9 February 2021

Special Guest Interview with David Pilling, Author of The Champion (I): Blood and Steel

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

1296 AD: the whole of Western Europe trembles on the brink of war. South of the Pyrenees, the Christian and Moorish kingdoms fight and scheme against each for control of Hispania.

I'm pleased to welcome author David Pilling to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book 

I am currently working on the sequel to my most recent novel, The Champion (I): Blood and Steel. The sequel is titled Blood and Gold and follows the adventures of En Pascal of Valencia, a knight of Aragon struggling to make his way in late 13th century Europe. In the first volume of his memoirs (they are told in the first person), Pascal had barely escaped with his skin intact from Edward I of England's wars in Aquitaine and Flanders. He is now dispatched on a mission to the Holy Roman Empire, before being pitched into the Scottish wars against William Wallace and Robert de Bruce. Pascal is a busy man!

What is your preferred writing routine? 

I prefer to write in the morning, when my mind is fresh, and try to do a second stint in the afternoon. That usually requires a serious caffeine injection. Otherwise I get distracted by social media, Twitter, Facebook etc

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? 

Write about a subject that genuinely inspires and interests you, rather than something you think you ought to be writing. Otherwise you will never sustain the interest in the long term and will find it lonely and difficult work. It is always possible to make compromises, of course.

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

To be honest the most effective marketing strategy is to produce regular new content. Unless one strikes lucky – it does happen – most writers have to be quite prolific these days to have any chance of making a living from it. The social media aspect helps, of course, but there is an element of 'white noise', with so many authors on the net clamouring for attention.

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research 

Oh, all sorts of things. I cannot pick out anything specific, but the level of detail and subtlety in medieval politics is always fascinating. They were full of surprises, you know (often unpleasant ones...)

What was the hardest scene you remember writing? 

None. I'm not the sort of writer who struggles to write of the death of a character or anything like that. The hardest scene is generally the one I have to write at the start of the day, when my brain doesn't want to shift into the work pattern.

What are you planning to write next?

I have several non-fiction projects in mind, possibly co-writing projects focused on wars in medieval Europe and the rise of concepts of 'nationalism'. Nothing concrete as yet though. I find it good to flip between fiction and non-fiction, it keeps things fresh.

David Pilling

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About the Author

David Pilling is a writer and researcher, addicted to history for as long as he can remember. The medieval era has always held a fascination for him, perhaps because he spent much of his childhood exploring the misted ruins of castles in Wales. David also has a keen interest in the Byzantine Empire, the post-Roman period in Britain and the British & Irish Civil Wars. Find out more at David's website https://davidpillingauthor.weebly.com/ and follow him on Facebook and Twitter @RobeH2

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