Camilla – What inspired you to write this book? And what are your inspirations?
Martin – It is said that history is written by the victors and this is nowhere more true than with the Norman invasion. In terms of greed the Normanswere like their Viking ancestors but they had a veneer of sophistication and far more ruthlessness. It has been calculated that the lands of ten native Anglo-Saxons were taken and given to one Norman. This huge concentration of wealth and power into the hands of a tiny, foreign elite has repercussions to this day, a thousand years later. In effect, the Norman Conquest started a period of apartheid which lasted for two or three hundred years.
I wanted to tell the story of the courageous men and women who resisted theNormans. In particular, I was fascinated by Edgar. He was a young man who spent most of his life fighting against the Norman kings yet somehow managing to survive. The later part of his life is, if anything, even more surprising than the earlier part. It is astonishing that such a vigorous, intelligent man, the great survivor of the period, has been forgotten.
My inspirations are the authors I have already listed and two more. Tom Holland makes history as exciting as the best novel and George MacDonald Fraser shows how to write historically accurate novels with verve, humour and consummate skill.
C – Favourite books/authors?
The Flashman Books.
The Lord of the Rings.
Tom Holland, especially Rubicon.
I have lately read Simon Scarrow who I greatly enjoy and have just started a novel by Ben Kane which I am enjoying.
C – Who is the book aimed at?
M – Anyone who loves historical fiction, action and adventure. I also think it would be of interest to young adults as, in some ways, this is a coming of age novel.
C – Why did you choose Amazon Kindle?
It was the first platform I heard of which would offer direct publishing on e-books. I have recently also begun to use Smashwords which allows my books to be sold on a wider series of e-readers such as Sony, Kobo, Nook and on your computer or phone.
I am still waiting to hear from a number of agents. I must admit, however, that I am hugely enjoying being the master of my own destiny with my books and getting readers from all around the world.
M – You talk of a sequel…will there be more?
M – Oh yes. Wasteland is due out in July. I think there could be two or three novels about Edgar after this.
Currently, I am writing a novel set in theKingdomofJerusalembefore the Third Crusade. I also have plans for a First World War novel and the tale of a Victorian adventurer.
You can see Camilla Brown’s blog at semicattus.wordpress.com