Mastodon The Writing Desk: Guest Post by Craig R. Hipkins, Author of Clement: The Green Ship (Clement, Book 2)

31 August 2021

Guest Post by Craig R. Hipkins, Author of Clement: The Green Ship (Clement, Book 2)

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Normandy. The year 1161. King Henry ll sends the 14-year-old Clement, Count of la Haye on a secret mission. The young count and his friends travel in the wake of the mysterious mariner known as Sir Humphrey Rochford. Their destination? The legendary land of Vinland, known only from the Norse sagas. The journey is full of adventure and intrigue. Clement battles with a tyrannical Irish king and then finds his vessel attacked by a massive monster from the deep. The Green Ship sails to the sparse and barren land of Greenland where more trouble awaits.

First, I would like to thank you for having me as a guest on your blog. I was inspired to write a novel that takes place in the 12th century the day that my twin brother Jay passed away in 2018. Jay and I were very close and he had previously published a 12th century novel, Astrolabe which I read by his bedside while he was dying. I wrote the sequel to his novel which I called Adalbert and from this book the Clement series emerged.

I was first inspired to write Clement: The Green Ship while I was writing the first novel in the series, Clement: Boy Knight of Normandy. I was uncertain on whether to write a sequel until I was about halfway finished with the rough draft of the first book. I realized that it was going to be hard for me to move away from the characters and I decided that I would write a trilogy. 

The character of Clement, a 12-year-old boy who is the son of a great lord, was originally meant to be a minor character in my first novel, Adalbert. However, as that book progressed, I found that Clement had evolved into one of the prominent characters and needed a book of his own. Sometimes my characters seem to have minds of their own as I plod through the chapters. In this latest adventure, Clement and his friends are sent on a secret mission by King Henry. There destination is the legendary land of Vinland where a mysterious mariner is headed with a treasure chest that contains something that Henry desperately wants.

In a way, my novels remind me of my twin brother. Sometimes I feel that he is helping me write. Ideas sometimes pop into my head with relative ease as if there might be two brains at work. At least I would like to believe this to be true. The inspiration to write comes from him. It is my way of keeping him alive. Jay and I always had an affinity for medieval times. 

As boys we would pretend to joust with sticks. He often told me that he thought that we had lived in a castle in another lifetime. I believe that he was correct. Most of the time, while I am writing, I can visualize the setting. I can see the morning sunlight poking through the trees and hear the mourning doves calling and the crickets chirping. The castle stands tall with its lofty turrets. 

I can see the herald getting his horn ready and smell the bacon frying in the kitchen. I can also hear my brother’s voice telling me to plod onward…for there is still a story to tell.

Craig R. Hipkins

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About the Author

Craig R. Hipkins grew up in Hubbardston Massachusetts. He is the author of medieval and gothic fiction. His novel, Adalbert is the sequel to Astrolabe written by his late twin brother Jay S. Hipkins (1968-2018) He is an avid long-distance runner and enjoys astronomy in his spare time. Find out more at Craig's website and find him on Facebook and Twitter @CraigHipkins

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