posted on October 18, 2013 by Amanda Carmack

Time Traveling with Amanda Carmack

MurderCoverUseThe Elizabethan age has been a (nearly!) lifelong obsession for me!  It started one weekend when I was about seven or eight.  I was staying with my grandma, who loved old movies, and Anne of the Thousand Days came on TV.  I was totally fascinated by the fiery, take-no-crap Anne (and her great clothes!), and I cried bitterly at the end when her little red-haired daughter was left motherless.  I was amazed that the tiny girl grew up to be Queen Elizabeth I, a figure I only knew vaguely as a stiff mannequin in old paintings.  I didn’t know much about her then, but I thought she must have been pretty boring compared to my then-current heroines—Anne of Green Gables and Nancy Drew.

After watching Anne, I ran to my favorite place, the library, to read whatever I could find about Anne and Elizabeth and their time period.  A helpful librarian loaded my book bag with tottering stacks of history stories.  As I made my way through them, I found out Elizabeth was anything but dull!  Not only did she have fabulous clothes (always a consideration for me!), she presided over one of the most exciting moments in English history.

AnnePosterThe late 16th century was a time of huge change and movement, an explosion of the arts (especially theater and literature—think of the 3 S’s, as one of my professors called them!  Shakespeare, Spenser, Sidney), exploration and discovery, architecture, astrology and mysticism, social movement.  It was colorful, bawdy, passionate, full of larger-than-life characters.  None larger than the tempermental, vain, brilliant queen.  My Elizabeth won’t be someone else’s, maybe, much like somebody might not like Cate Blanchett’s or Helen Mirren’s Elizabeth, but that’s the great thing about her.  There is an Elizabeth for everyone.  What better time period for mysteries???

Having the chance to “live” in the Elizabethan period, at least during the weeks of writing a book, is a dream come true!  I love immersing myself in a different world, one of dashing courtiers, intrigue, royal plots, beautiful castles, mysterious gardens.  I love seeing it through the eyes of my character, the court musician and amateur sleuth Kate Haywood.  I love finding out tidbits of history to use, and making things up once in a while…

AmandaAuthor2Right now I am researching Elizabethan recipes for the next book!  Stay tuned for the results…if I don’t burn my kitchen down first….

Now it’s your turn!  What’s your favorite time period?  What aspects do you like best in reading history or historical novels?  If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be??  One commenter will win a signed copy of Murder at Hatfield House!

Amanda Carmack

Amanda Carmack

Amanda has been in love with the Tudors ever since an accidental viewing of “Anne of the Thousand Days” on TV as a kid! Now she just wishes she could live with them all the time—but there has to be time for writing about them too.

She also writes as Amanda McCabe and Laurel McKee, and her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion. She lives in Oklahoma with a menagerie of two cats, a Pug, and a very bossy miniature Poodle, along with far too many books.

When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, yoga, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network—even though she doesn’t cook.

6 thoughts on “Time Traveling with Amanda Carmack”

  1. margaret peacock says:


  2. Christine L. says:

    Would that I could meet Cleopatra, last pharaoh of ancient Egypt. I’d be curious to ask about her relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Any recommendations for novels set in the time period of her rule?

  3. Glenda says:

    Gee, I really don’t have a favorite time in history. I’m a history geek and find things interesting about pretty much all time periods.

    When I’m reading historical fiction or straight history I like when character’s (or real people’s) lives are intwined with actual events even the small events that contribute to larger ones. Even if the real life events are background ones, I love seeing how they affect the lives of individuals.

    The hardest question is which historical figure I’d most like to meet. There are literally too many to choose from! I’ll go with either Charles Darwin or Abraham Lincoln. Why? Because I share a birthday with them and was really interested in both of them when I was younger. 🙂

  4. Susan Heim says:

    What’s your favorite time period? the 19th century
    What aspects do you like best in read­ing his­tory or his­tor­i­cal nov­els? I love reading historical novels because they’re the best of both worlds — an interesting story, but one that teaches me about the past.
    If you could meet any his­tor­i­cal fig­ure, who would it be? I’d like to meet Jane Austen. I can think of a thousand questions to ask her!

  5. darci says:

    I love the European historical figures, I would want to chat with Joan of Arc to see what made her tick.

  6. Darci, if you find out from Joan of Arc, let me know! 🙂 I was always fascinated by her–i even dressed up as her for Halloween one year when i was a kid, no one could guess who I was…

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