Gisborne: Book of Pawns http://amzn.to/SkJ9VA
A Thousand Glass Flowers http://amzn.to/RcCoa8
with availability through Amazon.co.uk and all other Amazon outlets to follow in the next couple of days.
Happy Easter everyone!
(NB: Image before photoshop courtesy of BBC/Tiger Aspect Productions)
What is a villain?
If one looks up #904 ‘villain’ in Roget’s Thesaurus, it will list a plethora of alternate names ranging from ‘malefactor’ through ‘snake in the grass’ and ‘rogue’ to ‘knave’ and ‘cutthroat’ and many more besides.The word derives from the 1300’s from the term villein from the Anglo-French http://bit.ly/yPB6uF No doubt the upheavals of the peasantry during the Middle ages created a far more sinister meaning to the word.
Gisborne: Book of Pawns
The book that has dominated my life for the last eighteen months has finally been published as en e-book with the print version following in May. To say that I have enjoyed writing it is a given – Guy and Ysabel have become very close friends. But as with any book I write, whilst I have a loose plot outline in my head, I always love seeing where the characters will take me. At its inception there was absolutely no chance that there would be a second volume. But a chance writing of a tiny short-story for a miniature book laid a whole new plot in my head. And thus volume Two will be available in early 2013. This current e-book will be available at Amazon.co.uk within the week in an enhanced form with colour plates throughout: designed for the new colour e-readers. It will be available for all other e-readers (eg: Kobo, i-pad, Nook etc) in the next week.
‘The storytelling talent is sharp, pulling the reader on the journey and bringing on the unpredictable as the story twists and turns with neither a bore nor a snore.’ John Hudspith
Available as an e-book first week of March – a debut historical fiction by Australian fantasy author
Whilst staying at my mother’s cottage by the sea this week, I was leafing through her bookshelves and found a delightful children’s version of Robin Hood from the 1930’s. It had been awarded to my father for a Sunday School prize. That was a surprise in itself, because he’d never mentioned anything about going to church in his youth, let alone Sunday School. He had apparently score 85% for something or other. Knowing Dad, that’s no surprise as he was something of a high-achieving intellectual, finishing his life with a qualification in Mandarin Chinese, both written and spoken!
Writing the last part of Gisborne, I’m second guessing myself constantly. Is my language anachronistic, are my facts solid, how much variation from the accepted history am I allowed?
Recently I was re-reading the dates of Richard 1st’s reign and found that he was crowned in September of 1189. So… the beginning of autumn. That now requires me to go right through the whole novel to change the season in which Ysabel travels through France and England with Gisborne from autumn to summer.
That doesn’t just involve changes to the settings (eg colour of leaves on trees) but the kind of foods available, the clothes one might wear, journeys on the high seas, how thick a horse’s coat is, what flowers might be blooming, the presence of certain seasonal ailments and so on. In addition, I am now having to do a lot of counting of days and months so that the story ends at just the right point of factual history.
For me, so new to this venture, I read and re-read what I have written. Anything I am remotely unsure of I will change to red type so that I can re-read my research and insert the correct fact in the next edit. Even so, I am aware the true historical fictionistas, those whose reading and knowledge is exceptional, will find plenty to dispute and argue about.
Blondel de Nesle, Richard’s troubadour, appears in this novel and I can find no account of his physical attributes. Because he is a favourite of the king, and because Richard himself is known to have been golden and attractive and potentially bi-sexual, I am taking a great liberty and making Blondel to be lithely good-looking, bordering on the feminine. I am waiting for the trip-up, I can tell you.
Writing hist.fict is wonderful satisfying but it’s also a terrifying prospect releasing a historical fiction novel to a reading public that may know as much as, if not more than you. So much is known, so much must be respected. In many ways I’m glad my main character is essentially a character of legend as that gives me room to play, but with others like Richard the Lionheart, I am hamstrung by history and can deviate little from what is known.
I’m just wondering what other little gems I shall find on tomorrow’s read.