Please welcome award winning author Elizabeth Chadwick to the virtual offices today! Elizabeth’s latest historical release is Shadows and Strongholds. After we chat about her book, you can enter for a chance to win a copy!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Elizabeth Chadwick] A time traveler who loves the Middle Ages, chocolate, chatting, her husband and her dogs. Oh, and the Marshal men!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Shadows and Strongholds?
[Elizabeth Chadwick] Certainly. It’s a coming of age story based on a family history that was written down in the 13th century. It’s set in England, on the Welsh borders, and is about a boy, Brunin FitzWarin, who is sent to be a squire at the great castle of Ludlow in the hopes that it will be the making of him after he’s had a difficult time at home. The lord he is sent to serve, Joscelin de Dinan, has two daughters. The younger one, Hawise, is something of a tomboy with a bright, forthright nature, and like no one Brunin has ever met before. There is also his lord’s ward, Marion de la Bruere, a pretty, dainty girl, who has her eye on Brunin as future husband material. It’s the story of how Brunin finds out just who he is amid the harsh realities of 12th century England with different factions fighting for the crown, and how Hawise and Marion learn their own often hard lessons as they mature during fraught times. It’s a historical novel that deals with events that actually happened, and has a fair share of swash-buckling, dramatic tension, well-seasoned with romance.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Elizabeth Chadwick] I found them in a medieval chronicle from the 13th century called The Romance of Fouke FitzWaryn. So this is based on the history of what really happened. Brunin FitzWarin and Hawise de Dinan did really exist, and this is the story of how they faced up to their challenges.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Brunin?
[Elizabeth Chadwick] Deep, smouldering, courageous
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Hawise is never without.
[Elizabeth Chadwick] Her determination
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Hawise’s bedroom?
[Elizabeth Chadwick] Small silver bells (read the novel and find out why not!), Brunin’s grandmother, Ernalt de Lylse’s hawking gauntlet.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Brunin’s greatest regret?
[Elizabeth Chadwick] Not getting to hang out with his father as man to man.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Elizabeth Chadwick] Pictures of artifacts from the Middle Ages, chocolate in all its forms, and heavy metal music.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Elizabeth Chadwick] Time enough in the day to do it, copious amounts of tea, thinking space.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Elizabeth Chadwick] Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Elizabeth Chadwick] How Far Back do you want to go? The Silver Brumby by Elyne Mitchell. That was the book that moved me on from elementary to more detailed reading.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Elizabeth Chadwick] I go for long walks with my husband and dogs, I take photographs, I read, listen to music and I cross stitch if I get a moment.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Elizabeth Chadwick] They can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or connect at Twitter or Facebook, details at my website www.elizabethchadwick.com
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
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About the book:
A medieval tale of pride and strife, of coming-of-age in a world where chivalry is a luxury seldom afforded, especially by men of power.
England, 1148—ten-year-old Brunin FitzWarin is an awkward misfit in his own family. A quiet child, he is tormented by his brothers and loathed by his powerful and autocratic grandmother. In an attempt to encourage Brunin’s development, his father sends him to be fostered in the household of Joscelin de Dinan, Lord of Ludlow. Here Brunin will learn knightly arts, but before he can succeed, he must overcome the deep-seated doubts that hold him back.
Hawise, the youngest daughter of Lord Joscelin, soon forms a strong friendship with Brunin. Family loyalties mean that her father, with the young Brunin as his squire, must aid Prince Henry of Anjou in his battle with King Stephen for the English crown. Meanwhile, Ludlow itself comes under threat from Joscelin’s rival, Gilbert de Lacy. As the war for the crown rages, and de Lacy becomes more assertive in his claims for Ludlow, Brunin and Hawise are drawn into each other’s arms.
Now Brunin must defeat the shadows of his childhood and put to use all that he has learned. As the pressure on Ludlow intensifies and a new Welsh threat emerges against his own family’s lands, Brunin must confront the future head on, or fail on all counts….