write, though what it is depends on my mood or the kind of scene I'm writing, or a familiar movie; if it's something I've never seen I get distracted and don't get any writing done. I've had tinnitus all my life as far as I can remember, and if it's too quiet I become very aware of the ringing in my ears. And I have to have a drink beside me. I hate coffee but I love the Swiss Miss hot chocolate with the caffeine added, and I seem to always be nursing a cup of that while I write, the more times I have to reheat it because it gets cold on me, the better the book is progressing. I also have a rule that I don't sit and stare at the screen; if I don't start typing again within about three minutes, I get up, move around, check my email, have a snack, play with my cat Tabby, or do a few word search puzzles (I'm addicted to them, I can't pass a magazine rack without stopping and buying them) and somehow, somewhere in my mind the wheels keep turning and it may be five minutes later or sixty but I always go back to the keyboard and start typing again, unless I decide to call it a night, then as soon as I lay down and try to sleep whatever had me stuck comes clear and I have to either make myself get up, turn the computer back on, or reach for the notebook I keep by my bed and write it down and hope its legible enough for me to read tomorrow.

What are you reading right now?
Sadly nothing, right now I am in the final stages of my current book and I'm trying as hard as I can to minimize distractions and keep myself focused. But I have been reading John Jakes' North and South Trilogy off and on, a chapter here and there as time permits. I'm halfway through volume two and keep it in my purse in case I'm out somewhere and find I need to wait so I will have something to do. Before that I read a true crime book called Starvation Heights by Gregg Olsen, White as Snow, a dark retelling of Snow White by Tanith Lee, and Devil Water by Anya Seton.

Are you currently working on another book?
Yes, I'm finishing up a novel about the Grey Sisters told from the viewpoint of the youngest sister, Mary Grey.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Do it because you love it, because it's part of you, and don't listen to anyone who tries to spoil it or take it away from you. The first agent who ever read my work told me I had no talent, but I realized, as I've often said before, books are like candy - not everyone likes the same flavors - so I kept trying, and gambled on myself when no one else would. 

Thank you to Brandy for taking the time to answer these questions.

Giveaway Information:

Thanks to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours I have one copy of The Queen's Pleasure to give away to my readers.  Giveaway is open to US only.

To enter please leave a comment below and include your email address (only comments with email addresses will be entered in the giveaway). 

- +3 additional entries become a follower of Always With a Book. If you are already a follower you will automatically receive the bonus entries (just leave the name you follow under). 

- +1 additional entry each, please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting or posting this giveaway on Facebook. 
All entries can be in one comment.

Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!




  1. I cannot wait to read this book! Thanks for having the giveaway!

    lafra86 at gmail dot com
    "Queen of the Knots"
    Lara Frame

  2. I would love to win this. Thank you
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

    I am a follower

    thank you

  3. It's always nice to see a new book from such an accomplished author. Thanks for making it available to win!

    I follow this blog by email: carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

    I Tweeted this blog post:

  4. Thank you for the chance to win this book.

    I tweeted -

    I facebooked -!/angela.holland.359/posts/239943239449251

    I blogged -

    I am a new follower - gfc - griperang

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

  5. Would love to read this book.I am twitter follower. Will tweet. At

  6. I really love your flavor of books! And the hot chocolate too. I enjoyed the interview and and very interested in "The Queen's Pleasure".


  7. I follow under Carol N Wong (GFC).


  8. I posted on Facebook:


  9. I love hearing that Brandy has been thinking about this unsolved mystery since she was a girl.

  10. Thank you for a good interview.
    Thanks for having this great giveaway.
    :)Jeanne B.T.

  11. GFC follower @Jeanne
    :)Jeanne B.T.

  12. I would love to win this book!

    +3 I follow via gfc - mamabunny13

    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  13. This sounds like a great work of historical fiction. thanks for the chance

    GFC: Twisty J

  14. This book looks so good! I love historical fiction.

    GFC: Beth DeRenzis

  15. This book sounds great!

    Existing follower! Maria pronounced Mariah

    Thank you!
    mmafsmith at gmail dot com

  16. I can't wait to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. I am a GFC follower (Colleen Turner).


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