My name is Peter Mowbray, I am a “young at heart” 56 year old, married to Sally and have 2 grown up sons Oli and Ross, we live just outside the regatta town of Henley on Thames in Oxfordshire. I work as an office administrator for a conference and event production company.
I’ve always had a passion for history, even as a young child, and was fascinated by one particular character from sixteenth century European history – Catherine de Medici. From the infamous Medici family, who became a Queen of France
From what I had read and learned, I decided to put together my own interpretation of Catherine’s story. After studying for and gaining a diploma in historical writing I wrote my first novel – The Serpent of the Valois which was self-published in 2013.
The second part of Catherine’s story – The Second Jezebel was published in January 2017 and concludes my story of this enigmatic woman.
The idea is to learn and write more about some of the fascinating characters that have lived and loved, and who have a story to be told.
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
As a new author, I don’t really have a lifestyle – yet!
What made you start writing?
An overactive imagination really! I used to read very little fiction, preferring historical non-fiction. At some point I must have thought it was a good idea, and I had a great English teacher at school, who was often complimentary on my work, so I guess the inspiration came from her!
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
I found an old book in a dusty antique shop many years ago by Edith Sichel called The later years of Catherine de Medici. From then on I was fascinated by this enigmatic, controversial character. So I consider her my inspiration, and yet I didn’t want to write non-fiction, although that may change.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
Love the subject you write about, identify with characters, even if it’s only one!
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I stick with historical, predominantly non-fiction. The beauty of writing about historical characters is that there are many periods to choose from. I tend to read any period from 6th Century to the Victorians; the extremes in history are fascinating to me!
Having said that, I love E.F Benson’s Mapp & Lucia series
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
King Charles the Ninth of France. He is a main character in both my novels and I empathise with him a great deal. What kind of King he would have made with any other mother but Catherine de Medici we shall never know, but he couldn’t have fared worse!
Which book do you consider a must-read?
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
If you could live in a book, which one would it be?
Mapp and Lucia by E.F Benson.
If you could pick an Author to write your biography, who would it be?
Melvyn Bragg – I’m certain he could make my story a lot more interesting and artistic than it really is!
We all know the phrase “the book is always better than the film.” Which film would you like to see remade as a book?
Out of Darkness a film starring Diana Ross as a paranoid schizophrenic. It’s a film that is both sad and inspirational.
Can you sum up your life story in ten words or less?
A journey to discover I’m not to blame.
What’s exciting you about your next project?
The possible life of King Edward the Second of England after he was supposedly murdered in Berkley Castle. It’s a much debated issue based on a letter uncovered in an Italian archive in the 18th Century that suggested he survived and travelled to Europe and eventually lived out his days as a hermit in an Italian monastery.
The topic is seldom considered by wise historical authors, so let’s see what an unwise one can make of it!
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
“See, the glow lingers though the flame be gone”
Note from Peter Mowbray: I suffer from clinical depression, and writing has been therapeutic as well as onerous at times. I’d like to write about it one day.
Follow Peter around the web on the links below:
You can find his latest book, The Second Jezebel, here: Amazon