I recently read and reviewed two fantastic books by Author Mary Anne Yarde, and I was fortunate enough to entice her to stop by for a natter!
Mary Anne Yarde is the Award Winning author of the International Best Selling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Briton and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, The Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.
Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury–the fabled Isle of Avalon–was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.
Hello Mary Anne, So glad you could visit with BooknVolume today. Please Introduce us to your Blog. What is it all about? What sorts of posts do you lean towards?
My blog is called Myths, Legends, Books and Coffee Pots.
Oh. My. Days! I so love my blog. My posts are focused on the mythological and historical wonders of this world. I like this mix because sometimes the two overlap, particularly in my chosen field of — I am not going to call it expertise, because I hate the word expert — let’s call it knowledge, yeah, that works. My chosen Field Of Knowledge is Arthurian folklore and history, so there is a fair amount of that on my blog. I also love to have authors in the same genre as the blog, come on and share their stories and their inspirations about their books. My to-read list has gone through the roof thanks to my blog!
What Inspires and stirs your creativity?
That is a difficult question to answer. I don’t know. I don’t look at a view, or a picture, or hear some music and suddenly feel inspired and quickly dash for my computer. This is going to sound a little daft, but I think writing, in general, inspires me. The more I write, the more I want to write. It is like a drug for me. I really hope they never find a cure!
I often hope the same thing! Well, in that case, what do you find difficult to write about?
What do I find difficult? Umm… There are some things I wouldn’t write about, full stop. Just the same as there are some things I don’t want to read about or watch on the television. I am not going to write blog posts that I don’t feel comfortable sharing with my readers. So to answer your question, I don’t find writing blog posts particularly challenging because I am writing about, and sharing the things, that I enjoy.
What Message, if any, do you hope to Share through your blog/posts?
I hope my posts are fun and informative and I want my readers to enjoy them, and if they come away having learnt something — bonus!
That’s always a pleasant surprise, I know 🙂 How has your blog helped you as a writer/Indie Author? What things have you learned along the way that you never anticipated?
I think blogs are a great way for authors to connect with readers and it has given me a tremendous amount of confidence in putting myself out there, so to speak. All authors should have one!
Although I’ve already reviewed both of them previously, can you tell us about your book(s):
My books are part of a series called The Du Lac Chronicles. They are set a generation after the fall of King Arthur and they tell the story of what happened next, through the eyes of Lancelot du Lac’s sons.
Read Review on BnV of Book One
Read Review on BnV of Book Two
What Inspired you to write your book?
I grew up very near Glastonbury, The Ancient Isle of Avalon, and stories of King Arthur were as much a part of my childhood as say, Santa Claus was.
I have always loved the stories of Arthur and his Knights, but I also felt a little deflated with how the story ended. If you are not familiar with the end of the tale, I will explain it very quickly…
Arthur is betrayed by his nephew — Mordred — and their two armies meet at the Battle of Camlann. Mordred is killed, and Arthur is gravely wounded. Arthur is taken to Avalon, and that is the last we hear of him. His Knights, if they were not already dead, end their days as hermits. The end.
Yeah, you heard me. The famous Knights of The Round Table became hermits. Seriously? Is that the best the great poets could come up with? I don’t know about you, but I think that ending kinda sucks! I was never happy with it. I wanted to write about what came after Arthur’s death. In particular, I wanted to focus on the next generation of Knights who find themselves in an ever-changing Saxon world.
Im so glad you did, because it’s a wonderfully fresh perspective!
From what Point of View do you prefer to write? Is there a reason?
I write in the third person because I like to juggle multiple Points of View. I like to get under the skin of my characters and see what makes them tick. They are all very different, which keeps me engaged with my writing.
What genre do you prefer to write or are you truly eclectic?
I currently write in the Historical Fantasy genre. The thought of writing in a different genre sends a nervous sensation down my back. Maybe I will become a little courageous further into my career and experiment with a different genre. But for now, I am stuck with Historical Fantasy, which is fine by me!
Do you painstakingly plot out your story; are you a discovery writer or a bit of both? Why?
I spent ages writing a plan once, and then I completely dismissed it when I started to write. So since then, I don’t bother planning. I know where I want my story to end — it is just a case of getting my characters there!
I know precisely what you mean. They often throw a few curves at you before you get where you want to go! Do you have a favourite or least favourite character? And Why?
Yes, I have both! My favourite character has always been Merton du Lac. He is such a complicated little soul. He is a bit like an onion — lots of layers, and he is always making me cry.
I have two characters that I loath. Merton’s brother, Budic, and his childhood friend, Josephine. They are both very unlikeable people, but they fascinate me no end. I really like writing about them.
Share an insight or secret about your book(s).
Sshh! One of the du Lac brothers might not make it to the end of the series.
GASP!! Oh dear! Ok…no spoilers here, I’ll try to keep moving….um…What do you feel is your best advice to share with other aspiring authors?
Stop doubting yourself. Seriously. Don’t do that. Just write your book.
