Exclusive interview with author Steve Berry and a review of his novel about a Tudor Secret and how it could change the world *** 3 Stars
By Gabrielle Pantera
Hollywood, CA (Gosh!TV) 2013/6/9 – “We were on tour in England, north of London, doing some public relations work for Hodder, our British publisher, when a woman told me about a local legend, one that had lingered for 400 years,” says The King’s Deception author Steve Berry. “It was a fascinating tale dealing with the Tudors and especially Elizabeth I. I came to believe that the legend may in fact be true. All of the research certainly points in that direction, and many unanswered inquiries about Elizabeth I can all be answered, if the tale is indeed true. I wish I could tell you more, but it would give away the entire novel and spoil the surprise.”
The King’s Deception is Berry’s latest installment in the Cotton Malone adventure series. Contemporary politics mixes with treachery from Tudor time for a novel filled with suspense. The detailed history of Tudor England will entrance fans of British historicals. The castles mentioned are real and worth a visit. There are assassins, traitors, spies, and mystery surrounding Cotton and his son Gary. Berry takes liberties in what he’s proposing happened in the Tudor history. It makes an interesting theory.
Cotton is traveling home to Copenhagen with his son Gary. As a favor to his former boss, Cotton will drop off Ian in London. The people meeting that at Heathrow are not who they seem. Gary and Ian make a break for it together. As Cotton tries to find both boys, he realizes he’s stumbled onto a diplomatic incident, the CIA, and a shocking 400-year-old Tudor secret.
Barry looks to 300 to 400 written sources, mainly books, for each novel. “I buy the vast majority of my research books at a terrific old bookshop in Jacksonville, Florida, called the Chamblin Bookmine,” says Berry. “When I’m done, I return most of them and get a credit that’s applied to the next novel. While on research trips I buy everything I can find at a variety of places. I usually bring home 50 or more pieces of written material from each trip.”
Barry also travels in his research to discover what he can’t find from books. “For The King’s Deception there were two trips made to England,” says Berry. “And all of the locales, except for Hatfield House, were scoped out.”
The King’s Deception has yet to be optioned for TV or film. Barry says there’s been a lot interest over the years in adapting his books, but nothing has happened yet.
Strangely, aspects of Berry’s novels often become reality. “Quite a few things I wrote about ultimately came to pass,” says Berry. “In The Third Secret, written in 1999, published in 2005, I have a German pope succeeded by a non-European. Sound familiar? Just before The Amber Room was published , parts of the original artifact were found. The bodies of the two missing Romanov heirs that form the basis of The Romanov Prophecy were found just after my novel was published .”
Simon Lipskar at Writers House is Berry’s agent. Berry found his agent through recommendations. Mark Tavani at Ballantine Books is Berry’s editor. “He’s edited everything I’ve ever published,’ says Berry.
Berry has written eight Cotton Malone adventures: The Templar Legacy (2006), The Alexandria Link (2007), The Venetian Betrayal (2007), The Charlemagne Pursuit (2008), The Paris Vendetta (2009), The Emperor’s Tomb (2010), The Jefferson Key (2011), and The King’s Deception (2013). In addition, there are four e-book original stories: The Balkan Escape (2010), The Devil’s Gold (2011), The Admiral’s Mark (2012), and The Tudor Plot (2013). He’s written four stand-alone thrillers: The Amber Room (2003), The Romanov Prophecy (2004), The Third Secret (2005), and The Columbus Affair (2012).
Berry is to be recognized in 2013 with the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, given by Poets & Writers each year. Then, International Thriller Writers will award him a Silver Bullet award. Also for 2013, Berry will receive Human Writes Award bestowed by The Anne Frank Center to a writer “whose body of work explores relationships and the ideas and ideals that have become synonymous with Anne Frank.” Berry is the 2012 and 2013 national spokesperson for the American Library Association’s Preservation Week.
In 2011 Berry received the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award from the University of Scranton. The Charlemagne Pursuit was selected as one of the five Best Thrillers for 2008 by Library Journal. In 2005 he was selected by the Georgia Writer’s Association as Author of the Year for The Romano Prophecy.
Berry is currently working on a Cotton Malone adventure for 2014. Berry lives in St. Augustine, Florida. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia.
His website www.steveberry.org lists books and upcoming events. He’s also on Facebook, but not Twitter.
“The King’s Deception goes on sale in the United Kingdom June 6 and in the United States June 11.
The King’s Deception: A Novel (Cotton Malone) by Steve Berry
Hardback, 432 pages, Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Publication date: 6/11/2013, ISBN: 9780345526540 $27.00