I had a lovely surprise when I found this review on Goodreads, today:
‘I have read numerous “alternate history” stories in years gone past, and many are a bit disappointing. Some take no notice of historical facts and just go crazy. RICHARD LIVETH YET is obviously a very well researched novel and presents a look at the title character that makes him so much more than a historical footnote.
Author Joanne Larner has put her physical location in England to incredible use and while I have not actually visited her corner of the country, I can easily picture just about everything she describes. And that is a key factor in how I rate books. As an author myself I know how vital it is to provide descriptions that lead the reader to picture things, people and actions in your story without dragging them around saying,”Here! This is what you MUST see in your mind!!!”
Larner’s book is a treat to read. I plan to read it again in about a year.
She also includes a monumental Bibliography of her research materials at the end.
I am impressed!’
If you’d like to try it click here: Richard Liveth Yet
Cover of my novel – Richard Liveth Yet
Some good advice – it’s always good to research things
Richard is, of course, the hero of the book (Richard Liveth Yet) As a Mediaeval king, he struggles at first with the strange new world in which he finds himself when he suddenly travels to the twenty first century. However, he is courageous and resourceful and curious about new things so, once he accepts what has happens, he stops being afraid and tires to find out as much as he can about the modern world.
He is a deep character and doesn’t always reveal his thoughts, but just because he doesn’t show his emotions doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel them. And Rose, the heroine, manages to get close enough to him for him to reveal some of them to her – as she was the first person he met in this world, he spends a lot of time with her and grows to trust her.
He still has some ideas which show his ‘age’, for example the way he reacts to a pair of muggers and his fury at certain Hallowe’en customs. However, he also embraces many new experiences, such as chocolate and libraries!
This is the picture of Richard that Rose painted, showing him wearing the crown commissioned to be used for his funeral.
Rose Archer is a 29 year old divorcee who runs her own osteopathy business from home. She is independent and feisty at times, but also emotional and unsure. She became interested in Richard III after watching ‘The King in the Car Park’ documentary and doing some follow-up research. She loves animals and has two dogs called Jonah and Jubilee when she ‘meets’ Richard while visiting the Major Oak in Nottinghamshire. At first she doesn’t believe it is really him, but eventually she is convinced and then the journey begins. I don’t have a picture of Rose so you will have to imagine her. She is about 5ft 5″ and has green eyes and naturally curly, blonde hair, which she can’t grow long as it curls up too much. She is not overweight, but curvy and loves her food. She will try anything once. She is creative and intelligent, but also emotional; she wears her heart on her sleeve. Rose loves nature and animals. She helps Richard to cope with his scoliosis by using osteopathy and teaching him exercises.
In the book Richard Liveth Yet, Richard III gives Rose a miniature dachshund called Hunter as a gift. Here is the ‘model’ for Hunter, who will feature more prominently in the sequel, which is in the process of being written at the moment. Hunter is small but feisty, a bit like Richard!
Hunter is a silver dapple miniature dachshund who is now three years old. He enjoys barking, yapping, eating, yapping, playing with leaves, yapping, attacking the post, yapping and rolling in poo (oh, and yapping!)
Dom Smee is the young man who volunteered to be Richard III’s ‘body double’ in the follow-up Channel 4 Documentary Richard III: The New Evidence.
He was an ideal candidate as his scoliosis was almost Identical to Richard’s. I was lucky enough to meet him when he and an armour expert gave a brilliant talk about how Richard III would have been armed. You can read about it here on a Ricadian blog that I occasionally contribute to: Murrey and Blue
In the novel, Richard Liveth Yet. Richard meets him and has a chat, comparing their experiences, while they visit Leicester. Here is a picture of Dominic, wearing armour which would have been typical of the time.
He is in the process of writing a book and is also trying to raise funds so he can buy his own custom-made harnees (suit of armour). If you want to read more about this click here: The Dominic Smee Armour Fund
Dalia is Richard’s Pilates teacher in the story – she is a real person and a fantastic Pilates teacher. The depiction of her in the book is scarcely an exaggeration either!
Here is a picture of her in her workout gear (minus whip!)
Here is a fantastic picture of her all glammed up!
She was a personal trainer on Channel 4’s programme Fat Fighters
If you want to contact Dalia to have Pilates lessons or personal training sessions this is her Faccebook Page: Dalia Personal Trainer
The main protagonists in the novel Richard Liveth Yet are Richard Plantagenet, King of England and Rose Archer, a divorcee from Rayleigh. However there are several minor characters who are based on real people. Rose owns two dogs when she meets Richard. These are Jubilee, an elderly yellow Labrador and Jonah a young, black Lab cross. Here are some photos of the ‘models’ for them:
Here is Jubilee
And this is Jonah