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The publisher sped up the release of Bring Up the Bodies to this spring. (Henry Holt and Company/Associated Press )

British writer Hilary Mantel, already an established author of novels, short stories and a memoir, shot to international literary acclaim in 2009 with her blockbuster historical novel Wolf Hall.

Delving deep into the story of King Henry VIII's minister and fixer Thomas Cromwell, the lengthy tome was a smash hit with critics and readers, ultimately capturing the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

She's followed up the blockbuster with Bring Up the Bodies, which offers more about Cromwell in King Henry's court. In November, she revealed that her exploration of the powerful and incredibly influential Tudor-era minister will end with a third novel, which will be titled Mirror and the Light.

In a recent interview from Exeter, England, Mantel spoke to Eleanor Wachtel, host of CBC Radio's Writers and Company, about what continues to intrigue her about Cromwell — who was no "glamour boy," she admits — and how she is compelled to write despite her health struggles.