You may think you know the story of Anne Boleyn, but before she lost her head at the hands of her tyrannical husband, King Henry VIII, she was a girl with big hopes and dreams for her future. Following the success of "Gilt," author Katherine Longshore is back with "Tarnish"—the second book in her "Royal Circle" series, which tells Anne's iconic story like you've never read it before.
Anne Boleyn is the new girl. Since she's been away in France, everything about her is different—from her clothes to her sharp tongue to her unwillingness to blend in with the rest of the ladies in the Tudor court. She doesn't know how to keep silent and fall in step with a society that revolves around gossip and expects women to be seen and not heard. But when Anne makes a life-altering bet with charismatic and romantic poet Thomas Wyatt to escape a loveless, arranged marriage, how she's seen could lead to her demise.
We recently chatted with Katherine to get the inside scoop on "Tarnish." Read our interview after the jump and get an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at the cover!
Hollywood Crush: After giving us Catherine Howard's story through the eyes of best friend Kitty in "Gilt," why did you choose to tell Anne's in her own voice for "Tarnish"?
Katherine Longshore: I never thought I'd write a book about Anne Boleyn. I didn't know if I'd be able to do her justice because she's such a complicated character. But I was thinking about what my next book would be and suddenly her voice just came to me. I wanted to write a story about someone who could become the queen that Anne was. It was almost more interesting to me to write the prequel than to write about what happened to her after she married Henry.
How did you put yourself in her shoes?
I did a lot of acting when I was younger and I trained with a teacher who was very into method acting. So actually being able to picture myself in her shoes really helped. Having been to a lot of these [historic] places, I can picture place and setting really easily. I try to picture what I would do as a young person in some of these situations, so calling on real emotion. I listen to some of that wonderful baroque music played at the time in the background. I also listened to "I'm Just A Girl" by No Doubt a lot while I was writing Anne, and I think that shaped her character.
Your bio says you "went to England for two weeks, stayed for five years and discovered history." What was one moment there that inspired the "Royal Circle" series?
Some of it was from a visit to the Tower of London, where both Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn were executed and buried without ceremony. The stories are so tragic, but I thought before their stories were tragic, they had another story. You never know what's going to happen in your life, and you don't always see tragedy coming at you. Because I love writing for teenagers, I wanted to write a story where there was a lot of hope despite the fact that this event is going to happen anyway.
Anne has a bit of a bad reputation, but "Tarnish" shows her as a strong, witty girl. What do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I hope they do look at Anne Boleyn a bit differently. So many people see her as incredibly manipulative and a bit of a gold digger, but I wanted to present the idea that she really did love [Henry]. Maybe there was just something about him that she couldn't let go of. But it's ultimately a story about how sometimes you have to choose between love and your dreams. And sometimes maybe your soul mate is the person who is going to be able to alter your life with you.
If Kitty could give Anne advice, what do you think it would be?
Kitty would tell Anne Henry's not the man she thinks he is. He might be young and sexy and wonderful and full of romance right now, but he becomes a little bit more of a monster.
Are you excited to pick up "Tarnish" when it's released on June 18? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!