By April Taylor, author of TASTE OF TREASON
The Tudor Enigma books deal with crime fantasy set in an alternate Tudor universe. They concern an apothecary in the Outer Green of Hampton Court Palace, who is also an elemancer – a magician who uses the elements to perform magic for the good of all but especially at the behest of Queen Anne Boleyn and her son, Henry IX, who now sits on the throne of England. A love of Tudor history and Hampton Court Palace made the setting for the books obvious. It was not until my first foray into the world of the partnership between editor and writer that I had any idea just how complicated this process was going to be.
I know many people, myself included, who are avid readers. In my green pre-publishing days I always imagined that the role of an editor was to tidy up the writer’s grammar, find the howlers and polish up the prose. Nothing could be farther from the truth, dear reader. During my publishing adventure with Carina Press, my editor, Kerri Buckley, has been far more than a tidier-upper.
Kerri forced me to think deeply about the magic element in my world. I knew elemancers believed in cosmic balance, so they had to have enemies – sunderers, who work to rip that balance asunder and cause chaos. She made me realize I needed to know the precise structure of the magic hierarchy, levels of elemancy and details of spells in order to make the magic parts authentic. I was forced to consider my characters’ motivations and conflicts in a way I never had before.
Editors walk a fine line. The prose must be accurate while not being pedantic. It must flow with no bumps in the road to jolt the reader and at the end, it must still be the writer’s work. Of course, in the process, the editor also keeps an eye out for the errors. Witness Kerri’s comment in Taste of Treason – “In this chapter her wrists have been slit. In the last chapter, it was her throat.” Good point and one I had not spotted, which just goes to prove that the writer is not always the best editor of their own work. Other comments have included – “Do you mean x or y here?”; “Hasn’t he already given her a potion and she has drunk it?”; “Is this phrase historically correct?” and my personal favorite – “This is wonderfully informative, but not relevant at this point.”
I know that Kerri has improved my books immensely. At the same time, she has also made me a better and more thoughtful writer. It hasn’t all been fun. But it has been worth it.
Blood, frogs and a deadly threat to the firstborn…
Luke Ballard, Dominus Elemancer and Privy Inquirer into Divers Mischiefs and Grievances, has grown his magical powers since his last encounter with the Sunderers, dark sorcerers who will stop at nothing—including partnering with England’s mortal enemies—to destroy the throne. But is he skilled enough to protect his own and prevent tragedy from reaching the royal family?
The continuation of Tudor rule and the future of England’s true religion rest with King Henry IX’s new bride, Queen Madeline of Scotland. Pregnant with a possible heir, she’s nearly killed—twice—in incidents that bizarrely mimic the Plagues of Egypt. And she is not alone. All of Hampton Court, it seems, has been surrounded by a dark cloud of otherworldly danger.
Fearful for his wife and unborn child, King Henry can only turn to one man.
April Taylor has been writing stories since she was a child. She lives, with her husband and a blind rescue golden retriever, in the north east of England on the Yorkshire coast where the land crumbles into the sea, In her former life, April was an information professional working in public and prison libraries. Before giving up work, she was the R&D Information Manager for a global pharmaceutical company. April has also worked for the police and been the choir mistress for passengers on cruise liners traveling all around the Caribbean, as far south as Cape Town and up into the Arctic Circle. April has published an anthology of short stories and two guides, one for students on how to write their dissertation and the other on research for fiction writers. In May 2014, the first book in The Tudor Enigma, Court of Conspiracy, was published by Carina Press.