Self-described as the nerdy girl in the corner devouring a Victoria Holt or Jean Plaidy book, Sandra Byrd is finally pursuing her passion to write historical fiction.
“My heart and head have always been firmly in historicals as a reader,” says Sandra, who until now has authored successful YA and contemporary romance series. “Right now, I want to spend my fiction-writing time on what I most love to read.”
A lifelong Tudorphile, it was natural for Sandra to delve into the sixteenth century in To Die For (Howard) with the story of Meg Wyatt, best friend to the infamous Anne Boleyn. Sandra discovered that writing about real historical figures was a challenge. “It’s intimidating at first because I believe these women were Christians and I will see them again—and account in person for how I’ve represented their lives. But that was part of the draw for me. I wanted to help redeem people that I felt had been slandered or mishandled, and I had the history to back me up.” Detailed research included reading the women’s own letters and writings and a copious amount of nonfiction books about the era. Sandra hopes to reflect a positive light on these characters, to compensate for the negative PR Anne Boleyn has attracted over the last 500 years. Sandra states, “She, and many like her, were amazing women who used the tools at hand to shape a kingdom, and a Kingdom, even while loving well and facing heartbreaking challenge and loss.” As each character struggles to determine what love really means and what, in this life, is worth dying for, Sandra hopes her readers will reflect on the same challenge.
Subsequent books in the series take place during the reigns of Kathryn Parr and Elizabeth I and will also focus on the life of a friend and confidant of these intriguing women.