The Book's Journey
The writing of this book began in the 1970s and was a lifelong endeavor, though never a full time project. It was finished in 2004, but remained unpublished largely because of Ginny's insistence that the book could not be shortened and the publishing industry's disinterest is such a long book from an unknown author. The book was published posthumously in 2017 by Ginny's friends and family. Here is the story of the book's creation as we remember it. Beth & Jeni, daughters
Ginny's interest in Richard III was initially sparked by reading Josephine Tey's novel, The Daughter of Time. We asked our father about what inspired Mom to write her novel and he recalled, "I remember your mom getting really worked up about the story after finishing that book. She immediately started researching Medieval history for additional information on Richard III because she had so many questions that she felt were left unanswered."
Ginny spent decades researching the historic record and what was known about Richard III and the Wars of the Roses. Although inspired by The Daughter of Time, she wanted a deeper understanding of Richard the man, his life, and the events that surrounded the mystery of the Princes in the Tower. She wanted to tell a story that would leave the reader satisfied in their understanding of Richard III and would reconcile the events of history with what is known about Richard's character and that of his contemporaries.
Do only evil men commit evil acts? Ginny was not satisfied with essentialist notions that people could be categorized as either good or evil based on single events or decisions. Ginny questioned, “Who are the tellers of history and can their construction of the past be trusted? What evidence exists that might enlighten us about Richard's character and shape our perspective on the events of history?”
Beyond seeking to understand what kind of person could or could not commit the acts Richard III is thought to have committed, Ginny was fascinated by the idea that there was another story to be told about Richard III —a story that explores the question, "What makes people capable of doing the unthinkable, especially in times of war?"
Becoming a Book
We remember Mom working on this book for most of our childhood. She had a floor to ceiling bookcase constructed in the center of the living room that was filled with books on Medieval history from fashion and food to medicine, weapons, and warfare. By the mid 1990s it was a complete book, but Ginny was not satisfied with it. She found more than one writer's group who critiqued her work and encouraged her writing.
Award for amateur historical fiction
In 2004, Benediction won the award for historical fiction in the Paul Gillette Memorial Writing Contest at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, Colorado Springs, CO.
After winning that award, Ginny spoke with several agents who were interested in the book, however, all of them encouraged her to shorten the book. She insisted that the story was long because it needed to be. Ginny was unwilling to shorten Richard's story because she was confident that a book should not bend to publishing industry preferences, but should remain whole.
From notebooks and files to a book
Ginny was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and had begun a new book project, a mystery set in Roman times. In 2012, when Richard's remains were found, Ginny's writing friends were thrilled that the physical evidence of Richard's death matched what she had written in Benediction. After Ginny's death in 2013, one of her longtime friends, Deb Robson, committed to getting the book in print. Experienced in the publishing industry, Deb lovingly sifted through three-ring binders and digital files to bring this book into the world. We are deeply grateful for the care and effort which made the publication of this book possible.