In your note to the reader at the end of your book, you mention cultural biases playing a role in our modern perception of the Middle Ages. However, is it possible to separate modern bias from a work that takes place in an era far removed from ours? By using modern conceptualizations of the Middle Ages do we somehow warp the image? Or do you see it as we really are not that far removed, simply occupying different points on the same line?
The character John Gower turned out to have a much bigger role than I originally imagined. Several of Gower’s characteristic traits throughout the book lead me to question if he was potentially designed to be a representation of yourself?
What were the most difficult parts during the writing process for you to decide if you wanted to choose historical accuracy or take creative licence? How did you decide?
Did you find it difficult limiting your creativity to the confounds of the historical accuracy used within the novel? Which of these two genres did you prioritize? Did you receive criticism for that?
The plot of The Burnable Book is very complex, placing historical figures in morally questionable spots as the mystery assassination unfolds. How did you balance the desire to paint an accurate picture of medieval England and the desire to remain creatively free to write an interesting mystery novel? Did you receive any criticism about the way you wrote characters such as Chaucer, King Richard, the Earl of Oxford, etc.?
How did you go about doing your research for the maudlyns and the way they spoke and acted throughout the novel? What information did you find difficult to access? What would be your recommendations for trying to balance the historical accuracy along with a complex plot line?
Why did you choose to have the main character be Gower instead of Chaucer or an original character?
Holsinger needs to change some things about history, such as a book of prophecy and a murder plot, to make his novel work. Knowing what you know about history, do you feel that Holsinger works with history well enough to create a good book while remaining historically accurate?
At this point in the story, what might be some potential outcomes for the ending of this novel? Does the king’s prophecy seem to be certain at this point or will the right person/people find a way to change it?
So far in the novel, we have learned a bit more about Chaucer’s character in A Burnable Book. Knowing what we know about his life, do you think this is an accurate picture of Chaucer? Do you think it falls short? Is it true? Explain.