The Benefits of Writing a Trilogy by @tonyriches

I first “met” Tony in the Twittersphere back in 2012. We were both new to eBooks and interested in well researched, unique stories. None of that has changed – though we both have several titles under our belt.

He’s gone deeper into historical fiction and now shares his insights on trilogies.



For most writers, completing one book would seem more than enough of an achievement, so why would anyone make a commitment to writing three?  I was reading Conn Iggulden’s impressive Wars of the Roses trilogy, when the answer occurred to me.

There are real benefits of tackling any story as a trilogy and now I’ve written one I’m convinced it’s something any novelist could consider. The scope of a trilogy offers writers a liberating sense of space and freedom, as ideas hinted at in the first book can be developed and explored over the rest. This means the writer has space to explore the complexity of relationships that evolve over time, as well as the shifting social, political and economic context over years – or even generations, offering readers a more ‘immersive’ experience.

There are also practical and commercial considerations. If you follow the fashion for longer books, you have one opportunity to sell it and the promotion can only begin once it’s available for pre-order. I was able to promote book one of my Tudor trilogy while writing book two (and it became a best-seller in the UK, US and Australia.)  Readers began contacting me to ask when the next book would be available and I soon built an international reader base for the trilogy.

Similarly, although each book works as a ‘stand-alone’, I’ve seen evidence in my sales that even people who read them in the wrong order tend to buy the others. I also hadn’t realised Amazon (and other retailers) are happy to promote and market a trilogy (or any series) as a discounted single purchase, which is good value for readers and means your books are more likely to be ‘discovered’.

Finally, a trilogy offers a framework for developing wok on an ‘epic’ scale. In my case, I realised there were countless novels about the court of King Henry VIII and his six wives, yet I could find almost nothing about the early Tudors who founded the dynasty. The idea for The Tudor Trilogy was that King Henry VIII’s father could be born in book one, ‘come of age’ in book two, and rule England in book three, so there would be plenty of scope to explore his life and times.

The first book of the trilogy was my fourth novel, so I had a good idea about the structure. In book one, OWEN, a Welsh servant of Queen Catherine of Valois, the lonely widow of King Henry V, falls in love with her and they marry in secret. Their eldest son Edmund Tudor marries the thirteen year-old heiress Lady Margaret Beaufort, and fathers a child with her to secure her inheritance. The birth of her son, Henry, nearly kills her, and when her husband dies mysteriously, his younger brother Jasper Tudor swears to protect them.

In book two, JASPER, they flee to exile in Brittany and plan to one day return and make Henry King of England. King Richard III has taken the throne and has a powerful army of thousands – while Jasper and Henry have nothing. Even the clothes they wear are paid for by the Duke of Brittany. So how can they possibly invade England and defeat King Richard at the Battle of Bosworth?

In the final book of the trilogy, HENRY, I explore how he brought peace to England by marrying Elizabeth of York, the beautiful daughter of his enemy, King Edward IV. The Tudor trilogy offers me the scope and depth to help readers understand how Henry’s second son became King Henry VIII, the tyrant who transformed the history of England forever.

Tony Riches is a full time author of best-selling fiction and non-fiction books. He lives by the sea in Pembrokeshire, West Wales with his wife and enjoys sea and river kayaking in his spare time. For more information about Tony’s other books please visit his popular blog, The Writing Desk and website and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.  The Tudor Trilogy is available on Amazon UK  Amazon US and Amazon AU

Free Short Story Collection: Strong Writing by Strong Women

MR_outofshadows_EBOOKOn this Writer Wednesday, I’m pleased to share with you the news of a freebie to download before you hit the road this summer.  Out of the Shadows is a collection of 9 short stories written by women writers. Try out this wide range of characters and themes and let us know what you think.

Drop me a line if you leave a review and I’d love to send you a review copy of the upcoming No Place for Women.
What Is The Collective Noun for Crazy Old Ladies?
(A Beacon Hill Chronicles Short Story)
By Kathleen Valentine

Pork Chops and Promiscuity
By Jane Turley

A Slight Invasion
By Rosalind Minett

The Second Pair of Slippers
By Elizabeth Ducie

Love Sick
By Lisa Payne

Out of the Mouths of Babes
By Debbie Young

Night Hour
By Christine Nolfi

A Special Christmas
By Francis Guenette

Writer Wednesday: Karin Bosman on Workplace Harassment

coverWriting is one of the best ways to confront taboo subjects. Karen Bosman shares the difficult experience of workplace harassment in her memoir. We chatted about the inspiration for the book and why it’s more important than ever to talk about sexual harassment.

1. What was the inspiration behind this book?
What inspired me to write this book is my personal experience with sexual workplace harassment; I was harassed by my employer for almost two years. Along the way I learned that sexual workplace harassment is a big taboo and most people are afraid to talk about it because of the lack of protection and recognition. In this book I mention all aspects of sexual workplace harassment, from that apparently stray kiss until the assaults, the counselor and the lawsuit.

2. How did you come up with the title?
My employer demanded me to make his daily lunch and that was a grilled sandwich cheese, that we call tosti. So it wasn’t difficult that the title of this book should be ‘Spitting on Hans’ tosti’. It describes my battle at the workplace, just how it felt.

3. What message do you hope readers will take with them?
What I hope to achieve with this book is creating awareness for this increasing problem, for other victims, the bystanders, even for offenders of workplace harassment and for the importance of the support. Besides that I find it very important to empower people to combat against it and I hope with this book that they’ll find a way to break with the downward spiral of sexual workplace harassment.

4. Are you working on other projects?
Besides Spitting on Hans’ tosti I’m writing posts about this subject with more educational content about sexual harassment. Things like statistics, law and researches. I do that for with my own organization About Workplace Harassment. I give lectures and workshops to for instance universities, HR organizations, companies, hotels, etc. in the Netherlands, Aruba and the US. I speak with the government of Aruba and the Netherlands about awareness campaigns and law adjustments so prosecuting offenders personally within Labor law will be possible. Karen

This will ensure an effective prevention. We as AWH have created a smartphone application to make it easier for victims and bystanders to report sexual workplace harassment.

I also provide labor organizations with content about this subject for their members and next to that I develop education material for primary schools about how to set clear limits concerning sexual harassment.

Finally I also personally assist people who are in a workplace harassment situation.

5. What is something that readers may be surprised to learn about you?
Until that day from the apparently stray kiss I was a women with twenty years of work experience in the advertising business, I worked with men before who made sexual based jokes and thought that I could handle it all. But that wasn’t true, sexual workplace harassment works like an assassin and it can happen to anyone. Even a confident ‘big mouth’ experienced women in the age of 44 can be targeted. I think most people are surprised about the fact that I shared all my experiences, despite the humiliation I wrote it all down. But it didn’t stop there, no, I’m an international speaker about this topic and share my personal experiences from Aruba, US, Asia and Europe and I advice governments on policies and awareness campaigns because only the theory will not reduce sexual workplace harassment from happening.

6. Is there anything else you would like to add?
There is so much I would like to add about sexual workplace harassment, that’s why I travel around the world to share my experiences and findings about this topic. The most important thing that you need to know is that you are not alone and we all need to speak-up. Sexual workplace harassment is not about sex, it’s about power and control. I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to bring this topic to the attention of your audience and I hope that by sharing my personal experiences
we create more awareness and empower people to speak-up.