Up until that point, it seemed impossible. It was the tallest Everest to climb without ropes, or the widest Pacific to cross in only a bamboo raft. The odds were always against you.
Finally, you get to an age where the magical thinking stops and reality sinks in. You accept the fact that what you want so badly, what you have wanted all your life, you will never have. You make peace with it. And inside you – really deep inside you – it does become okay not to have it.
Perhaps it’s that acceptance that causes the shift. Maybe, when the Universe is between hoisting weird coincidences upon hapless humans and laughing at them, it stands back, takes a look at your noble acceptance and hears your brave utterings of “It wasn’t really that important.” Then, and only then, the Universe says, “Ah, ha! Now let’s throw her a bone!”
It’s exactly what happened to me. The Universe threw me a bone. Actually, it threw me an entire skeleton.
In February, it was announced that the skeleton of King Richard III had been unearthed from beneath a parking lot where, back in the fifteenth century, the Greyfriars Priory had stood in Leicester, England.
I took the hint, and unearthed my own remains – of a novel I had finished years ago and had tried, but failed, to get published.
The time had come to try again.
In “Rings of Passage,” my unlikely romantic hero is King Richard III. In the centuries since he was slain by Henry Tudor’s army (528 years ago today), Richard has been unfairly maligned by, oh, just about everyone. That’s what happens when the winning side writes history books.
To add insult to injury, Shakespeare wrote one of his greatest plays based around Richard’s infamous crimes, such as how he’d had his innocent nephews, the Princes in the Tower, murdered. (In my novel, you’ll find out who really did it.)
The Bard leaves us with the taste of ridicule in our minds when he writes Richard’s final cry as he falls in the throes of battle: “My kingdom for a horse!”
I mean, who is ever going to forget that? (Especially, if you’ve heard it spoken by Laurence Olivier.)
At the Battle of Bosworth Field, this was the real final cry Richard shouted at his usurping and unworthy cousin Henry Tudor: “Treason!”
Today, on the anniversary of Richard III’s death, my novel “Rings of Passage” has been brought to life. In it, Richard is loved by a modern heroine, Anise, who travels back in time to attempt the impossible: to change history and save the king from his tragic fate.
The excavation of an anointed King of England’s remains, followed by the DNA evidence confirming his identity, was the unlikeliest of outcomes – and yet proved successful.
The unearthing and resurrection of my novel? Well, let’s just say both occurrences are a bit of a miracle.
And because today is August 22:
Nook (ePub and PDF):