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Interview with Helen R. Davis

     Today I had pleasure of interviewing Helen R. Davis. Mrs. Davis is the author of Evita; My Argentina, and the alternative history novels Cleopatra Unconquered, Isaballa Unashamed, and The Most Happy about Anne Boleyn. In this interview, Mrs. Davis talks about why she went from writing a straight biography to alternative histories, how she does her research, and more importantly, what to look for in the future! Thank you, Mrs. Davis!




Your first novel was about Evita. What drew you to write her story?

With so many films, biographies and documentaries on such an enigmatic woman I felt one thing lacking: Evita's voice. Her autobiographies don't really tell her story other than the political aspect of it. I wanted to imagine how Evita felt growing up and struggling as an actress.

Evita was a very complex woman with her charity and extravagant lifestyle. What do you readers to take away from Evita...My Argentina.

That Eva Peron was a human being, not the caricature the musical portrayed her as. However,  her extravagant lifestyle did bankrupt Argentina. We should not whitewash her.

How did you do research on Evita?

The bibliography in the back of the book is the list of all my sources. I also did watch the movie with Madonna, as well as the Argentine 'answer' to it. I then traveled down to Argentina and met people who had known Evita, one of them a man who was helped by her foundation. I also was able to meet a colleague of Juan and Eva's who read my manuscript in Spanish. He was stunned and stated that the manuscript was essentially correct.

You went from writing  straight biographical fiction to writing alternative history. What prompted your inspiration?

I tried to do a novel on Cleopatra the same way I did Evita but suffered writer's block. I had a dream of her winning and that changed everything!

Which is easier to write, straight historical fiction or alternative historical fiction?

Alternative history as I feel I have more room , freedom and imagination.  I had more fun researching Evita than writing it.

You have written about Cleopatra, Anne Boleyn, and Queen Isabella of Castile.  Obviously, Cleopatra and Anne Boleyn met tragic fates, so the "what if they had survived" question is fairly obvious. However, Isabella did not die a tragic death. So, why did you imagine an alternative history about her?

I am actually not as interested in Isabella as I am the other women.  So, this was the idea of me and my co-author. Carolina wrote most of the book except for the visions Isabella has and the epilogue. The idea, however, was mine.  The other reason to give her an alternate history was to give Katharine of Aragon a happier ending.

How did you do research on these queens?

Isabella I visited Spain so I did it on my trip there. I went to her palace in Segovia and also Katharine of Aragon's birthplace in Alcala de Henares. Cleopatra and Anne Boleyn, I was limited to researching and reading biographies and period histories of them. Anne Boleyn's home and many sites related to her still exist, but sadly, much of Cleopatra's Alexandria has vanished or is underwater.

Do you see yourself writing a straight biography again, and if so, who would it be?

Yes, but that is going to be our little secret to whom ;)

What projects are you working on now?

The sequel to Cleopatra Unconquered, Cleopatra Victorious. Also, I will be releasing a children's book sometime in 2019 called Truth and Tell Travel the Solar System. It will be science fiction and focus on two naughty insectoids who don't listen to their mother and wind up on Earth!


About the Author:

     Helen R. Davis is an American author. Her first novel, Evita: My Argentina was previously published as Evita: My Life and republished with Custom Book Publications in Hong Kong. Her second novel, CLEOPATRA UNCONQUERED, which is the first in a series, imagines a world in which Antony and Cleopatra, rather than Augustus Caesar, are the victors of the Battle of Actium. the sequel, CLEOPATRA VICTORIOUS, will be released soon, followed by the titles CLEOPATRA MAGNIFICA and CLEOPATRA TRIUMPHANT. Her third novel, or at least, her third historical novel/alternate history, THE MOST HAPPY, will be published with Callipe Editorial, based out of Madrid Spain, on July 25th, 2017.

     For more information, please visit Helen Davis' website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.










Also, check out my reviews of Helen R. Davis's novels:






Comments

  1. Great interview, thank you Helen & Lauralee!

    Amy
    HF Virtual Book Tours

    ReplyDelete

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