When my publisher came up with the idea for the Dear America and the Royal Diaries I was thrilled.  In the Dear America series the diaries were based on fictional people who lived through significant events in American history. So I could try and imagine how a little pilgrim girl felt when she left to cross the Atlantic Ocean to come to America. What was life like on the Mayflower? Did she find a best friend? What were the storms like? Did she throw up? Was she frightened? How did she feel in this new land?

The Royal Diaries were slightly different from the Dear America ones. These books were based on people who had really lived—Princesses like Elizabeth Tudor, Marie Antoinette, Mary Queen of Scots, but they kept fictional diaries.

 For me both these series were the chance of a lifetime as a writer for it combined two things I love—history and doing research. And there was the added bonus since it was to be fiction I could fill in the gaps that history books and primary source material might leave out. I would not change history. I would not give happily ever after endings when they did not really happen but I could interpret how that person might feel. I could delve into a character like Elizabeth Tudor and try and imagine how she would feel when her father often banished her from the court to live in a lonely castle with her governess. The best thing of all was getting up every day and trying to crawl into people’s heads—from a Pilgrim girl to a Princess.

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