Kindle Countdown Offers for Re-Interment Week

Loyalty, my novel of Richard III, and the sequel Honour, which follows the aftermath of the Battle of Bosworth, are both on a Kindle Countdown offer and are just 99p / 99c each on and

The offer is on now in the UK, will be live very soon in the US and lasts until next Sunday, 29th March to celebrate re-interment week.

Loyalty UK:

Loyalty US:

Honour UK:

Honour US:

Meet My Main Character

Welcome to my “Meet My Main Character” blog hop. I was tagged by the fantastic Derek Birks, writer of the Feud series of Wars of the Roses novels. You can find his main character, Ned Elder, here,, waiting to meet you.

Sadly I couldn’t find anyone to tag to continue this hop, so in a fit of piqué I’ve decided to be greedy and introduce two characters from my books; main characters in different timelines.

Matt Photo BW 2

1) What are the names of your characters? Are they fictional or historical figures?

The first character is Francis, Viscount Lovell. He is a real historical figure, from a long established and respected baronial family.

The second person I would like you to meet is Hans Holbein the Younger, another real person, an artist whose work simply blows me away.

2) When and where are the stories set?

Francis Lovell’s story grows from my first novel, Loyalty and he becomes the central figure in his timeline during the second instalment, Honour. The stories take place at the end of the Wars of the Roses, as the House of York becomes ascendant, only to implode. Francis’s story is tied to that of his best friend, Richard, who becomes King Richard III. After Richard’s death he is driven into opposition and eventually to Burgundy where he must decide on his path forward.

Hans is also a minor, though vital, figure in Loyalty who steps into the limelight more in Honour. He arrives in London in the late 1520’s in Loyalty and returns in the early 1530’s in Honour, finding himself caught up in the intrigues of Henry VIII’s court as the country teeters on the brink of a brave catastrophe.

Loyalty Cover Kindle

3) What should we know about them?

Lovell? He sums it up best himself: “Loyalty is the gift that a man gives to another. Honour is the gift that he gives himself.” He cannot be bought and will not waver.

Holbein? He’s scared!

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up their lives?

For Francis, he spends Loyalty wanting to support his friend and believing in his cause. Richard’s death rocks his world to its core, destroying all that he has known all of his life. In Honour, he must find his place in a world that doesn’t want him.

Hans learns a secret that gives him such power it will put his life in danger. When Sir Thomas More, who imparts the secret in Loyalty, falls from favour with King Henry VIII, Hans is caught in the deadly crossfire.

Honour Cover Kindle

5) What are the personal goals of the characters?

Francis wants, or perhaps needs, revenge. Only the restoration of the House of York will begin to fill the gap that leaves his life hollow. How far will he go? And can he keep his own goals in check?

Hans Holbein is simply seeking to survive. The secret that he carries holds a threat over him at every turn and navigating the dangerous Tudor court at this delicate time is no mean task.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

Loyalty is available now on Amazon here: and

Honour can also be found at Amazon: and

The next book in the series will be entitled Faith.

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

Faith should be on its way early in 2015.

As I mentioned, I haven’t been able to round anyone up to tag to continue this blog hop, so I’m afraid this stagecoach ends here. I hope you have enjoyed this, and that you will take a look at Derek Birks’ blog and his books.

Many thanks.


A Cuckoo In The Nest

So, J.K. Rowling has been unmasked as the real author behind Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling and the tirade of abuse has begun. I find this disappointing, firstly because she is damned in the eyes of many whatever she does. If she publishes using her true identity she is trading off her name as the author of the Harry Potter series. If she uses a pen name and is then uncovered she is cynically attempting to boost sales. There will always be those looking for an angle to condemn and that in itself is a shame.

My real gripe with this situation is the insight that it offers into the condition of the publishing industry today and the difficulty of breaking into it. I have an interest to declare here. My books are self published on Amazon having had no joy sending manuscripts to agents and publishers for a while. I know, not much of an advert for my writing, but perhaps not the condemnation that you may expect either. More concerning, not the condemnation such rejections should be.

