Good Morning book lovers! Today, Sarah Luddington drops by to talk about her series, The Knights of Camelot.
Don't forget the first book of the series, Lancelot and the King is FREE from June 29 to July 4th! You can get it HERE: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DH999SP
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What inspired you to write this book?
I found Lancelot as a character in a book that will never be published, because I can’t write it well enough, and knew he needed a story of his own. So began my research into Arthurian mythology. What a rabbit hole that turned out to be!
When I studied the original texts I began to see a pattern. Arthur forgives Lancelot, but never Guinevere and her punishment is far worse than Lancelot’s for their affair. Why would a king forgive a knight for bedding his queen? Maybe the king loves the knight far more than the queen and maybe the knight bedded the queen to somehow reach out to the king…? That was the question I asked myself when I began Lancelot and the King, the first in the Knights of Camelot series. It took a lot of words to figure out the answer.
What can we expect from you in the future?
More stories where I turn icons of history and contemporary literature into heroes for the LGBTQ+ community. We deserve heroes and if I have to write them, then I will! These iconic characters, ones that have shaped our understanding of what it means to be heroic and honourable, should also be gay or trans or queer. Why can’t King Arthur or Robin Hood be gay? Does it make them weak? Or less able? Of course not, so that’s why I write these stories.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Lancelot and the King?
The Knights of Camelot. You know the iconic characters I write about. What I’ve tried to do is inject them with the frailties of a real person, while maintaining their essential heroic motifs and the deep magic in the original stories that acted as metaphors for the medieval world view.
Lancelot’s mind breaks under the pressures Arthur, his king, places on him. The dead haunt him. His love for Arthur destroys him and he tries to walk away but fails, so has to find the strength to return and make Arthur really ‘see’ who he is and what he needs. Meanwhile he has to save Camelot from powerful enemies of the supernatural kind and battle gods to prevent England and Albion from being destroyed.
King Arthur was, in many ways, more difficult because I had to learn about him from Lancelot’s point of view. He’s strong, born to be a leader, but doesn’t want the mantel thrust upon him by his birth. It makes him petulant and selfish, especially over the object of his affection. If Arthur can’t have Lancelot, then no one can! As he grows older and sees the damage his selfishness causes to others, Arthur changes, probably the most out of all the characters. He learns that love comes with heavy responsibilities and he shouldn’t always expect to win just because he is a king. He learns about self-sacrifice and in that finds the true meaning of honour. He’s a complex character in the original myths and that doesn’t change in my stories.
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
I’ll talk about Lancelot but I could go on forever about the rest of them. His service to his king and country dominate every waking thought for Lancelot. Every decision he makes, every move, he is a soldier first and a man second. His warrior code is scored on his bones but his mind and heart are still fragile and his soul cries out for peace, for hearth and home. For a family. He can and does kill without conscience but he always tries to kill the right person and save the weak or vulnerable.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Easy one – Aidan Turner of Poldark fame. When I saw him in the BBC version of Begin Human he became my Lancelot.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
In every book my favourite bits are killing the bad guys. Damn, I love it when Lancelot pushes his sword into some bastard and they die knowing he’s taken their life. And the slightly less psychotic answer… When he shares his heart with Arthur or Tancred. When they have those soft moments among the war and mayhem that makes them men, not machines of death. I love exploring the tenderness such a man is able to share with someone he trusts.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I spent every day of ten years with Lancelot and miss him all the time but his story is done. If I could walk into a room with him I’d coax him outside, ask him to teach me more about fighting and ride off into the sunset to find adventure at his side as his equal.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reins of the story? Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
This one made me laugh… I wish I had some measure of control over them. I come up with the general outline of the book, but they write it. They often surprise me and when someone dies, it’s difficult writing through the tears.
Why should you read these stories? They are full of the ancient mysteries of a time lost in myth and magic. They have romance and adventure at their core and characters are so complex they fill your mind with passionate – What Ifs? These are stories to be told by firelight or while watching the stars turn overhead on a summer’s evening. They speak to the heart of love and how it can change entire worlds if one person is strong enough to make a stand.
When I first starting writing these stories gay marriage didn’t exist, that’s how much each voice can change a world.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I can’t answer this one easily though I wish I could. I love talking to writers. Euripides and Aeschylus would be first because their Greek tragedies filled my imagination with wonder as a child and when I studied them at collage. Makes me sound really posh but damn these guys could tell a story!
Jane Austen because she fascinates me. The depth of her understanding of society and a person’s mind is deep. Also, how she survived her own, very controlled, life for so long.
Men like Chris Ryan and Andy McNab – who to go from serving in the SAS to writing about it and living in a domestic world. It must be the most difficult transition we ask of our service men and women who become elite warriors.
Sarah Luddington is the author of historical gay romance and contemporary gay romance. She is a gay rights activist, holds three martial arts black belts, a degree in Medieval History and far too many dogs. She lives on a mountain in Spain and in her spare time writes and reads LGBT fiction.
Come and visit her website at www.romanticadventures.net or Facebook for more information. She always welcomes contact with her readers.
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