OH I love that!!! Would you like to share an excerpt from the book or a poem or two to give readers an idea what you offer?
Oh, yes please! This is from my latest release — The Du Lac Devil (Book 2 of The Du Lac Chronicles).
Book Excerpt ~ The Du Lac Devil (Book 2 of The Du Lac Chronicles)
“What are you doing here?” Lady Amandine asked mere moments later. She glanced anxiously up and down the hallway. Thankfully, it was empty, for everyone else had already made their way down to the Hall to break their fast.
Merton was leaning against the opposite wall. In truth, he did not know why he was here, he had promised himself that he would keep his distance, but his feet had led him to her chamber nonetheless.
“I came to ravish you. Why else? Can I come in? Unless you want me to ravish you in the hallway of course,” he said, trying to shock.
“You are not coming in,” Amandine whispered, fearful that someone would hear them in the empty corridor.
“The hallway it is then.” He took a step forward as if he was going to make a grab for her. She immediately took a step back into her room and closed the door just enough so she could peek around and still see him.
Merton laughed. The sound was joyous to Amandine’s ears. She wasn’t used to being teased. Merton made a welcomed change to the tedium that was her life. Not to mention he was also very pleasing to the eye, compared to her ancient husband that was.
“Are you going to let me in, or are you going to cling to the door all morning?” Merton asked, raising one eyebrow as he did so.
He was looking at her in that indulgent way of his. No one, apart from maybe Garren, had looked at her the way Merton did now. It was very persuasive.
“What if my husband returns?”
“While I was ravishing you?” Merton looked shocked. “Well,” he breathed out slowly and crept closer to the door. He raised his hand and rested it on the doorframe. “He would be in for a sight, although I have been told that my body is rather fine to behold,” he smiled charmingly at her.
“You are not funny,” Amandine said. She tried to glance down the hallway again, but he was blocking her view.
“There is no one there, and your husband has drunk himself into unconsciousness. I saw him this morning, fast asleep with his head resting on his plate. I do not think he will be coming back here anytime soon.”
“Oh no, not again,” she sighed and leant her head against the edge of the door. “I should have gone and looked for him last night, I suppose.” But instead, she had been glad for his absence, especially when she woke herself up in the dead of night, calling Merton’s name out loud. She felt her face heat as she recalled her dream. “Thank you for telling me, I had better go and rescue him.”
Her voice sounded thoroughly fed-up, but also resigned and Merton found himself hating her husband for humiliating her so.
“He seemed quite content with his lot. I don’t think he needs rescuing. Are you ever going to let me in or are we going to spend the day conversing in the hall?”
“I can’t let you in,” Amandine said in horror. “What would people say?”
“What people?” He made much of looking down the corridor. When he looked back at her, she had narrowed her eyes and was frowning at him. He smiled as she opened the door wider.
“This isn’t a good idea,” she whispered as she led him further into the chamber she shared with her husband.
Merton shut the door with a resounding bang and turned the key, for he did not want them to be disturbed.
“Now, where would you like to be ravished?” He took a moment to look around the room as if contemplating the best place. “Nice bed.”
****** OH want to read more!!!!
OK so now on to the harder bit….talking about yourself! If you had to describe yourself to someone who has never met you, what might you say?
Mary Anne Yarde skips to a drumbeat that no one else can hear! And if it looks like she isn’t listening, it is because her mind is somewhere in the Dark Ages, but I believe chocolate is really good at bringing her attention back to the present!
If you could meet one person from the past, who might it be and why?
This is always a tough question because there have been so many people that I would like to sit down and have a chat with over a sticky bun and a coffee. But hey, wouldn’t it be kind of cool if I could go back in time and find out if King Arthur really did exist? And if he did, I wonder if he would teach me how to use a sword?
When you are NOT writing, what is your favourite pastime?
Reading, Zumba — which, for the record, I am very bad at! And playing the piano — which I am quite good at. Lastly, anything equestrian, as long as the horse’s front legs don’t leave the ground. As a child I was fearless, but with age, I have become a bit of a coward, isn’t that tragic?! I leave the more adventurous stuff to my teen!
Describe Your Dream Getaway Destination. Have you ever been there? What makes this place Irresistible to you?
Scotland. I adore the place. I wouldn’t mind living there, but my husband isn’t so keen. Spoilsport! We came back recently from another trip there, and I am already planning the next one, however my daughter is determined that we holiday in Cornwall this year — she has just discovered Poldark!
I’d love to go there as well, just another place on the list of MANY in Great Britain! So delighted you stopped in Mary Anne to share so much with us 🙂 Now, where can readers find you and your books?
Links For Purchase
Links for Mary Anne
Website and Blog
I hope you enjoyed learning about Mary Anne today and might take a moment to visit her blog, website or check out her books. Trust me, if you enjoy historical fiction, tales about King Arthur or knights you will love her series!
Thanks ever so much Mary Anne 🙂 May the Inspiration and Intoxication of words never fade!