Monday, May 07, 2012

Interview with historical fiction author Martin Lake

1.) Martin, you write quite a bit of historical fiction. What draws you to such literature? More specifically, you've written about English history soon after the Battle of Hastings, so what drew you to that particular period?

I love history and I love literature. One morning I had the idea of fusing my two passions and writing historical fiction. About this time I also discovered George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman novels and realised that historical fiction could be a wonderful vehicle. I was drawn to the period after 1066 because I've been fascinated by the Anglo-Saxon period since reading a Ladybird book about King Alfred at the age of eight or nine. 1066 was a disaster for ordinary people and I was drawn to writing about a time when their world was broken in this manner. Many people in England still think that the country started when the Normans seized the kingdom, a propaganda coup which has lasted for a 1,000 years.

2.) Do you prefer to be an independent writer, or would you be willing to sign with a traditional publishing house if the opportunity arose?

I love the freedom of being an independent writer and being able to manage the career of each of my books. I have also been amazed and excited by the opportunities to engage with readers and other writers. Having said this, if a publishing house made me an offer I couldn't refuse, then I wouldn't refuse it.

3.) According to your blog, you and your family recently moved to France. Do you think it possible this will affect your writing? If so, how?

That is a fascinating question. The chief effect is that I am beginning to see things from a much more international perspective. It helps that France and England were bitter-sweet enemies, siblings who loved and hated each other in equal measure. We live in a frontier town so we also have the influence of Italy. Living abroad has given me new ideas, insights and thoughts. I can't speak French very well but I imagine that as I improve it may have an impact on the way in which I write. At the moment I notice that I relish the richness of English even more than I have in the past.

4.) What do you most hate about your hero?

Tough question. The hero of The Lost King series is Edgar, the young boy who was the rightful King of England and was proclaimed as such just after the Battle of Hastings. He must have been an astonishing man and I look forward to writing about the rest of his life. The one thing which gets me, and I didn't intend this, is that he is sometimes overawed and overwhelmed by William the Conqueror. It frustrates Edgar as well: "I searched the pennants fluttering above the troops. There, yes there, was William's standard. It towered above a forest of other flags, arrogant, assured, a spit in my eye. My heart seemed to stall at the sight of it. What hope did we have now that William here?"

5.) If you could be a time of year, what would it be?

The day after the clocks go forward in spring. It's like a magic wand has worked a strange trick. People wander around as if bewildered and beguiled by the sudden opportunity opened up by an extra hour of sunlight. The world seems to breathe quicker and with more excitement.

6.) Also according to your blog, you have interest in Gene Kelly. Are you a good dancer?

Only when dancing with Cyd Charrise.

Thanks very much for this interview, Ty.

To find out more about historical fiction author Martin Lake, check out his ...
Blog: Martin Lake Writing
Amazon page
Amazon (UK) page
Smashwords page

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Yeah, I wouldn't refuse one of those offers either.