Suzanne Crowley is the author of The Stolen One which will be released on June 30.
I grew up with fascinating stories of my ancestors. There was the bishop on my father’s side who came over to America from England three times in the seventeenth century, outlived several wives, and lived to be a ripe old age of 97! On my mother’s side we can boast of a relative who came over on the Mayflower, an American revolutionary war hero, James Gray, who fought along with his father and uncle for America’s Independence, and a great grandfather who was a rough rider with Teddy Roosevelt.
But it was James Gray’s ancestor, Lady Jane Grey, the tragic queen of nine days, who intrigued me the most as a girl. What little girl wouldn’t be fascinated with a young queen, a teenager, forced to take the throne and marry a boy she did not love? As a teenager myself, I toured the Tower of London and saw the spot where she was beheaded. This was something I didn’t soon forget.
It began a lifelong obsession with the Tudors. I read as many books as I could on the era including anything by Lady Antonia Fraser and Allison Weir. Henry the VIII and his poor wives and later Queen Elizabeth provided endless hours of entertainment. I loved the intrigue, the romance, the riches, the jewels, the heatrtbreak, and in some cases, the horror. It all made my heart go pitter-patter. Somewhere along the way I came across a little bit of mystery that never received more than a sentence or two. But it was enough to plant a seed.
When I received the contract for my first novel, The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous, my agent got me a two-book deal. “Do you have an idea for a second book?” she asked me on the phone when she called with the news. I was groggy from bone graft surgery on my gum. “Ummm, yea I thinks so,” I mumbled. But as soon as I got off the phone, I quickly forgot about the pain I was in and ran to the computer. I typed up a one paragraph synopsis of the mystery I had read about so many years ago. I sent it off to my agent to forward to my new editor.
A year and a half later when my first book came out, I finally sat down to write the story that had been simmering in my head for many years, inspired by a very distant relative who lived centuries ago. It became “The Stolen One.” Enjoy.
Thanks so much, Suzanne! :)