Monday, December 01, 2008
Today, I am going to give you some interesting facts from Beccia's book, The Raucus Royals, and part of an interview I had with her. Enjoy!
Shakespear invented the word gossip.
In Elizebeathan times, tooth decay was faked.
Lous XIV was king for 72 years.
In 1776, Americans melted the statue of King George III to make bullets
Henry VIII's estimated weight was over 300 punds.
And now for part of the interview:
ME:How long did it take you to write ‘The Raucous Royals’?
BECCIA: I started researching The Raucous Royals in 2005. It took about 2 ½ years to research, write and illustrate.
ME: Where did you get your inspiration for ‘The Raucous Royals’?
BECCIA: Mary Queen of Scots. Now there’s a woman who caused a lot of raucous. Over 450 years later and still no one can agree on whether she was a silly tart or a victim of unjust rumors. She was the first royal that I fell in love with. That led to my next love…Elizabeth I. And that led to another and another. I kept thinking – all these amazing stories…why didn’t I hear them in high school and college? I felt jipped! The biographies that were taught to me were so watered down that I hardly remembered any of them and what I did remember were mainly just rumors: Napoleon was short. Marie Antoinette said let them eat cake. Anne Boleyn had six fingers. Catherine the Great had a thing for horses. How did I miss the real people behind these rumors? All those court intrigues, love scandals, murders and follies committed – those are the stories that I wanted to tell. And that is the reason for the book’s format. I wanted the reader to hear the rumor alone first and then guess if it was true or false. You often don’t get to hear both sides first. The book’s format invites readers to experience how a rumor is told and then dive deeper into the truth behind it.
ME: What did you think of the researching process that you went through?
BECCIA: It was more like truth seeking then research. It’s amazing how history can be interpreted differently by so many scholars. I remember being taught that famous people in history fell into these neat columns of good or evil. I didn’t want to do that to readers. I wanted readers to come to their own conclusions and see all the different areas of gray, and most importantly, judge these royals in the time period in which they lived.
I hope in the end that readers will always question everything they read.
ME: What was the hardest part about writing ‘The Raucous Royals’?
BECCIA: Being objective was tough. It’s human nature to interject our own opinions.
ME: What part did you enjoy most about writing ‘The Raucous Royals’?
BECCIA: I always change my mind about which part I loved the most depending on my mood. Some days I say the research because I love treasure hunting for the juiciest tidbits. But the illustrations are the area that I really put my heart and soul into.
ME: How long have you been writing in general?
BECCIA: I started copywriting in various ad agencies over ten years ago. I didn’t start writing for young adults until 3 years ago.
ME: Do you have any advice for young authors?
BECCIA: Read. Read. Read. My dad used to tell me that reading was mental gymnastics. It will train you to write well.
Come back tomorrow for the rest of the interview. While you are waiting, you have several choices. You could check out The Raucous Royals website, Beccia's blog, read the press release, or look at all these other posts about this book:
A Mom Speaks
All About Children’s Books
Becky’s Book Reviews
Cafe of Dreams
The Friendly Book Nook
The Hidden Side of a Leaf
Looking Glass Reviews
Maw Books Blog
Never Jam Today
Our Big Earth
Reading is My Superpower
SMS Book Reviews
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Hi Marie, I just wanted to pop in to let your readers know that I will be available until December 3rd to answer any questions.
btw– The book does NOT state that Louis XIV began ruling at the age of 5. He ascended the throne at the age of 5, but had a regent until he came of age. You see…this is how rumors start.:)
Lovely interview! And thanks bearded lady for making yourself available to answer questions.
I read that line about Louis XIV ruling from age five and I thought, "ah, clever girl, she did the math." Because I did the math and was struck by the fact that he became king at such a young age, too. But we were not so clever, after all. heh heh. Thanks for clearing that up.
I have a question. I adored the illustrations in the book. How long did it take you to illustrate and can you tell us a little about the process?
Yeah, my sister told me that she read on this girl's blog that King Louis began ruling at the age of five. Five! Can you believe that? He didn't even have a regent!
Thanks for the interview!
Ah, Noel, THAT is the problem...
He DID have a regent, and I did not know that...
I've changed the post, though :D.
I suppose that half the rumors start as this one almost did: by people (me in this case) jumping to conclusions, and not searching for facts.
The book was pretty funny, I have to admit! Beccia's a great author! I couldn't put it down!
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