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Monday 4 March 2024

Exploring the world of imaginative fiction via alternate endings with Samantha Wilcoxson

let's explore some alternate endings 
Samantha Wilcoxson

Welcome to my Blog!
Wander through wonderful worlds
real and fictional,
meet interesting people,
visit exciting places
and find a few good books
to enjoy along the way!

About the Book

Alternate Endings is a short story anthology from Historical Writers Forum. We asked our members, “If you could change history, would you?” The imagined histories that resulted are a fun what-if journey through the past, from ancient Rome through the Tudor era and American Revolution. Alternate Endings is a great opportunity to read eight stories and find your next favorite author!

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Samantha Wilcoxson is part of the Historical Writers Forum admin team, and she has contributed a story to Alternate Endings that imagines a happier ending for Queen Mary I. Samantha is the author of emotive historical fiction and nonfiction that enables readers to connect with historical figures. She loves bringing lesser-known people into the spotlight with her biographical fiction and nonfiction works. Her most recent novel, But One Life, tells the story of American patriot Nathan Hale. She has also written about the tragedy of the radium girls in Luminous. Samantha is currently working on a biography of James Alexander Hamilton to be published by Pen & Sword History.

Besides reading and writing, Samantha loves travelling and visiting historic sites. Join her on social media to see where she is going next!

The first book that I remember wishing, “Wow, I want to write like this!” was The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman. I know I’m not alone in my admiration of her work or in the desirability to write an alternate ending for Richard III. Other inspirations of mine include Charlotte Bronte and Edith Wharton, so you can see I appreciate the emotional impact of a tragic ending.

I chose to write my Alternate Endings story about Queen Mary I because I have had a soft spot for her ever since writing Queen of Martyrs. I didn’t want to change history too much, and, in truth, I adjusted Elizabeth’s story just as much as Mary’s. I at least wanted to give Mary some bit of the happiness that had eluded her in life, so I had her select a more suitable husband. Oh, what a difference that would have made!

Perhaps, if I found a genie in a bottle, I would wish for Mary to rethink her selection of Prince Philip of Spain, but we never know what impact the ripples of changes like that would make. So, maybe instead, I would wish for a tropical writing retreat like Hemingway’s surrounded by six-toed cats. Call me an optimist, but I can’t think of too many things that I would wish for that I don’t have. Riches and fame don’t seem to make people happy, so I’ll stay in my little life, thank you.

One thing I might change would be the decision to start writing. I wish I had done so sooner! Where might I be if a mentor in high school or college encouraged me to focus on history or writing? I’ll never know, but I’m thankful that my husband urged me to start when he did. I love telling the stories of people who are sometimes left out of the big history books. We have so much in common with people of the past if we care to get to know them.

I’m also glad that I accepted the opportunity to write a short story for Alternate Endings. My first thought was, “I don’t write alternate history – or short stories!” I worried that I didn’t have the imagination for a plot that wasn’t based on known history, but I ended up having a lot of fun with it and the other fantastic authors who were a part of this project. Everything we haven’t done is just something we haven’t done yet!








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this month's themed tour guests:
Samantha Wilcoxson
Anna Belfrage
the authors of 1066 Turned Upside Down
Inge H. Borg
Charlene Newcomb
Alison Morton
Marian L Thorpe

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  1. I reslly enjoyed your book about Mary I - it deffo presented her as being in need of some TLC. As to Felipe, there's another person who seriously needed some TLC and fun in his life, so that was NOT a marriage made in heaven... If I could give wither of these peeps an alternate ending, I'd have given Felipe a son with his third wife, Elizabeth Valois. That would maybe have ensured a healthier genepool in the following generations!

  2. Replies
    1. LOL we know what you meant Anna! :-) & I agree with you re Samantha's writing

  3. Alternate history is a wonderful way to explore those 'what if' questions. Sometimes it can be just a little push in history that seems inconsequential, or a turn in the weather or a message that did or didn't get through. Other times, it can be a grand battle, the death of a monarch or a major discovery.
    Althist (as we practitioners call it) les the imagination really roam, yet keeps us grounded in a historical context.

  4. Oops! "...lets the imagination..."

  5. I have a whole alternate history series on what if Antony and Cleopatra had won.


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