So I believe the general consensus has been that everyone liked Endeavor–particularly the last scene of the book–which I am really thrilled about! That last scene was tough to write. Editor #1 (Jeri) and I were going back and forth, trying to the actions just right. (Thanks Jeri!) It was also tough for me to write the book in general because as Britt loosens up her hold on her knights, I have to loosen up my hold. It sounds a little weird, but I got teary eyed when Britt realizes she’s going to be riding off without Ywain.
So I thought today might be a good day to review the King Arthurs series–not the story itself, but it’s very existence and history.
Around the time I finished Robyn Hood Fight For Freedom, I came up with the idea for Britt and her story. Just as I did for King Arthurs, I completed a ton of research for Robyn Hood and I read a lot of traditional ballads in books and on the internet. It just so happened that a lot of those ballads would be sandwiched between King Arthur stories. I’ve always loved King Arthur, so I perused some of the older stories, and it made me realize just how progressive King Arthur’s court was for women. Because I’m a writer and tinkering is what I do, I started trying to come up with fictional reasons for it, and I thought how awesome it would be if a modern girl was sent back to rule in King Arthur’s place. I decided to make Britt American, mostly because I was really worried I would bungle the accent, and I knew nothing of what normal life is like for females in their early twenties in Britain.
I played around with the idea before bringing it to light way back in…I think it was in summer 2013. I listed several story ideas I was playing around with and let readers vote on which series interested them the most. King Arthurs won.
I released Enthroned and Enchanted pretty soon after, and then I wrote Beauty and the Beast, which became a great success and let me quit my day job and become a full time author. King Arthurs got pushed to the side during that time while I was trying to get the Timeless Fairy Tales structure into place. Embittered was the only King Arthurs book released in 2014, but I followed it up by releasing Embark, Enlighten, and Endeavor in 2015.
The series will have nine books total if you don’t include the three packs, and I’m determined to finish it in 2016.
Most parts of the series is drawn upon from the original legends. Surprisingly I didn’t have to bend many stories to make a female Arthur believable. The biggest changes I’ve made, really, are that Britt is still competent. I’ve said it before, but after Arthur marries Guinevere things go downhill fast. The stories stop following Arthur and shift their attention to his knights–not a bad thing. Meanwhile Arthur stays in Camelot and gets old and fat, not noticing when his best friend and wife have an affair. This is my biggest departure from Arthur lore. In the beginning stories–the originals, not mine–Merlin is really careful to watch Arthur. He has a vision about Arthur and knows he’s the guy who can unite Britain. I decided to forget the depressing stuff (Arthur turning incompetent) and to focus on that. Britt is a fairly accurate reflection of young Arthur–or what old Arthur should be.
I have bittersweet feelings for King Arthur books and movies, because while all of them start so well, very few finish with happy endings. (Even my most favorite Arthur Book: Sword of the Rightful King, hints that Guinevere will regret her marriage to Arthur and will go after Lancelot.) Everyone takes it for granted that they have to follow the depressing originals and watch King Arthur–and Camelot–decay. King Arthur was something of a childhood hero of mine, so in a way King Arthurs and Her Knights is me offering him a lifeline and a chance to redeem himself. Britt might be a different gender, but she is not going to bring shame upon Arthur’s name, and she is not going lose.
I hope you found that interesting, Champions! Thank you to those who were with me way back in 2013 and voted for King Arthurs, it’s been a blast to write. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again soon!