I am not trying to vent my bitter spleen here. I appreciate that agents and publishers are incredibly busy, are swamped with enquiries, have a genre or type of book that they look for and are sifting diamonds from a mine of coal. Yet I think that there is something valuable to be gleaned from this episode.

A number of scenarios present themselves if this incident is considered from the perspective of an aspiring author:

1. A Debut Author Made It!

Except that a new author didn’t make it. I have read that since publication in April 2013, The Cuckoo’s Calling sold around 1,500 copies and before its true pedigree was known it was hovering at 4,709 in the Amazon chart. By the end of the day of revelation, it was number 1. For those thinking that a debut author can still find a major publisher and editor willing to take a risk and invest in them, it is a bit of a comedown. Even worse is knowing that the work of J.K. Rowling and her publisher and editor can only fair reasonably well for a debut without her mighty and hard earned name behind it.

2. The Book Is Great But The Author Is Unknown!

What does this tell us? If the book is as good as the initial reviews suggest and is of the quality you may rightfully expect from J.K. Rowling and her team, then the fact that it didn’t storm the charts and gain attention shows just how hard it is to crack the industry. In this circumstance, the episode demonstrates that the only way to the top is with a big name, irrespective of the quality of your work. Even the best work struggles to make the faintest impact, so how does a debut author become the next J.K. Rowling or Dan Brown? The short answer is, I don’t know. If I was a publisher, I would be wanting to find these writers and perhaps the old ways are no longer fit for purpose. My suggestion (cynics, please take a sharp breath in); look at Amazon’s self-published authors and their sales. I know, that’s me right? But it is a serious suggestion with merit. In my case, since The Cuckoo’s Calling was published I have sold more copies of Loyalty than speculation suggests The Cuckoo’s Calling sold and, due to previous even higher sales, have sat within the top 2,000 in the chart for all of that time. No one is knocking on my door. It makes me wonder how my book might perform with some backing. I’m not trying to claim it would topple The Cuckoo’s Calling from its number 1 spot, but if I was an agent or a publisher, a quick look at the charts might offer me at least a reduction of the risk that presumably prevents me taking a chance on a new writer. If it is already selling and getting positive reviews without backing or support, that must make it worth a second look, mustn’t it? Amazon even kindly list the publisher on the book’s page, so it is easy to identify those lacking representation.

3. The Book Isn’t Great But The Author Is Known!

I haven’t read The Cuckoo’s Calling so I cannot comment on whether I think it is a good book or not, hence I am able to look at this from each perspective. If the book sat in its former chart position on merit, then its rocket to number 1 is equally disheartening. Not because I begrudge J.K. Rowling anything. She deserves every millimetre of her success. My entire family are Potter Potty. No, it is because if this were the case, then it only serves to prove that it is the author’s name that sells, not the quality of the book. This is an equally demoralizing state of affairs. You can get to number 1 with the right name irrespective of quality, begging the question asked earlier; what hope is there for unknown authors, however good their work is? I still don’t know!

As I write, I am aware that this sounds like an exercise in self-promotion but even if it is, the points considered above are still valid. Perhaps a part of the reason that it is so difficult to get noticed as an aspiring author seeking representation is because it is so easy to write something that you believe in and send it out to agents and publishers. I am sure that the slush pile is bigger than ever, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t riddled with talent screaming to be discovered. I am grateful for the opportunity that Amazon’s platform has given me. Perhaps it offers writers a way off the slush pile and offers agents and publishers a half-way house, mitigating some of their risk. Either way, the real winners are readers now able to make up their own minds.

Matthew Lewis is the author of a brief biography of Richard III, A Glimpse of King Richard III and the novel of King Richard III’s life Loyalty. Matt can also be found on Twitter @mattlewisauthor.