Interview with historical fiction novelist Peter Mowbray

Welcome to a new week, readers. Peter Mowbray is here
today and we’re talking about this new historical fiction novel,
Second Jezebel.
Welcome, Peter.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Peter Mowbray, I am a “young at heart” 56-year-old, married
to Sally and have 2 grown up sons Oli and Ross, we live just outside the
regatta town of Henley on Thames in Oxfordshire England.
I work as an office administrator for a conference and event production
I’ve always had a passion for history, even as a young child, and was
fascinated by one particular character from sixteenth century European history
– Catherine de Medici. From the infamous Medici family, who became a Queen of
From what I had read and learned, I decided to put together my own
interpretation of Catherine’s story. After studying for and gaining a diploma
in historical writing I wrote my first novel – The Serpent of the Valois which was self-published in 2013.
My intention is to learn and write more about some of the fascinating
characters that have lived and loved, and who have a story to be told.
Please tell us about
your current release.
The book is centered around the 16th Century French Queen,
Catherine de Medici and her struggles to preserve herself and her family
against a backdrop of religious conflict and danger from powerful families who
will stop at nothing to destroy her. As Catherine fights with any weapons at
her disposal, be they bribery, cunning and even poison, she must also do battle
within her own disjointed family, seemingly intent on destroying one another.
What inspired you to
write this book?
I have always loved history and came across her by chance whilst
browsing a book in the local library. How very wicked this woman appeared to be
– I was intrigued to discover more!
Excerpt from The Second
both Navarre and his cousin Condé, the question of changing their religion as Catherine
now demanded required time for consideration. Navarre spoke up. “We must have time to consult with our
advisors, Madame. We must find the Admiral and take advice on this issue, we
cannot decide here and now. Allow us some time, we beg you.”
Catherine smiled sweetly at him, and walked slowly
to the covered object on the silver tray that had been delivered earlier.
“Ah yes, and so we come to the Admiral,” she said
with a cold voice, bereft of all emotion. “Your mentor will not however be
joining you in council. As you will see, he has already paid the price for his
treachery.” At that moment, she lifted the velvet cloth and there on the tray
was the severed head of Gaspard de Coligny, its skin now thin and grey, his
face still covered in blood, now cracking and peeling. His previously full
beard had been savagely cut so that little remained. His eyes were cast over
and sinking back into his skull and the crude cut of his throat had set the
head at an angle. Charles stared as though transfixed, but said nothing.
Catherine did not take her eyes off either of the
young men, both of whom she heard audibly gasp at the horror before them. “The
result of ambition and treachery, my sons. Look well at it and question whether
the beliefs you cling to are worth this.”
What exciting story
are you working on next?
My next project is based around the later life of Edward II King of
England. Intriguingly, this first ever king to abdicate was supposedly murdered
– particularly brutally. However, a letter unearthed from Italian archives in
the 18th century suggests that he in fact escaped, living out his
remaining years as a hermit in a distant Italian monastery.
When did you first
consider yourself a writer?
Not until after my completion of diploma course in historical fiction
writing. Before that I was trying to just put words on paper. Once I learned a
bit more, I considered so much more – atmosphere, characters, situations etc.
Do you write
full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than
write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t write full-time unfortunately, I have a job as a general manager
working for a company that create conferences and live events, supplying all
technical multimedia support.
I almost always write at night or in the early hours, for me it’s the
best time, the house is quiet, and I’m surrounded by all my beloved history books!
The inspiration comes at odd times though, and I tend to carry a notepad with
me, just in case something creative comes to mind!!
What would you say
is your interesting writing quirk?
I seem to have developed a habit of basing a character on someone I know
– either a family member or friend. I don’t tell anyone which character, for
some reason I seem to enjoy deciding their ultimate fate!!
As a child, what did
you want to be when you grew up?
Either an actor or a writer. I think both are a means of escape into a
different world!
Anything additional
you want to share with the readers?
I’ve tried to use the medium of writing as a means of controlling the
clinical depression that I have suffered with for almost 30 years. It certainly
has helped me at times in the past to try and focus on something tangible. What
I write may well be rubbish and abandoned once I am feeling more in control,
but it is cathartic – if all I do is type something that I eventually delete, I
have achieved something!
It doesn’t always work to advantage unfortunately, In The Second Jezebel, I wrote about the
death of one of the main characters and I cried my eyes out when it was done! I
was sad for so many days after – but I kept it in, and I’m glad I did.

Thanks for being here
today, Peter. Happy writing.

2 thoughts on “Interview with historical fiction novelist Peter Mowbray

  1. Unknown says:

    Lisa – thanks so much for hosting me and giving me a chance to connect with all your followers!
    Great to also read other interviews – some inspiring writers to learn from!

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