Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Why Medieval? by Anna Markland
Hello to everyone,
As this is my first post to the new blog, I thought I’d introduce myself and answer some questions readers have asked me.
Why did I choose to write medieval romance? I am very interested in family tree research and over the course of the last few years I've written mostly family histories. Any fiction I wrote was contemporary, but I was working full time and didn’t think to publish any of it.
When I found myself with more time on my hands, I decided to take advantage of the changes sweeping the publishing industry and write novels.When I’m reading, my favourite genre is historical romance. Though I enjoy a good Regency, I’m more drawn to medieval.
In my genealogical pursuits I had done a great deal of research on the area of England where I was born. I stumbled across a story of a young noblewoman who had been exiled with her father. His crime was the blinding and mutilation of another baron during an argument over a piece of land.
On further investigation I learned that the woman turned out to be a very unpleasant person herself. But the seed was planted in my mind and I wondered what life would have been like for a young noblewoman cast out of her castle home and forced to wander with her irascible father. This was the initial beginning for Conquering Passion—except I made my heroine lovable!
I have traced my own family back to the late Middle Ages, but it has always been my ambition to go as far back as the Norman Conquest. So I decided to start my stories at that point in history! I became completely immersed in the details of the Conquest. It amazed me how little I knew about the period even though it had such a profound influence on the history of England—land of my birth! My interest in ancestry and roots is what led me in the direction I’ve gone with my fiction writing. My stories follow the lives of the members of one family through successive generations.
For some strange reason known only to my subconscious mind, I didn’t write the books in chronological order! So if you prefer to read a series in that order you should read Book Three before Book Two!
I also tackle issues in my books which have resonance in our modern world. Books One and Three deal with post traumatic stress, and Book Four details the long term effects of solitary confinement. Book Two deals with the issues of illegitimacy and religious hatreds. It's difficult to write romance set in the Middle Ages without describing the pitiful rights women had.Their often dire plight at the hands of the men who held sway over their lives features in all my books.
The books in my Montbryce Legacy series have proven popular, and the first three are now available on Amazon in digital and paperback formats. Book One, Conquering Passion is the longest, and the most popular, but readers who’ve read it are then buying Books Two and Three, which is of course delightful. I’m glad they are as fond of the Montbryce family as I am. Readers have told me they are particularly taken with Hugh de Montbryce in If Love Dares Enough. He’s a virgin hero, and there aren’t too many of those in medieval romance!
Passion in the Blood, and paperbacks will be available from Amazon.com in about three weeks. It’s the story of the two legitimate sons of Ram de Montbryce, the hero of Conquering Passion.
BTW, today (Mar. 14th) is the first day Passion in the Blood is FREE on Amazon-for a limited time
I’m also writing a novella to kick off another series, Sons of Rhodri. The Rebel Chieftain, will tell the story of Rhodri ap Owain, a Welsh rebel who first appears in Conquering Passion. Another project I’m working on is the creation of a downloadable Family Tree for the Montbryce Family.
I’m often asked how I came up with the titles of my books. Because my first book was about the Norman Conquest of England I wanted the title to reflect that. Also it’s a love story, so somehow, Conquering Passion evolved. I liked it because of the double entendre.
The title of Book Two was for a long time based on a quote from Shakespeare. But I had to change it from Kindle Fire With Snow—guess why? It’s now entitled A Man of Value, based on a quote from Einstein. It seemed appropriate because the hero is a man who discovers he is the epitome of everything he has always despised, and only love eventually leads him to see he is still a man of value.
If Love Dares Enough comes from a quote from Lord Byron. I chose it because the hero risks everything the family holds dear for the woman he loves.
Passion in the Blood came about because I wanted to continue the notion that the second generation has inherited “the Montbryce curse”—they are unlike most noblemen in that they are in love with the women they eventually marry!
In conclusion, I want to thank my readers for taking the Montbryce family to their hearts. Be reassured there will be lots more stories coming. As I mentioned, Rhodri ap Owain’s family has spawned a new series, Sons of Rhodri, and Caedmon FitzRambaud’s family will begin another one later this year. Caedmon’s daughter, Blythe FitzRambaud will be the first heroine in that series. Her adventures will take the readers to medieval Germany and introduce them to Heinrich, Holy Roman Emperor. This will be a bit of a departure for me because my stories to date have revolved around the lives and loves of the men of the family.
Readers are welcome to visit my Facebook Fan Page, Anna Markland Novels, and my website www.annamarkland.com, where they’ll find a link to my blog. I’m also a Goodreads author. My digital books are for sale in all the usual places, except Passion in the Blood which is exclusive to Amazon. Signed paperbacks can be ordered on my website, and you can enter to win one of 5 signed copies of A Man of Value on Goodreads until March 17th.
One lucky commenter on this blog will win a copy of any one of my books-yourchoice.