Mastodon The Writing Desk: Special Guest Interview with Author Jason Pope

24 December 2017

Special Guest Interview with Author Jason Pope

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

With powerful enemies are closing in from all sides and vying for power; the marauding Saxons in the east, the wily Vortimer, son of High King Vortigern has designs upon securing Dumnonia for himself while in the north Fiachu mac Niall and his murderous Pictish warband plan their revenge.

Today I would like to welcome author Jason Pope:

Tell us about your latest book

Guardians of the Sword is an historical fantasy ​trilogy ​ set in post-Roman Britannia just before the coming of Arthur. It follows the adventures of Fergus ​M​ ac Fiontan, a disinherited Irish noble who is forced to flee his homeland at a young age. He rises from his humble beginnings to become the protector of Uther Pendragon, a boy destined to become High King of Britannia.

I was inspired after reading Bernard Cornwe​ll’s Warlord chronicles and became fascinated with the period. I had the idea for the story for a long time and after several false starts, I eventually knuckled down and got on with it.

What is your preferred writing routine?

As I currently work full time, it ​'​ ​s​ pretty much wherever and whenever I can find time. I tend to write using Google docs as I can tap away on my phone whenever I get a spare ten minutes .​ It’s amazing how quickly you can get a chapter down​ in this way! I then download it into Word for final editing.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Just get writing. Even if what you write initially is absolute tripe it doesn't matter.​ You will make a number of false starts or hit dead ends several chapters in, but that's all part of the process. Enjoy it.

Another useful piece of advice is ​always save a backup of your novel.​ ​It sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised at the number of people who don't and end up losing everything.​ The Cloud is an amazing invention, but you never know what might happen. I’ve got a number of backups saved on flash disk, on laptops and on my pc at work. There’s nothing worse than that cold feeling in the pit of your stomach when you think you’ve accidentally deleted five chapters!

The other thing is do your research, especially if you’re writing an historical novel. ​This is where authors like Karen Maitland and Bernard Cornwell excel as their attention to the smallest detail is amazing. ​ Granted, a good story is more important than historical accuracy, but it annoys me when authors get things blatantly wrong. I remember reading one novel, set in Arthurian Britain where the protagonist was eating potatoes!

One final thing I would add is that, like a cruise liner, your novel needs a destination. ​How you get there is up to you, but i t is far too easy to ​get​ carried away by your characters antics and drift off on a tangent. Letting your characters tell their story is fine and can lead you down unexpected routes, but you must be ready to drag ​the story​ back on course if ​it ​ start ​s​ to drift.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?

I have only discovered the wonders of Twitter relatively recently and it seems to be working for me fairly well. Follow like minded people, tweet and retweet other people’s tweets ​, comment review, do all the things that you would like other people to do for you​ and over time try to build ​your​ fan base.

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research

One of the most surprising things I found out was while I was researching High King Niall of Ireland. ​In my novels, he is the late father of Fiachu mac Niall, the hero's sworn enemy. ​ He was a 5th Century ruler who was said to have captured St. Patrick and brought him to Ireland, but that’s not the surprising thing about him. He was extremely fertile, fathering nine sons by different women ​ and his​ lineage was so successful that one in five modern Irishmen ​can claim direct male line descent from him.

I recently had my DNA Tested on Ancestry and it turns out I’m 25% Irish myself, so who knows? Perhaps I’m one of his great great great etc. grandsons!

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?

There is a scene when Nivian, the lover of Fergus is brutally raped by a band of Picts. This was hard to write without making it too gratuitous and I had to go back and tone it down. Generally I'm not too comfortable writing love scenes. Give me a good battle any day!

What are you planning to write next?

Well, Fergus' adventures are far from over and I think there is enough material for at least one more book. After that I quite fancy having a bash at a sci-fi novel, maybe set in a future dystopian Dark Age.

Jason Pope

# # #

About the Author

As well as being an author, Jason Pope is a also a keen archer, illustrator, marksman, sword collector and wild camper and can often be found several hundred feet below ground in the caves of the Mendip Hills in deepest Somerset. Jason is also a keen history buff, with a particular interest in ancient Roman and Early Medieval history and is a self-confessed absorber of all things trivial. Don't ever ask him to change the oil sump in your car though because he won't have a clue. You can follow Jason on Twitter here: @popius3

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting