08 November 2015

Author Interview & Book Giveaway: CASTLES, CUSTOMS & KINGS, Volume II - True Tales of English Historical Fiction Authors

This week as a special feature, we're offering insight into Castles, Customs, and Kings: Volume II - True Tales of English Historical Fiction AuthorsThe Second Volume of a Special Anthology. The works of fifty authors are included.  The authors will offer a free copy of Castles, Customs, and Kings to a lucky blog visitor. Here's the blurb:

An anthology of essays from the second year of the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, this book transports the reader across the centuries from prehistoric to twentieth century Britain. Nearly fifty different authors share the stories, incidents, and insights discovered while doing research for their own historical novels. 

About the Anthology

From medieval law and literature to Tudor queens and courtiers, from Stuart royals and rebels to Regency soldiers and social calls, experience the panorama of Britain’s yesteryear. Explore the history behind the fiction, and discover the true tales surrounding Britain’s castles, customs, and kings.

For those who have read Volume 1, you know this book will contain great information, a book you can pick up when you have ten minutes to spare, but a book that will be hard to set down. Fifty authors contributed articles on British history from pre-Roman times through World War II, not dry dates and documents, but the interesting stuff.

In both volumes, the book starts with the authors and their biographies, a list of their historical novels, and then begins a parade of persons from the past, from druids moving freely across tribal boundaries to the uncovering of Lady Godiva to Sir Geoffrey Luttrell who commissioned the Luttrell Psalter to the London life and paintings of John Singer Sargent—truly a varied and fascinating ensemble.

**Q&A with Debra Brown, editor of Castles, Customs and Kings

– Volume II**

Thanks for being our guest. How does this volume differ from the previous issue?
Thanks for having me!

Volume II is mostly articles from the second year of the English Historical Fiction Authors blog by fifty histfic authors. Like Volume I from the first year, it is set up chronologically with articles on history topics from pre-Roman times to World War II. Many of the same authors from Volume I contributed as well as numerous others, some indie, some mainstream published.
What would you like to readers to know most about this volume?

Like Volume I, it is full of surprises and interesting tidbits from history. Each topic is a few pages in length, so it is a good book to pick up during a coffee break or in bed for a short read before the lamp goes off. The Volume I  25+ hour audio book has sold very well, so that is in the works for the second as well if all goes as planned.
How were the contributions compiled?

They were originally posts on the blog. It was quite a bit of work to sort through the 365 excellent posts and select few enough to make up what is, even so, a big book. Since topics on the blog vary widely from day to day, the next project was to organize them.
Why do you believe this publication is important for historical fiction readers?

Most histfic readers enjoy history and want to learn more about past customs that seem strange now, amusing laws, interesting people, and happenings that have sometimes led to today’s traditions. Since authors try not to write too much of the history into their books, which would be tiresome to better informed readers, but to give a flavor of living in the midst of it, readers will enjoy the novels more if they know the history behind the story.
Any plans for a future volume?

That is on our minds, assuming the new Volume II is as well received as Volume I has been. Though the posts are on the blog, reviewers have stated that they enjoy the convenience of having them organized in a beautiful book for easy access. Authors have commented that some of the articles are good fuel for a novel, or that they have included what they learned in their books.