I am so pleased to welcome author Helen Hollick to my blog today. Ms. Hollick is a new, favorite author of mine, who has written what may be my most favorite series of novels EVER about King Arthur. Her series starts with The Kingmaking, continues with Pendragon’s Banner, and ends with Shadow of the King. I’ll let her tell you (and me) a little more about it.
You will not find Lancelot, Merlin or any myth, magic or fantasy in my Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy about King Arthur. There is no Holy Grail, round table or knights in armour. My version is the story of Arthur as it might have really happened. My Arthur is a rough, tough, war lord who fights hard to gain his kingdom and has to fight even harder to keep it.
I wrote my Trilogy because I could not find the novel that I personally wanted to read. I had never been very interested in the more familiar Medieval tales of Arthur – they always seemed so false and unreal, then I discovered that if Arthur had existed he may have been a war lord in the post-Roman era of the Dark Age Britian – the 4th-5th Century.
I was working as a library assistant, so I had access to many books. You name it I read it! From books I started going to places connected to Arthur – Glastonbury Tor, for instance, and Cadbury in Somerset. If you are interested I have some pictures of these places on my blog site www.acorne.blogspot.com
When planning a new novel I read first, gathering information and facts, then I make a sketch of the plot, a synopsis of the story and a chapter by chapter plan of what happened, where and when.
When satisfied, I build around the bare-bones of the story, adding my characters and imagined scenes and situations. I’ll check the “facts” as I go – often referring to my character’s CV’s which I add to as I go along.
I spend quite a while getting the first few chapters as I want them, writing and re-writing until I’m happy, then I settle down to write the whole thing. When a chapter is finished I set it aside until the next day then re-read it through, usually finding it is a bit skimpy on detail, or there is too much dialogue, so I’ll alter and edit, although I don’t spend too long on chapters at this stage.
Most of my books are divided into one, two or three parts. With the books I am currently writing (the Sea Witch series – pirate-based adventure fantasy) I usually complete the first part then send it off to my UK Editor, Jo Field, for her opinion. We discuss errors, faults and scenes that are not working and while she is doing a preliminary edit I finish the second part.
Then the final re-write. If a scene does not work at this stage I press the delete button. I am also checking continuity, too many point of view changes, repeated words etc. When I am happy with it Jo does her full edit, re-checking everything I have mentioned above, plus incorrect grammar, punctuation, spelling etc.
I then re-read, re-write where necessary, and then send it off to my publisher. Where it is re-read and re-checked/edited. Once printed in proof form it will have a final check for errors.
And there will still be a few typos!
Main Website: www.helenhollick.net
Monthly Journal: www.helenhollick.net/journal.html
http://www.helenhollick.net/culpa41.html my own hints and tips for aspiring writers.
Thank you Ms. Hollick for that insightful post. If you love historical fiction at it’s finest, I highly recommend Ms. Hollick’s work. It’s detailed, it’s engrossing, it’s fabulous!!
See these other stops on the Pendragon’s Banner tour.
The Tome Travellers Weblog (10/12)
A Reader’s Respite (10/12)
Carla Nayland’s Historical Fiction (10/13)
Enchanted by Josephine (10/14)
Fumbling with Fiction (10/14)
Found Not Lost (10/15)
Nan Hawthorne’s Booking the Middle Ages (10/15)
Jenny Loves to Read (10/16)
The Review From Here (10/17)
The Courtier’s Book (10/18)
Chick Loves Lit (10/19)
Love Romance Passion (10/20)
He Followed Me Home… Can I Keep Him? (10/20)
The Impasse Strikes Back (10/21)
S. Krishna’s Books (10/22)
Books Like Breathing (10/23)
Passages to the Past (10/24)
Virginie Says (10/25)
Reading with Monie (10/26)
Books & Needlepoint (10/27)
Books are my Only Friends (10/27)
A Sea of Books (10/28)
Bloody Bad (10/28)
Revenge of the Book Nerds! (10/28)
Booksie’s Blog (10/28)
Devourer of Books (10/29)
Peeking Between the Pages (10/29)
Starting Fresh (10/29)
Historical Tapestry (10/30)
Medieval Bookworm (10/30)
Book Soulmates (10/30)
Susan’s Art & Words (10/30)
Steven Till (10/31)
Café of Dreams (10/31)