One of the unsung heroes of the indie historical fiction world is Helen Hollick. Besides being a prolific author, (she writes badass pirate novels among other things, and you know how I love me a pirate story) her site “Discovering Diamonds” blog is a great place to learn about new historical fiction. She also is very discerning, as Acre’s Bastard got a very kind review, but didn’t win a “Discovered Diamond” award. I live in hope that Acre’s Orphans wins one. At any rate, the lady spends a lot of time helping other authors find an audience. It only seemed right that I help her launch her new “the Pendragon’s Banner” series.
For those of my readers not acquainted with the fabulousness that is you, what’s your story?
I am Helen Hollick, I moved from London in January 2013 to live on a thirteen acre 18th Century farm in Devon, England, with my husband, adult daughter and son-in-law.
In between gazing out the window at the beautiful view across the Taw Valley, I write historical fiction, getting to the nuts and bolts of the ‘what might have really happened’ story of King Arthur in my PENDRAGON’S BANNER Trilogy.
It’s an honor to have you visit my humble blog. In a nutshell, what’s the new book and series about?
The book is The Kingmaking and it is the first part of a trilogy … a ‘what might have really happened’ story about King Arthur.
Historical Arthuriana is a bit of a cottage industry these days. What is it about the time period or the story that got you revved up?
I have never particularly liked the traditional medieval tales of Arthur and his knights – sorry folks, but I can’t stand Lancelot, nor ever understood what Guinevere saw in him… I realised a few years ago that my ambivalence might be because there is no historical reality in these made-up tales, (which I am convinced were told as a propaganda advert to entice men to Take the Cross and go on Crusade.) IF Arthur had existed (and alas, that is a big ‘IF’) he would have been around circa the mid-to-late fifth century to the early sixth, basically, what is commonly called the Dark Ages – that period of upheaval between the going of the Romans and the coming of the Anglo Saxons, well before the Age of Chivalry, knights in armour and quests for the Holy Grail were thought of.
I wanted to write the story about the man who became a king and then a legend. MY Gwenhwyfar is feisty, her relationship with Arthur turbulent, but beneath their squabbling they love each other deeply. MY Arthur is a rough, tough, warlord who has to fight hard to gain his kingdom – and fight even harder to keep it!
Without giving away spoilers, what’s your favorite scene in the Kingmaking?
Oh there are quite a few, but then the Pendragon’s Banner series is a trilogy… can I really only pick one (pouts…) Editor’s note: Quit sniveling. You have plenty of rules on your blog, too 🙂 . Oh OK, I think it has to be where the young lad, Arthur is declared as the next Pendragon. The scene is at Cunedda’s Court (Gwynedd, North Wales.) Men have, one by one, knelt and pledged their swords and loyalty to Arthur, finally, Cunedda’s only daughter, Gwenhwyfar, steps forward…
No woman took the oath of loyalty. What was this girl-child about?
“I too am of the blood of Gwynedd. Were I born male I would swear my oath, but I am woman-born. I have no shield or sword.”
Arthur took her hands in his. Like a fool he felt a sudden urge to weep. Looking down at her earnest face, his dark eyes seeing deep into the hidden secrets of her tawny flecked green, he realised how much he wanted her for his own.
Tremulously Gwenhwyfar said, “I have something else to give, Lord.” Her heart was hammering. “When I am woman-grown I shall have a greater gift to pledge. I offer you, my Lord, Arthur Pendragon, to use how you choose, my unborn sons.”
Where can people learn more about you and your prodigious body of work?
Amazon Author Page (Worldwide Universal Link) http://viewauthor.at/HelenHollick
Newsletter Subscription: http://tinyletter.com/HelenHollick
Main Blog: www.ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/HelenHollickAuthor/
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