Several writers whose work we’ve archived here at Armitage Authors Network have books being released soon (or that have been released recently) and this week we had a Q&A with one of them, Elizabeth Ashworth. She’s the first writer we’ve talked to who was a fan of Richard Armitage before North & South and she tells us a little about that, her first publishing experience, and her new book about the lost years of Shakespeare.
Armitage Authors Network: Thank you for joining us today. You’ve been a fan of Richard’s for quite a long time. Can you tell us how you discovered him?
Elizabeth Ashworth: The first time I saw Richard Armitage was in a drama called Sparkhouse. He made quite an impression on me and I remember making a mental note of his name as an actor worth looking out for. But when I saw him in North & South I didn’t realize it was the same person until I went looking for more information about him. Then I thought, yes, I knew he was good!
AAN: Did you write fan fiction for the Armitage fandom? And was it your first attempt at writing fiction?
EA: I wrote a fan fiction about Guy of Gisborne. I think it’s because I enjoy reading and writing historical stories that I felt it was a character that I could explore. It also gave me the freedom to write something that wasn’t necessarily what I would want to publish under my own name. It wasn’t my first attempt at writing. I’ve always been a writer, but it was the first time I’ve written something where I could get instant feedback from readers. It was a very enjoyable experience and I think it taught me a lot. I drew on the character I’d created when I wrote An Honourable Estate, which is the story of Mabel and William Bradshaw. William is sometimes called a Lancashire Robin Hood, but it was my development of Edmund Neville that was inspired by RA’s portrayal of Gisborne.
AAN: What was your first published work?
EA: The first thing I had published was an article about the Spanish Riding School in a girls’ magazine called Diana. I was about twelve years old! It made me think that becoming an author would be easy, but I soon realized it wasn’t that simple.
AAN: What’s you most recent release?
EA: By Loyalty Bound was published last year by Pen and Sword Fiction. I do have RA to thank for this one, because he got me interested in Richard III when he mentioned that he was named after him. I did a lot of research and when I found a Lancashire connection to the name of a woman who could potentially have been the king’s unknown mistress I knew that I had the makings of a novel. I don’t think I would ever have written it if it hadn’t been for Richard Armitage.
AAN: Can you give us any hints as to what you might be working on next?
EA: I have a new book out on 30th October. It’s called Many Kinds of Silence and tracks the ‘lost years’ of William Shakespeare in Lancashire.
AAN: What kind of an impact has Richard Armitage had on you as an author?
EA: Discovering Richard Armitage has made a huge difference to my work as an author. For one thing, I now have a group of supportive online friends, many of whom also write, and it makes such a difference because writing can be an isolating occupation. It’s also brought readers to my work who would probably never have discovered me otherwise. The last ten years have brought so much fun and friendship into my life that I would never have had without RA. I have a lot to be grateful for.
By Loyalty Bound and other books by Elizabeth Ashworth are available on Amazon here.
Many Kinds of Silence: The Lost Years of William Shakespeare is available for pre-order on Amazon here. It will be released October 30th.
Find out more about the books of Elizabeth Ashworth at her website elizabethashworth.com