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Home > Author > C.W. Gortner
C.W. Gortner

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Member Since: Nov, 2007

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  C.W. Gortner           

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C.W. Gortner is the acclaimed author of The Last Queen, a novel of Queen Juana la Loca of Spain, to be released by Ballantine Books, Random House, on July 29, 2008. His previous novel, The Secret Lion, a tale of suspense in the Tudor court, was published by Two Bridges Press in 2006.

Background Information

I was born in the U.S. and raised in southern Spain, where I lived for six years. I'm half-Spanish by birth through my mother and fully bilingual. History has been an obsession of mine since childhood, but I started out working in fashion before I moved into social services. I've always enjoyed writing and finally published my first book, The Secret Lion, with an independent press in 2004. I then helped establish a new independent press shortly before my current agent sold my subsequent work in a 2-book deal to Ballantine, Random House, in early 2007. Writing is a solitary task; to thrive in this difficult market, writers needs support. I've been very fortunate to find it. I therefore believe in giving back to the communities that nurture my growth, both as a writer and a person. It's karma: what you give, you will receive. I've served on the board of the Women's National Book Association/SF Chapter, a marvelous organization that promotes literacy, and actively review for the Historical Novel Society's The Historical Novels Review, true champion of the genre. I campaign and donate whatever I can to organizations that defend and protect our environment, animal rights, and the fight against HIV, an area to which I've devoted twelve years of my professional life. I live in Northern California with my partner of sixteen years and our beloved corgi, Paris. As a historical fiction writer, I seek to reveal untold or secret histories. Whether it's Juana of Castile's alleged madness or Catherine de Medici's reputation for evil, or, as in The Secret Lion, a squire's search for his past, I strive first and foremost to entertain. I also hope readers will come away from my work with the experience that they've been on an emotional journey. I want them to feel the way these people lived, their hardships and joys, and differences and similiarities with us. Though a Renaissance queen may have faced issues we don't, love, hatred, power, intolerance, passion, and the quest for personal liberty are universal themes everyone can relate to.


The Secret Lion hit the Hourly Top 100 Hourly Bestseller list in 2006. C.W. has received wide-spread critical acclaim for his work.

Additional Information

Ballantine Books will publish my novel about the life of Catherine de Medici in 2009.

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