New title and cover design for my book


My editor and his team decided that a different title and cover design would appeal more to readers browsing in a book shop. It’s a strange thing letting go of your title, as I spent a long time deciding what the collection should be called, but I do like the one they selected. It comes from the Anne of Denmark poem:


I didn’t choose Anne Boleyn for the cover but it feels inevitable, as if it had to be her! I have been interested in Anne Boleyn since I read about her at school and then devoured every history book I could find about Henry VIII and his six wives. That soon extended into all other periods of history. If I went to anyone’s house I would seek out their


 bookcases and find any history books they owned, then slink off to the sofa to read them. But my first love was Tudor and Stuart history. Watching historical movies like A Man for All Seasons and Anne of the Thousand Days with my mother after she had taped it on VHS off the TV for me. My Aunt took me to London, aged about 12, and I was allowed to pick any itinerary and I selected all Tudor themed things. Tower of London, Hampton Court and the National Portrait Gallery so I could stare at the Boleyn portrait for a long time. And now she is on the cover of my book.

News! Happy, happy news!

My queen poems are going to be published by EYEWEAR next year….how brilliant is that?! I am so pleased I did a happy little dance! This collection means so much to me and I am looking forward to working with Todd Swift during the editing process, something I am interested in finding out about because this is my first collection! Now you can understand my excitement!

The poems loosely use the poetry from the relevant period to give the experience of moving through different poetic styles as well as the changing role of a queen/consort. Some poems are instantly recognisable as they mimic a familiar form; others are free verse or epistle. The aim was always to give each queen/consort a voice and capture the feeling of the historical period. This quote by Susan Howe highlights what I was aiming to do with the poems as I was writing them: ‘I wish I could tenderly lift from the dark side of history, voices that are anonymous, slighted-inarticulate.’


I swear, ’tis better to be lowly born,
And range with humble livers in content,
Than to be perk’d up in a glistering grief,
And wear a golden sorrow.

King Henry VIII Act II Scene III