Remembering Richard, and The Last Plantagenet?

Despite the current situation with coronavirus causing events to be cancelled this year, the end of March is an important one now, for Ricardians. As well as remembering birth, death, marriage, coronation, we can also mark reburial. Five years ago, all eyes were on Leicester, as one of England’s most famous kings was laid to rest for the second time.

And one of our authors was lucky enough to be there for part of it. So, for Jennifer’s first post in our regular series taking place on the Ocelot Press blog, do forgive a bit of indulgent personal nostalgia, and tell you a bit about the beginnings of The Last Plantagenet?

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When I put my name into the ballot for a place at one of the events that week in Leicester, I only did it to say I had, to be a part of things, but then, then arrived the envelope… I was going to Compline, the service during which the coffin of Richard III would be brought into the cathedral. And more than that – there was a full Saturday of lectures to attend, and the particularly moving service on Sunday morning at the University of Leicester itself, as they bid farewell to the remains they had studied so carefully, and preserved so well, since they found him in that carpark. Walking down the street behind the hearse for a few moments was a very strange sensation, then heading back to my hotel room and watching the rest of its journey on the BBC news channel.

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It was a beautiful day all round, and being in Leicester Cathedral to watch the service of Compline is something I shall never forget. There was an odd sense to the day. Yes, it was a funeral, so of course everyone was suitably respectful and sombre in their attitude, but equally, although people had hoped to find King Richard III, it’s not as though anybody was expecting to find him alive, so there was also a sense of celebration to things.

They were even letting people take photos, once the service was over.

That night, after strolling back from the cathedral through the rose-strewn streets of Leicester, I sat in the hotel bar (the smartest-dressed Travelodge clientele I have ever seen!), and pulled out the notebook I’d had in my bag all weekend. I had been playing with an idea for a while, a timeslip novella featuring Richard III, but however hard I tried, couldn’t make it ‘work’. Sitting there, absorbing everything that had happened over the two days, the words flowed. I got my ending, and other than some minor tweaks, the plot was sorted!

The Last Plantagenet? was born… 

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It’s had an exciting journey, first being self-published in October 2017, then joining Ocelot Press in October 2018. And I was thrilled to bits when it was awarded not only a five-star review from the Coffee Pot Book Club Award, but also an Honourable Mention in the blog’s 2019 Book of the Year Awards.

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Special Offer!

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of this important event, and the night I can pin-point as the start of when everything starting happening for me, writing-wise (I got back and began editing my Kindred Spirits series too!), The Last Plantagenet? ebook is free to download for a limited time.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

The Last Plantagenet? Joins Ocelot Press

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The fireplace hadn’t looked like a time-portal.

All Kate had wanted was a fun, relaxing day out, watching the knights jousting at Nottingham Castle. What she ended up with was something quite different.

Transported in a heartbeat from 2011 to 1485, how will Kate handle life at the Ricardian court? Even more importantly, how will she cope when she catches the eye of the king himself?

Find out in this ‘giddily romantic’ romp, set just prior to the Battle of Bosworth. 

Ocelot Press author Jennifer C. Wilson writes: The Last Plantagenet? is moving home, and joining Ocelot Press in time to celebrate its first birthday!

The ebook was my first foray into self-publishing, released on 2nd October 2017, to celebrate the birthday of my leading man, Richard III. It was an interesting six months or so before that, getting the manuscript in order, choosing the cover-art, and tackling Amazon, and it’s been an even more interesting year since. Learning the ropes of self-publishing has been fascinating, and I’ve had support from some wonderful people.

And now I’m excited to be bringing The Last Plantagenet? to the new house of Ocelot Press.

In The Last Plantagenet?, we meet Kate, a modern, history-loving girl, who finds herself thrown back in time to 1485 during a thunderstorm at a historical re-enactment. Once in the historical Nottingham Castle, she finds herself dealing with the challenges of the medieval court, and wondering whether she’ll ever find her way back home again.

The skeleton of the story, in terms of the historical background, is based on where we know King Richard was in the final hundred days of his reign, so having that to work with made the process of plotting easier in a way, even though I somehow failed at counting the number of mornings days should have, with one key day having Kate wake up far too many times… Once that was sorted though, I really enjoyed working on the project, both in terms of the content and the format, the short novella, of ~20,000 words.

Selected reviews

‘Absolutely fabulous escapism for every girl who dreamed of meeting her prince.’  Michelle Ryles, book blogger.

‘A well-written touch of forbidden romance – and a great ending.’ Being Anne, book blogger

Find out more about Jennifer and her books on our Authors page.

Copyright © Ocelot Press, Jennifer C. Wilson 2018. All rights reserved.