In case you missed it, I reviewed Merlin’s Blade earlier in the summer. It is one of the best books I’ve read this year. If you enjoy Christian fiction, YA fiction, Arthurian legend, or historical fiction, then there’s something in Merlin’s Blade for you.
Robert Treskillard, the author of Merlin’s Blade, was kind enough to allow me to interview him. Enjoy the interview, and read to the end to find out how to win a copy of this fantabulous book. (Yes, I said fantabulous).
Hi, Robert! Thanks for dropping by today. Tell us, do you consider yourself a Christian author or author of Christian fiction? What do you think the difference is?
I am a Christian who writes fiction. To me, the term “Christian Fiction” is a marketing term to designate fiction that adheres to the standards of the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association) and that will sell in Christian bookstores.
And though I currently write fiction that adheres to those standards, and don’t have a problem with them, my purpose is deeper than that.
My goal is not to write “Christian Fiction”, but rather “Christ glorifying fiction”. By this I am broadening the umbrella. Excellently written fiction may glorify Christ even if it falls outside the narrow scope of what sells in a Christian gift shop / bookstore.
Think of Tolkien. We revere his writing, and his novels can be found at ChristianBook.com. But if he were writing today, I doubt a major CBA publisher would pick him up. For more info on my views about Christian fiction, check out my blog post:
Have you always been interested in Arthurian legend? Who or what prompted you to write this series?
King Arthur has always captured my imagination, but things didn’t click until 2006 when God prompted me to begin writing.
One night I was laying in bed thinking about the legends of King Arthur and couldn’t make sense of the sword in the stone. Why would someone shove a blade into a stone?
We all know why Arthur pulls the sword out—it shows that he is king.
But why was it placed their in the first place?
The only answer that made any sense to me was “what if the stone was the enemy—and you were trying to kill it?” Everything flowed from that initial idea.
First of all, my family is of Cornish descent, so I was looking for a site in Cornwall, and Dozmary Pool presented itself as the most intriguing location. Richard Carew said in the 16th Century:
‘Dosmery Pool amid the moores,
On top stands of a hill;
More than a mile about, no streams
It empt, nor any fill’
So this lake is a bit odd for Bodmin Moor, with no stream filling it, nor any other emptying it. Why is this? It’s because geologists think the lake was carved out by a huge meteor! If you read the prologue to MERLIN’S BLADE, you’ll find out how I envision the meteor crashing.
Also, this lake is connected with Arthurian legend—it is the lake where Arthur told Bedwir to throw his sword to the Lady of the Lake. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dozmary_pool
So I had a lake … but what else?
When I looked at the surrounding countryside I was amazed. We have an ancient druidic circle of stones. We have hut circles from an iron-age village. We have the foundations of an old fortress on the mountain.
And we also have Bodmin moor itself. Bodmin comes from the word “Bos-Venegh”, which means “the dwelling place of monks”.
Monks. Druids. A Village. King Arthur. A lake carved by a meteorite. Let me just say that the book practically wrote itself!
About the only think I invented about the landscape was the isle of Inis Avallow (Avalon) in the nearby marsh!
The second book in your series is scheduled for publication and the third has just been completed. What can you tell us about them?
Where MERLIN’S BLADE takes place all in one village, MERLIN’S SHADOW is an epic journey from Cornwall to Wales, up to Scotland (Loch Lomond), then over to Traprain Law—and finally all the way to … oh but I just have to keep some secrets, now don’t I?
MERLIN’S SHADOW is also about the spiritual journey of Merlin’s younger sister, Ganieda, and how her fate is intricately woven in with that of Merlin’s.
Book 3, MERLIN’S NIGHTMARE, is a coming of age novel for Arthur, and yet Merlin is still the center of the story. Can he face his deepest fear and save Arthur and Britain from the triple threat of Picti in the north, Saxons in the east, and a new nightmare that has arisen in the west?
MERLIN’S SHADOW is released in about 45 days, and MERLIN’S NIGHTMARE next March.
What are you planning to work on next?
My finances! Being an author with a full time job meant that a lot of tasks fell to the side that I need to pick up and dust off. Although in my spare moments (driving, etc.) I’m still thinking about The Pendragon Spiral (books 4-6), and I can say this: at its heart and amidst all the action, danger, and adventure—it will be a romance between Arthur and Gwenivere.
And before you go, what is one thing you’d like your readers to know?
Come and join my contest! I have over $1500 in prizes up for grabs, and the grand prize will be your very own Excalibur—with the hilt and pommel bronze-cast by the author himself!
You’ll find all the info at my website: http://www.KingArthur.org.uk
If you want to read the first few chapters of MERLIN’S BLADE, here’s the best place:
And for those interested in the novels, here’s the link to the first two at Amazon and CBD:
And thanks for the interview—it was very fun!
In addition to Robert’s contest, you can enter to win a copy of his book at The Scriblerians blog: a new blog where seven of my writing friends and I will be blogging for non-adults of all ages. Come join the fun! Simply click on the link, and follow The Scriblerians or comment and say that you’d like to be entered into the drawing. Check back on Monday to find out if you won! Good luck. 😀