The Big Red Chair…
Earlier this year, I had the privilege of meeting Hilary Green. Hilary is an exemplary hist.fict writer who has been published by mainstream houses. But like many, she has found that when she wanted to take a new direction for her work, a niche direction, those new stories were sidelined. Bravely, she took the step of publishing independently. The Last Hero is her first independent release, to be followed soon by God’s Warrior. I’ve read both and thoroughly enjoyed them and it’s wonderful to have Hilary in the Big Red Chair, answering this year’s Red Chair questions, courtesy of Joanna Penn.
Question 1: What do you do?
I write historical fiction. I have nine novels conventionally published plus my new e-book.
WORLD WAR ONE
THE ‘FANY’ BOOKS
These books were inspired by the stories of two remarkable women, Mabel Stobart and Flora Sands. Stobart founded the Women’s Sick and Wounded Convoy and established the first military hospital to be entirely run and staffed by women in Bulgaria in 1912 and then took her women to Serbia to care for troops there during WWl. Flora got separated from her unit and joined a company of Serbian soldiers and fought with them all through the war. She was the first woman ever to be accepted as a serving soldier, reaching the rank of sergeant.
WORLD WAR TWO
THE FOLLIES BOOKS
The FOLLIES series was inspired by my mother’s experiences in the entertainment world prior to the outbreak of World War ll
Question 2: Who do you do it for?
I do it for myself, because my head is full of stories and I have to let then out! I also do it for readers who, I know from their responses, get pleasure from my work.
THE LAST HERO.
The inspiration for this book came initially from reading the novels of Mary Renault. They prompted me to research the history of Greece and in particular the Myceneans, who fought the Trojan War. I was fascinated to discover that less than 100 years later all the great cities of their empire were destroyed so thoroughly that they were consigned to the realm of myth, until Schliemann began his excavations.
Question 3: Why are you different?
I think the difference is summed up by the title of my website – Novels of Love and War. So many authors write either romance or adventure/war/thrillers and so many readers think they will only like one or the other. Publishers insist on putting books into pigeon holes, particularly with regard to whether they are intended for men or women. I like to think that both men and women can enjoy my books – in fact I know from the letters I get that they can. I use war as a background for my stories because it puts people into extreme situations and gives dramatic impulse to the action. All my books are very carefully researched and I try to be as accurate as possible with the details of battles, weapons etc. But I am mainly interested in how such events affect the characters emotionally and how the experience changes them. There is romance in the books, too, because relationships are an essential part of life, but I like to think there is more to them than ‘boy meets girl’ or girls looking for ‘Mr Right’. In fact, in my FOLLIES quartet and again in my new book, THE LAST HERO, the love interest is partly homosexual. I have been complimented by a gay man on the way I portray such relationships as having the same validity and constancy as heterosexual ones.
Question 4: Where are you going?
Where am I going? I am trying to expand the historical range of my books. All my conventionally published ones are set at some point in the 20th century. Now I have gone back to the Bronze Age with THE LAST HERO but I am also working on books set at the time of the First Crusade.
Question 5: How are you going to get there? You have a plan, right?
The plan? That’s difficult. I am trying to make contact with as many like-minded people as possible, to share mutual help in promoting books. I would like to be published by ‘proper’ publishers again, but I can see that the future may lie with independently published e-books.
Hilary’s website: www.hilarygreen.co.uk.
The Last Hero may be found at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DUKFV5G