Post contains affiliate links.
Not So Happily Ever After: The Life of King Ludwig II is now out. It’s a departure for me in that it’s the first book I’ve written that’s not overtly Christian. Its audience will probably be quite different from that of my other writing. That’s okay; I’m up for a challenge.
Here are some facts about its creation.
- I’ve been interested in Ludwig for years – at least prior to 1993. That’s the year I took a two-week trip to Germany and visited all three of his castles.
- I wrote an application for a National Endownment for the Humanities summer study teacher’s grant in 1996. I proposed studying about Ludwig. I didn’t win. My husband suggested that the NEH, a liberal group, probably had little interest in funding research into a white European king. I thought this was probably true, and the next summer I applied for the same grant, this time requesting to study the 6 wives of Henry VIII: “Striving to Find a Voice.” Readers, I received the grant :).
- I read (in many cases, re-read) seven book about Ludwig while researching the book, also numerous online articles and a few castle guidebooks. It was fun — kind of like a vicarious trip abroad.
- The big question on Ludwig is: was he really insane? My opinion: no. I agree with the assessment of his cousin Sisi — to paraphrase, he was not crazy enough to be insane, but he was different enough to have a hard time making it in a world of “normal” people.
- I originally planned the book to be suitable for kids around grades 4 to 6. But the events of Ludwig’s life were a bit complex. Throw in opera composer Richard Wagner, a couple of obscure wars, and some Bavarian government intrigue, and the sophistication level kept inching up. I’m now seeing the audience as middle- or high school. Even adults who’d like to know more about a fascinating character, without investing the time to read a 300-page book on him (“Not So Happily…” is about 135 pages).
There you have it. The book is available in both Kindle and paperback versions.