I was recently interviewed by Aimee at Pondering Books about my novel, Teon. It appeared on Thursday 10 March 2016. Here's a copy:
Hello AJ! Thank you for coming on Pondering Books for an interview, I look forward to hearing your answers. I always like to start of with getting to know your book, can you tell us a bit about Teon?
Teon is set in the seventh century, in Anglo-Saxon England. When a new boy-king arrives, Teon sees this as an opportunity to grab himself an easy life by pretending to be a prophet. The king wants to reclaim his father's kingdom and believes that he needs a prophet to help him do this. He is not convinced of Teon's claims so Teon tries various things to impress him, such as winning over his queen and people of his village as well as predicting events.
I heard the main character, Teon, is a musician, does music play a big role in your life?
Yes, it does. I live with a semi-professional guitarist and my daughter is an excellent pianist. I used to play the piano and clarinet but never seem to find the time now. But music is an essential element.
What role does music play in Teon's life?
He is a storyteller and musician. In Anglo-Saxon times this was known as a scop (pronounced 'shop'), the same as a bard. The stories were often recited like a chant, nobody sang as we know it today. He accompanies himself with a lyre. This occupation allows him to travel light and run away when he has to!
Where did the inspiration for Teon come from?
In my previous book, 'Gulfyrian', the central character was serious and troubled so I wanted someone light for this one. He is neither noble nor principled, dignified or refined. I must emphasise that he is not based on anyone I know. I just had fun creating him.
What was your favourite thing about writing this book?
Hard to pin down one aspect. I enjoyed the research, which included visiting the sites of the myths I have included and experiencing falconry, especially getting close to a golden eagle. But there were times when I got carried away with the story and couldn't type fast enough. My heart pounded at the exciting bits. I was in tears when I finished. I know, I'm sad.
I also heard that Teon goes pretty far for an easy life, what are some intense things we have to look forward to?
He wants to learn the runes and is given some serious tasks to perform, such as killing the local priest and providing evidence. Then it gets even darker...
Did you have much interest in the Dark Ages before writing this book?
Yes, this is my specialist period. I developed an interest when I moved to the Midlands in 1996 because there was a whole load of history nobody knew about. I was a history teacher back then, so I already had a basic background knowledge of the Anglo-Saxon period. The best part about it is that there is very little recorded evidence and so I can make it up.
Do you plan to continue Teon's story in future books?
I did not initially intend to but I had such fun creating him I feel as if I cannot abandon him! Perhaps a few prequels as his story ends at the end of the book.
Where can we find you on social media?
Of course we need to know, where can we buy your book?