IT'S SAGA SATURDAY! Please welcome historical fiction author Janet Wertman...


Hi Janet! I am so excited to have you here - as an absolute Tudor nut, I could not be more interested in your Seymour trilogy. I have downloaded Jane the Quene and intend reading it when I visit Hever Castle next month...bliss! Anyway, let's kick things off with my questions...

RB: What was your first job? Did you like or dislike it? Why?

JW: My very first job was as a dog sitter and I loved it! I was eight years old and too young to babysit (or do anything else, really!). There was an older couple who lived in the same apartment building as I did, and they had a very spoiled toy poodle named Bobo who did not like to be left alone. I would earn all of a dollar a day for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon watching their dog and raiding their refrigerator (they were grandparently and specifically left stuff for me).

RB: Do you have a pet peeve? If so what is it?

Improperly sorted garbage! I have been known to pick recyclables out of regular bins…

RB: Do you spend more time researching or writing?

JW: The two are so intertwined! Now, I spent years and years (decades!) researching before I got serious about writing and that skews things…but if we don’t count that time then I’d say it was about 50-50. I do a bunch of preliminary research to create an outline, then I spend the entire month of November to write a 50,000-word first draft (gotta love NaNoWriMo!). Once I have that basic narrative I take the book through a weekly critique group (two, actually) scene by scene – and that process requires both (re)writing and “nitty-gritty” researching to get the details to sing - what each character would have worn (variables include status and weather…), what activities would be open to them, what they would be eating...

RB: Tell me about your Seymour Saga trilogy and where you got your inspiration for it?

JW: The Seymour Saga is the story of the dynasty that actually shaped the Tudor era. That very fact is what inspired me to tell it – and what makes it as fascinating as it is: my main characters were actually in the room during the central events of the time. The trilogy begins with Jane the Quene, in which Jane Seymour, who wanted nothing more than a husband, catches the eye of a volatile king and is pulled deep into the Tudor court's realm of plot and intrigue....It continues with The Path to Somerset, in which Jane’s brother must figure out how to navigate Henry VIII's shifting principles to safeguard his nephew’s future...and concludes with The Boy King, the story of Jane’s son who takes the throne at nine and quickly learns that he cannot trust anyone, even himself.

Who is your role model? Why?

I have to say my grandmother, my Nonna Carlina, for her shrewdness, her persistence, and her heart. She held the family together when my grandfather went through a terrible bout of sciatica and could not work – by taking in borders and cooking for them (knife grinders who originally came from her own Italian village). She met basic needs from the rent, made some good profits from the meals – but she really scored by playing gin rummy with them. Nonna taught me how to bridge shuffle when I was about five and that made me the coolest kid at school the next day. And every once in a while (not often enough to make it seem suspicious), she’d even let me win…

RB: How much of your story is realistic?

JW: Ha! I keep my books as historically accurate as possible (I even use a date stamp for each scene to keep me honest!) but some of those Tudor events can sound pretty unbelievable (truth is stranger than fiction, after all!). The question I get most is, “Whoa, did that really happen?” and my answer has so far always been “Yep” (even the plucked bird in The Boy King, for any of you who’ve read it).

RB: What are your ambitions for your writing career?

JW: I have stories that need to come out! I am currently working on my second trilogy, covering Elizabeth – and I desperately want to do her the justice I gave to the Seymours. Then I either want to circle back for another trilogy set earlier in the Tudor Era – or go for a series set in the same era in France.

RB: Share a fact about yourself that would surprise people.

 JW: Surprise or shock? I am a third-degree black belt in karate. I was also part of the original shadow cast when the Rocky Horror Picture Show established itself at the Eight Street Playhouse in the Village in 1978…


In Tudor England, Jane Seymour catches the eye of King Henry VIII - but when she becomes the volatile ruler's third wife, she's drawn into a world of drama, politics and misfortune. "This enticing, historically accurate story lends immediacy to the events." (Publishers Weekly 

Jane the Quene is available through AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and Apple, or even your local independent bookstore!


Janet’s books indulge a passion for the Tudor era she has harbored since she was *cough* eight years old and her parents let her stay up late to watch The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R.  Janet’s Seymour Saga trilogy – featuring Jane the Quene, The Path to Somerset, and The Boy King – has been critically acclaimed as masterful and engaging, her dialogue as exceptional. She is deep into writing the first book of her next trilogy, which takes up where the Seymours left off to illustrate the life of Elizabeth I. Janet also runs a blog ( where she posts interesting takes on the Tudors and what it’s like to write about them, and she’s part of a group of novelists from Southern California who offer interesting panels and discussions to libraries around the state.

Links to JANET:


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Jane’s Twitter (yes, she has her own – and tweets different stuff than I do!):


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