I would like to welcome Rowena Cory Daniells to the blog. Aussie author of fantasy trilogies The Last T’En, King Rolen’s Kin, and the Outcast Chronicles, as well as para-crime The Price of Fame. You can find Rowena at her blog, on Twitter and on Goodreads.
Many years ago, when I had my bookshop I came across a copy of Machiavelli’s The Prince and devoured it. I was fascinated by the idea that winning a battle was only the start of the conqueror’s problems. After that he had to hold onto the country he’d taken by force, resisting other invaders and controlling an often hostile population. Machiavelli was most impressed by Cesare Borgia, son of the Borgia pope. (For a luscious look at The Borgias see the new TV series. Beautifully filmed!). The Prince was my first introduction to the reality of ruling kingdoms.
Many fantasy books end with the victors winning the great battle. In The Outcast Chronicles, King Charald won his kingdom when his father died on the battlefield and he came to the throne at the age of fifteen. He spends the rest of his life holding onto his kingdom. To help me create a character who had a natural instinct for war I researched brilliant military leaders from history like Caesar and Alexander the Great. I consulted my copy of the Westpoint Military History series, Ancient and Medieval Warfare. This book has breakdowns of many famous battles and analysis of what tipped the balance to win those battles.
But a battle itself is boring if you don’t care about the individual. A writer has to bring the scale of battle right down to one or two people so that the reader sees the battle through these characters. And this is where my fifteen years experience in martial arts helps. I spent five years studying Tae Kwon Do, Aikido and Iaido, the art of the Samurai sword. (The wrist I broke in the Taw Kwon Do Australian championships has been playing up this weekend, must be going to rain).
So there you have it, military leaders, individuals on the actual battlefield and the reality of holding a kingdom, once you have claimed it. These are all things I had to consider when writing The Outcast Chronicles.
I would describe this trilogy as mixture of Passion, Politics and Betrayal.
Would you like to win a copy of Besieged, book one in the Outcast Chronicles? Then feel free to enter the Rafflecopter. Giveaway is open worldwide.