Blog tour: Meet My Main Character
Another Monday, another blog tour. In this case, I was tagged by Matthew Harffy, another writer inspired by the history of Northumbria. The first volume of his Bernicia chronicles is with an agent and hopefully should soon find a publisher, and he is hard at work on the sequel – I trust the wait will not be too long, because I want to read it! Read what he had to say about Beobrand, the hero of The Serpent’s Sword, here.
Next week I pass the baton on to A.H. Gray, yet another author in love with the history and rolling sea mists of Northumbria. See below for more on her work.
Now, on with the tour.
1) What is the name of your character? Is he fictional or a historical figure/person?
Edwin. He is a historical character – in fact, one of the best attested in a period where there is very little history.
2) When and where is the story set?
The story is set in Britain in the early seventh century, specifically in the kingdom of Northumbria although it also visits some of the other kingdoms into which Britain was split at the time.
3) What should we know about him?
The story begins with Edwin in exile, and pursued by the man who usurped his throne. Exile, or death, were the common fates of kings at this time – long life was not a facet of rule.
4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?
The initial conflict is between Edwin and Æthelfrith, the man who took his kingdom. When this is resolved, the rest of the book follows Edwin as he attempts to unify his kingdom and the country under his rule. In this, he is opposed by the last great king of the Britons, Cadwallon of Gwynedd. Welsh sources indicate that Edwin took refuge in Gwynedd during his exile, staying with Cadwallon’s father, Cadfan. Later events suggest an unusual enmity between the two men, the sort of enmity born of a particular personal grudge. I try to explain this in the book.
5) What is the personal goal of the character?
Initially it is to regain his kingdom, and then to secure it for his sons. But, above everything else, Edwin is trying to understand his life and its meaning amid the violence and brutality of the world he has been born into.
6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
An actual title – Edwin: High King of Britain. Here is the publisher’s blurb and there have been some excellent reviews published in Publishers Weekly, Carpe Librum and Medieval Reader, as well as on reader sites such as Good Reads.
7) When can we expect the book to be published?
It’s out now! Go buy it!
A H Gray lives in sunny Perth, Western Australia. She has a double degree in History and Archaeology from the University of Western Australia, yet due to the lack of Anglo-Saxon hoards or Viking boat burials down under, she has had to content herself with writing about them instead. Her debut historical fiction novel is The Northumbrian Saga and she writes weekly posts on her favourite historical period http://ahgray.wordpress.com/.