Sarah Woodbury is an accomplished and prolific author. On her Amazon author page, the list hits 14 books with her name on them and she has 4 kids on top of all that writing! I’m not sure how she does it. Without further ado, Sarah takes on how to put a little fantasy into Historical Fiction.
Writing Fantasy into Historical Fiction
Wales … snow covered mountains, deep lakes, hundreds of miles of coastline, and a long and brutal history of rebellion and conquest.
I love history and reading about history, but real history often ends badly for the heroes. Consequently, when a story involves a main character who dies an unpleasant and premature death, it can be difficult to craft a tale that is an enjoyable read. This is particularly true of books set in medieval Wales.
One of the most compelling stories ever told is the tale of King Arthur, in all of its permutations and manifestations. Arthur, whether a real person or not, was conceived in Wales, and played a key role in holding back the Saxon conquest of Britain.
My novel of King Arthur, Cold My Heart, begins with a vision of Arthur’s death at the hands of Modred and asks—what if? What if King Arthur survived to rule and pass his kingdom onto a worthy successor? That sounds like a more fun story to me than the typical French version where everyone dies in the end. It also is more in keeping with the genuinely Welsh tales in which Arthur survives Camlann. And who should know that better than the Welsh?
Similarly, as with the death of Arthur, few endings have had a greater impact on the progress—or lack thereof—of a country than the death in 1282 of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last Prince of Wales.
With his death, Edward I of England set about eliminating Welsh language, culture, and history to the best of his ability, even to the point of expunging any mention of the Welsh royal court from public documents. He took the crown, the piece of the true cross, and even the title, Prince of Wales, which from then on would be bestowed on the eldest son of the King of England.
My After Cilmeri series takes the ambush and murder of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, throws in some time travel, and also asks what if? What if he survived? And what might happen to the two teenagers who save him?
Orson Welles once said, “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”
My problem is that I don’t want the story to stop where it does—with the death of the hero. The history and death of these great Welsh heroes are tales that desperately needed someone to rewrite them. Or at least I thought so.
And so I did.
Thanks Sarah, for stopping by for the Indie Writers Unite Blog Tour! Here’s where you can find all things Sarah Woodbury.
Web page: http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/
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