Interview with Honor Thornleigh from The Queen’s Gamble by Barbara Kyle

It’s a warm evening in May, 1568. In Honor Thornleigh’s grand English manor house, the author opens her hosts’ bedchamber door and is surprised to find Honor shoving clothes into a satchel.


BK:     What are you doing?

HT:      You’re the one with the writer’s imagination. You tell me.

BK:     All right, silly question. You’re packing.

HT:      Right you are.

BK:     Where are you going?

HT:      Anywhere quiet. Anywhere that adventures aren’t happening. And wars. And people        being burned at the stake. I need to get away.

BK:     You can’t. This is your life.

HT:      I don’t mean forever. Just a while. I need a holiday.

BK:     But, you can’t just leave. Queen Elizabeth is your guest. And dozens of her courtiers.        They’re outside, waiting for the fireworks entertainment. You have a huge party to throw.

HT:      The servants can handle it. Richard can entertain Elizabeth. She likes him. I need a break.

BK:     I thought you enjoyed what you’ve been doing. Saving people’s lives. Befriending            Elizabeth. Building a powerful family.

HT:      Enjoy? I did what I had to do. What any person with a conscience would do.

BK:     Not all. Most people in your day happily watched burnings and beheadings and hangings.             They didn’t battle the authorities and snatch condemned men away to safety.
HT:      All I ever wanted was a quiet life!

BK:     That’s not true. You had a chance at that. You could have married the man your guardian             suggested and lived quietly ever after. And dully. Instead, you chose to rush off and             save people.

HT:      I was eighteen! And Sir Thomas More was persecuting so many. But that was ages ago.    Good heavens, I’m fifty-six years old. I’ve had enough excitement.

BK:     So you’re just walking out on me in mid-story?
HT:      Our agreement was for one book. One, not four. I was happy to star in The Queen’s Lady.            It was important to let readers know the real facts behind that shabby king, Henry VIII, and his wife, Catherine of Aragon, and the fight she put up against Anne Boleyn. And I          don’t regret a thing I did to fight his chancellor, Sir Thomas More. I’d do it all again.

BK:     Well, you might need to in this new book.

HT:      No. You’ve shone the spotlight on me for four books now. You’ve made my life a saga,   for heaven’s sake!

BK:     That’s a bit melodramatic. The King’s Daughter wasn’t about you. It was about Isabel.

HT:      Leave my daughter out of this! She has enough crises to manage, what with searching       through the prisons of London for her father and falling in love with a ruthless Spanish             soldier. And now, in your latest book, The Queen’s Gamble, she’s risking her life to            smuggle gold to Scottish rebels. She could use a holiday too!

BK:     She’s good at adventure. Like you are.

HT:      That adventure almost destroyed her marriage! You call that good?

BK:     I call that a strong-minded heroine, and I’m proud of her. Anyway, I thought we were      talking about you.

HT:      We are. I signed on for one book, but you’ve stretched it into four, going on five.

BK:     Well, pardon me for making you a star.

HT:      I’m not ungrateful. Just tired.

BK:     How about we make a deal?

HT:      What kind of deal?

BK:     You stay, and see to Queen Elizabeth and this grand party, and I’ll make someone other   than you the star of this new book.

HT:      My daughter?

BK:     No, a brand new Thornleigh character. I have a few good ideas. So you stay here and        relax while she carries the new book.

HT:      Hmm. What’s it about?

BK:     An orphan that you and Richard took in, a spirited young woman who’s eager to serve      Elizabeth, until she gets embroiled in a treason plot.

HT:      Treason against Elizabeth? Good heavens, we’d have to stop that.

BK:     Then you’ll stay?

HT:      Of course. I can’t let anything happen to Elizabeth.

BK:     Ah. I couldn’t have said it better.


About Nyx

Podcaster, baker, zine reviewer and maker.

Posted on September 13, 2011, in Character Interview. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I love this interview! Well done!

  2. This fun “interview” with my heroine was a real pleasure to write! Thanks for the chance to reach out to your readers!

  3. Thanks for hosting this interview today. I loved this book. I hope your readers get a chance to check it out.

  4. Honor has become a ‘real’ person, and this interview just proved it….lol. Way to go Barbara. Oh, and Honor too.

  5. Pat, I’m glad you’ve confirmed Honor’s reality: it’s proof that I’m not crazy! Just kidding. She has always seemed real to me, and I love it that you feel the same.

  6. You wouldn’t expect anything less from Honor, would you? You know she would have to stay and look after Elizabeth. She is of great character…full of adventure, caring, loving and not afraid to do anything out of the ordinary.

  7. I love it!!!!! Sure glad Honor decided to stay!!

  8. Barbara, I love it! Well done. and Honor’s voice is just like that in my imagination.

  9. Hi Barbara:
    What an engaging interview. I loved it!

  10. What fun Barbara. Thank you.

  11. Rhoda, Elaine, Tracy, and Myrtle — I’m so pleased that you “hear” Honor in this little piece. It does a writer’s heart good 🙂

  12. What a fun interview to read and I’m sure it was fun for you to write. Thank you Barbara and Honor for being willing to be interviewed 🙂

  13. Pastor Dan – the subject and I got along fine so it was an easy interview, not like some characters who can be real prima donnas . . .

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