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Q&A about Gilt

Why did you choose to write about Catherine Howard?
A: I thought she got a bit of a bum deal from historians. Just because a girl likes new clothes, lots of jewelry and parties doesn't mean she was empty-headed. Just because she couldn't read or write well doesn't mean she was ignorant. The fact is, girls weren't academically educated in 1540. And just because she had relationships before she married the King doesn't mean she was promiscuous. I wanted to write her differently from the way she's been painted in the past.

Why do you write for teenagers?
A: Because it's so much fun! Because navigating life in the Tudor Court reminds me so much of my own high school days. Because there is nothing like a first love. And because I don't think I ever grew up.

Did you have a friend like Cat when you were a teenager?
A: No, thank goodness. I had some of my favorite people in the world around me when I was a teenager. Cat is a conglomeration of people I've met since then—plus a healthy dose of my imagination.

Is there going to be a sequel to Gilt?
A: No. But it is part of a series. All the books are set in the court of Henry VIII. They are all about real people and actual events, embellished by my imagination. They won't be follow-on stories, but some characters will pop up in all three books with varying degrees of importance.