HER MAJESTY’S WILL is many things.
It’s a spy novel.
It’s a Tudor novel.
It’s a Shakespeare novel.
It’s my (unintentional) answer to the film Anonymous.
It’s a little Tom Jones (both the novel and the film).
It’s an ode to the late Robert Asprin’s Myth Adventures series.
And it’s an homage to Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. I’ve always loved the Road Movies, the original buddy comedies. So when I first conceived this rather ridiculous story, it leapt from my brain like Athena from the brow of Zeus, fully formed.
Will Shakespeare. Kit Marlowe. The Babington Plot. Absurd!
And yet – Marlowe was a spy for Walsingham. Shakespeare did have these ‘lost years’ between Stratford and his first recorded London appearance. And the cast of London characters is far too good to resist.
I love spy novels, with secrets and reveals. But too often the right piece of information comes along at just the right moment. What if it didn’t? What if we think we have all the pieces, only to discover we’re just really bad at being a spy.
I love Tudor novels, with their copious details and period flavor. But too many of them seem to view the world from the court down, not the gutter up. Actors were the ones who bridged that divide, residing in the gutter but playing for monarchs. Warfare, church, and theatre – the three modes of social mobility. What if we never even get more than a glimpse of Elizabeth and her court?
And I love Shakespeare, love him too much to leave him in peace. Because while I love him, I do not revere him. His characters are great, but his plots are pretty dumb. He stole everything he ever wrote, and just happened to improve it along the way, thereby helping to create the modern idea of humanity.
So for HER MAJESTY’S WILL, I employed a ridiculous stolen plots with copious details amid lots of secrets and reveals. Most of all, it’s a buddy comedy. Will and Kit on the Road to London.
I hope it’s as fun to read as it was to write. Because I was smiling the whole time.
There are a few lovely reviews (and one especially delightful in that it calls me crude! I've been trying to overcome my innate prudery, and it appears I succeeded! Huzzah!) The loveliest review is here. And you can buy the book here. Enjoy!