We're excited to welcome Stephanie Thornton to Reading Lark today to discuss her novel, The Conqueror's Wife.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: Which of the women in your novel do you admire most?
Stephanie: I actually really loved Cynnane--Alexander's warrior half-sister--and would have loved to make her a point of view character. Unfortunately, the events at the end of her life made that impossible, but I relished her Amazonian interactions with Thessalonike, Alexander's wild-child little sister. I've never gotten to write a full-fledged warrior princess before, but it's historically documented that Cynnane was trained in warfare by her Illyrian mother so I got to go to town!
Andrea @ Reading Lark: What sort of research went into this novel?
Stephanie: So much research! Without intending to, I've jumped from one historical era to another for all four of my books. So while I knew the basics about ancient Greece before I even cracked open the Word document on The Conqueror's Wife, I had to delve into the ancient sources (which were written by Romans hundreds of years after Alexander's death) to get the gist of the tale. Then I fleshed the story out with modern biographies about Alexander and the women in his life. The most interesting part to me is the last chunk of research for every book, getting to pour over ancient cookbooks and discover the nitty-gritty details about everyday life.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: I love that you seek to give women from ancient history a voice. Who are three of your favorite historical females?
Stephanie: Only three?! Well, if my hands are really tied, I'd choose Pharaoh Hatshepsut from ancient Egypt, Empress Theodora of Byzantium, and quite possibly Catherine the Great of Russia. I'd love to write a book on the latter, but everyone keeps telling me there's too many novels about her. (To which I reply that you can never have too many books about a woman who likely had her tsar-husband murdered and went on to rule the largest country on earth!)
Andrea @ Reading Lark: If you could time travel, which time period would you most like to see?
Stephanie: Ancient Egypt, no contest. I've been obsessed with Egypt since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Imagine being able to go back and meet Hatshepsut (and ask if she really had a thing with her advisor Senenmut), to see the pyramids being built, and watch a mummification ceremony (on the sly, of course, since those were pretty much off limits to thepublic). Granted, Egypt is really hot and I'm an Alaskan girl so I wouldn't want to stay there forever, but I could hang with the pharaohs for a few years!
Andrea @ Reading Lark: What are you working on next?
Stephanie: I have a number of ideas for new books, but I've started a novel set in 20th century America focusing on one of our presidential families. It's been a big adjustment to move to the modern age, but the book still features an ill-behaved famous heroine so I'm not entirely a fish out of water!
The Conqueror's Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great by Stephanie Thornton
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
NAL/Penguin Group LLC.
eBook, Paperback; 496 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
A novel from the acclaimed author of The Tiger Queens, for readers looking for ìstrong and determined female protagonistsî (Historical Novel Society) and ìa sprawling historical sagaî (Renee Rosen)...
We are the women who loved Alexander the Great. We were lovers and murderers, innocents and soldiers.
And without us, Alexander would have been only a man.
Instead he was a god.
330s, B.C.E., Greece: Alexander, a handsome young warrior of Macedon, begins his quest to conquer the ancient world. But he cannot ascend to power, and keep it, without the women who help to shape his destiny. His spirited younger half-sister, Thessalonike, yearns to join her brother and see the world. Instead, it is Alexander's boyhood companion who rides with him into war while Thessalonike remains behind. Far away, crafty princess Drypetis will not stand idly by as Alexander topples her father from Persia's throne. And after Alexander conquers her tiny kingdom, Roxana, the beautiful and cunning daughter of a minor noble, wins Alexanderís heartÖand will commit any crime to secure her place at his side. Within a few short years, Alexander controls an empire more vast than the civilized world has ever known. But his victories are tarnished by losses on the battlefield and treachery among his inner circle. And long after Alexander is gone, the women who are his champions, wives, and enemies will fight to claim his legacyÖ
About the Author
Stephanie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel. . For more information please visit Stephanie Thorntonís website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, November 23
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, November 24
Review at Layered Pages
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Spotlight & Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Wednesday, November 25
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Thursday, November 26
Review at Historical Readings & Reviews
Friday, November 27
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Monday, November 30
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Review & Giveaway at 100 Pages a Day
Tuesday, December 1
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise
Wednesday, December 2
Review at leeanna.me
Review & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation
Thursday, December 3
Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter
Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Unshelfish
Excerpt at A Literary Vacation
Spotlight at The Reading Queen
Friday, December 4
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Monday, December 7
Review at The Maiden's Court
Tuesday, December 8
Review at Reading the Past
Review at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, December 9
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Thursday, December 10
Review at The Lit Bitch
Interview & Giveaway at Reading Lark
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection
Friday, December 11
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views
Saturday, December 12
Review & Giveaway at Genre Queen
Monday, December 14
Review at Book Babe
Reivew, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, December 15
Review at Bookramblings
Wednesday, December 16
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, December 17
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Friday, December 18
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Blog Tour Hosted By
We have one copy of The Conqueror's Wife to give to one of our lucky readers. This giveaway is open to residents of the US. You must be 18+ years of age to win. The prize will be emailed by the blog tour host; Reading Lark is not responsible for prize delivery.
The giveaway runs from December 10-17. Winner will be notified via email on December 18.