If you are a Phillipa Gregory fan and just can’t get enough of the Tudors and all things royal in that time period, you are going to want to get to know author Lynn Cullen and her Mad Queen Juana of Spain.

REIGN OF MADNESS tells the story of Juana, a royal who was never supposed to be Queen.  Sister to King Henry’s Catherine of Aragon, she was far down the line of succession and was raised to marry well but not to rule.  Alas through a series of untimely deaths, Juana did become Queen but the manipulating men in her life, her husband (Phillipe the Handsome) her father and even her son, made sure she was Queen in name only and that they held the real power.

Married at 16 to the hottie Phillipe, Juana was undone by her lust and it was used against her.  That said, the rumors of her madness were just that… rumors.  She was as sane as you and me and she paid dearly for her youthful mistakes.  I mean seriously, who hasn’t been hot for some dumb guy?

Lynn Cullen takes the story of Juana and digs behind the myth to the human story underneath.  As much as REIGN OF MADNESS is a historical novel illuminating a time in history that has piqued our curiosity, it is also a mother-daughter story and the story of a young girl struggling to stay afloat in a man’s world.  Book clubs will find much to discuss in the relationships in these pages just as Lynn and I found much to discuss when she came by our studios last week.

Of course we talked in detail about Juana and the other royals in the book, but we also dug into the relationships, talked about Lynn’s research and got a hint about what she’s working on next.

As always, I hope you enjoy the interview!  And be sure to check out the rest of the author interview series on iTunes!

– Dana Barrett, Managing Editor