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Friday, December 01, 2017

Author Interview : Richard Abbott, author of 'Half Sick of Shadows' (Part - 1)

Richard Abbott
Read up, the first part of the Interview with Richard Abbott, author of 'Half Sick of Shadows'. The book is quite different from the ones we, usually get to read. It is a wonderful part of the British history and yet it is fantasy, too. Blending these two is this author's true talent and allure. 

In this part of the Interview, he tells us how the story first happened, the kind of research, he put into it, why he thought of this particular poem to develop into a story, and what takes precedence between the characters and the story, and more, Folks...

How did ‘Half Sick of Shadows’ happen? What kind of research did you put into it?

Lord Tennyson ... Wikipedia
Funnily enough, I was on a walking holiday when the idea first came along! I was listening to a version of Tennyson’s poem put to music (https://youtu.be/80-kp6RDl94) and suddenly thought how it would work as a story, told in a rather different way than usual.

Other than the poem itself, I did a lot of investigation into several British prehistoric cultures, so I could describe things like the houses correctly.

How did you think of using this particular poem and developing it into a story?

The poem has been a favourite of mine for a long time. Then on that holiday, it collided with some other reading I was doing.

Tennyson’s words are often rich and suggestive of depth, and so the idea of taking them into a fantasy direction quite different from the normal one of magic and curses took root.

How and why did you choose to use the character of the Lady as your heroine, exactly?

That kind of followed from the poem – The Lady is the only character described to any extent there, with even Lancelot featuring in only minor ways.

The original Arthurian stories present things rather differently, with more focus on the triangle of Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot. I brought in some of those details but added a lot more back-story for The Lady herself.

Authors have a way of telling their story, with elements that are most important. Between your storyline and your characters, which takes precedence?

I’d say that in this case the characters drive the storyline, especially that of The Lady as she becomes more restless and determined.

But also, the landscape of ancient Britain is itself a kind of character here, with all the changes quickened to the timescale of a single lifetime (albeit a very long one).

Which particular character, besides the Lady did you feel most close to? Why?

Probably Brendan, the musician in the last society, The Lady sees – the one linked to Arthur. 

He doesn’t take centre stage at the end, and isn’t part of The Lady’s memories from earlier times. But he’s the one who first recognises her, and has the closest understanding of her.

You can Read the Review here and Buy the Book right here, as well.