Welcome to Author's Spotlight
with Stacy Eaton
Today we have Lady Cecylee Neville from Thwarted Queen written by Cynthia Sally Haggard.
Welcome Lady Neville! Welcome to the WLC! Let's get started, please tell us a bit about yourself and the story you are in.
Late in life, at a time when many folk have already passed on, while I was living in the countryside as Abbess of a Benedictine Order, I murdered two of my grandsons.
Wow, you admit that right off the bat, huh?
It happened during the summer of 1483, some twelve years ago, when my youngest son Richard was King; and it is only now, as I ready myself to meet Death, that I can bring myself to talk about it.
Better late then never, right? So who exactly are you?
I was born Lady Cecylee de Neville, in the Year of Grace 1415, the year that King Henry V gained his glorious victory over the French at Agincourt. In the year 1424, I became Duchess of York. I acted as Queen of England during the reigns of Henry VI, Edward IV and Richard III.
Wow, a Queen too!
When my husband fled, I was confined as a traitor and was powerless to prevent his murder and that of my third son. Thus my hopes of being crowned Queen of England were dashed.
I'm sorry to hear that.
The legend of the Richard of York, the rightful King of England is something that I created after my lord of York’s death. I erected a shrine to him at the Augustinian Priory at Clare in Suffolk, where I carefully built an image of the lost heroic father and the pious man chosen by God to be King.
I am the mother of Edward IV and Richard III of England. I have seen my sons kill their opponents, and even close family members.
Life was very extreme back then. Tell us a bit about the book now that we know who you are.
In these pages, I intend to set the record straight, to set out my own complicity and ambition, my ambivalent feelings towards my lord, and my feelings towards my powerful sons. I have always been a sinner, as you will see from these memoirs.
Aren't we all?
When I had the gift of great power, I misused it. Folk seem to think me saintly, for I hear Mass several times a day. I hear religious texts while I dine and I spend several hours on my knees in prayer. This has caused them to disbelieve some of the unflattering stories that are whispered about me. Folk are being too kind if they imagine that a pious old woman could not have sinned, especially when she was young and beautiful.
That is true.
Now I am ready to speak, for Death will be with me by year’s end. The House of Tudor shall declare these words the act of an instigator, a fraud. Let there be no mistake abou
t my identity. As proof, I lay forth my name in its true construction: Queen by Right Duchess of York Abbess of the Benedictine Order of Muresley, Hertfordshire.
Wow, that's a mouthful.
I am Cecylee – not Cecily or Cicely. My name has been corrupted by those who claim to have the ear of the present King of England, one Harry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, and self-styled King Henry VII. Let those who seek to dismiss my testament compare my sign with the reams of documents I signed as Duchess and Queen. I am the last daughter of Ralph de Neville, first Earl of Westmorland. I am descended from John of Ghent, third son of King Edward III. I was the Rose of Raby.
Wow.. You sure are a lot of people, I'm kind of confused as to what to you call you, but let me ask you a few questions. We all want to be different, so what is the one thing you wish your creator had done differently with you?
What makes you think that I danced to the tune of my scribe? 'Tis quite the other way around, I assure you.
Okay... Sorry... I think?
These are my writings, drawn out of me at great effort, and great pain. My scribe was merely my instrument. I dictated and she wrote.
Rather demanding, aren't you ma'am?
I always demand obedience from my people, and I have to say she was quite meek. What I don't understand is why she has to go out and sell it, like a huckster on a street corner. People should be delighted to read my memoirs. I cannot quite understand why they are not lined up outside the doors, waiting for my steward to present them to me. For $9.99, I don't think it is too much to ask. But my scribe says that things are not done that way in the twenty-first century.
Yeah, your scribe would be correct on that. If you could have added something to the story, and your creator would have let you, what would that have been?
There was nothing to add! Have you not been listening to what I have said? I have told all of my secrets. All of them. At great cost to myself. My lord Richard would be turning in his grave if he knew what I said in these memoirs. He would have been most displeased. And he is not the only one.
Well, I beg your pardon, or mine pardon, whatever... What do you love best about yourself? What do you like least?
I am a natural ruler.
or dictator, ummm... did I say that out loud?
My mother always told me so. Had I been a man, I would have been King of England. There is no doubt in my mind that I would have done a much better job than weak-willed King Henry, or even my lord husband who was inclined to be prickly and cold. But I am a miserable sinner. When I had power, I misused it. So perhaps it is just as well I was never King of England. Or Queen.
Yeah, maybe. What part of the book was the hardest for you and your creator to work through?
It was so hard to talk about all the deaths, all of the murders. I felt as though my hands were literally dripping with blood by the time I'd told my tale. 'Twas painful. And hard to sleep afterwards.
I can imagine. Is there a sequel for this book? If so, what do you want to accomplish in the next book. If not, do you wish you could continue your story?
The book ends two months before I passed on. After you have read this book, you will be glad there is no sequel.
lol... After meeting you, you might be right! ummm, sorry, no disrespect meant. Anything else you might want to add before we wrap up and I you go back to your pages?
I have nothing else to say, except to request that you do all in your power to see that my memoirs are given an airing. For they need to be told.
I'm doing all in my power, alright! Okay readers, this is one strong willed woman who has a whole lot to say! I hope you check out her story!
NOTE TO READERS:
THWARTED QUEEN is published in it entirety as an e-book, as in 4 parts as an e-series: THE BRIDE PRICE, ONE SEED SOWN, THE GILDED CAGE and TWO MURDERS REAPED. It is also published in paperback in 3 parts: ROSE OF RABY, THE GILDED CAGE and TWO MURDERS REAPED.
You can also check out the video trailer here:
To connect with the creator: