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REMEMBER, REMEMBER THE 6TH OF NOVEMBER is a novel based around the real life events of the Gunpowder Plot, with a few twists thrown in. The author, Tony Morgan, is currently working on a sequel set in 1617.

Just some of the 5 star reviews on Amazon: “A gem”  / “History Brought to Life” / “Enjoyable and fascinating page turner” / “A great read”

England in 1605 was a place and time much like our own – a divided people, concerns over Europe, persecution, terrorism and government surveillance. Find out in the interview with the author, Tony Morgan, below.

Linda (the interviewer): First off, many congratulations for writing such an interesting book. The title “REMEMBER, REMEMBER THE 6TH OF NOVEMBER” is very intriguing. How did you come up with it?

Tony (the author): Thanks, Linda. The starter for the idea came out of a Creative Writing class I took at York University – Create a six word title or first line which would draw the reader into the story. It was bonfire night at the time and the idea just came to me. From there I wrote a short story and eventually the full-blown novel.

Linda: The title certainly worked for me. I immediately thought about bonfire night and wanted to know why the 6th was mentioned and not the 5th. Could you share a few words on what the story is about.

Tony: Of course. The novel is set in the first week of November 1605, in the run up to the culmination of the Gunpowder Plot. Much of it is based on a fictional account of the real life events but without wishing to give too much away, there are a few twists, as you can tell from the title.

Linda: Why the Gunpowder Plot?

Tony: I was looking for an idea for a novel I could get excited about. Once I’d come up with the title, it flowed from there. It’s such a major event in British history. We celebrate it every year on November 5th but other than remembering Guy Fawkes was found beneath Parliament with some gunpowder, I realised I knew next to nothing about it. The more I researched, the more fascinated I became. There were so many parallels with today – concerns about Europe, religious tensions, government surveillance, terrorism. And best of all were the people, the men and women involved, such interesting characters, some of whom changed our history. It was all there. I thought, wow, I’ve got the plot for a contemporary thriller on my hands, just set in 1605.

Linda: As you say, we’ve all heard of Guy Fawkes, is he the main character?

Tony: He’s certainly a major character but there are a number of others. Robert Catesby was actually the leader of the plotters. King James I and his wife, Anne of Denmark, feature but the protagonist is the King’s Secretary of State and spymaster general, Robert Cecil. He’s had a pretty bad press in the history books and I show this side of him but I tried to portray him as complex, self-aware and with a sense of humour too. One of the key sub-plots focuses on how Cecil’s spies and the plotters try to track down the author of a letter which warned of the attack of Parliament. This letter was real and today still nobody really knows who wrote it, although theories abound.

Linda: Are there any strong female characters in the book?

Tony: Yes, definitely. I didn’t want the women to simply be the wives of the male characters but I had to think carefully about this. Their contributions and actions had to be written within the constraints of the time. Anne of Denmark, Martha and Edith Percy, Beatrix Ruthven and one of the few fictional characters, Isabella Fawkes, all play important parts but my favourite female character is Katherine of Suffolk. She was a very interesting person both in real life and in the book. Find out more about the characters.

Linda: I can hear the excitement about the subject matter as the author in your voice but what’s in it for the reader?

Tony: Primarily, it’s a story about people. As such, it’s intended to be an entertaining and intriguing read. A number of people who’ve read the book have wondered what they would have done if they’d been in some of the situations in the plot, which is great.  I also hope it piques the interest of those who read it to find out more about this amazing time in our history and the incredible people who lived through it. There’s been a lot of focus on the Tudors but the 17th Century had the Stuarts, religious strife, terrorism, government surveillance, the Gunpowder Plot, campaigns to give a say to the people, war across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland and a whole lot more. If anyone’s interested, there’s some fantastic books, maps and online resources covering all these subjects.

Linda: Why have you decided to self-publish online? And tell me about the good causes the book will support.

Tony: My main aims for the book when writing it were to tell the story and find a way for people to read it. I’m really interested in the whole self-publishing process (it’s been a mini adventure!). I read a lot on Kindle, so it seemed a natural way to get the book out there. In terms of the good causes, all profits made in 2016 will be donated and split 50-50 between the great charity set up after the Tadcaster floods and Save the Children. I saw first hand the long-lasting damage the flooding caused in Tadcaster and the great community response to it. In honour of this, an earlier version of Tadcaster Bridge makes a cameo appearance in the book. The two children in the story effectively become refugees and I think helping children is something we can all support, so Save the Children was a natural choice.

Linda: Finally, what next, a sequel?

Tony: Let’s be honest, we planted that question didn’t we? Yes, I’m currently working on a sequel, set twelve years into the future from the events of November 1605. Without wishing to set off too much of a spoiler alert for the first book, the second explores what may have happened if the Gunpowder Plot had ended a little differently. The working title is NOVEMBER 7TH 1617, with a view to publish in 2017, the 400th anniversary of the combination of real and fictional events depicted.

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