Today it's my pleasure to welcome Tim Walker, author of the A Light in the Dark Ages series to the blog.
Hi Sharon – thanks for inviting me to your book blog. My name is Tim Walker and I live in England, close to Windsor. Although I can see Windsor Castle on a short walk, I don’t personally know my neighbour, Queen Elizabeth. I have previously owned and edited magazines and newspapers, so researching, interviewing subjects and reporting events is something I’m comfortable with. I only tried creative writing in 2013 as a consequence of being unable to work due to cancer treatment and recovery. I wrote many short stories and then published them in two books – Thames Valley Tales (2015) and Postcards from London (2017).
I also began writing an historical fiction series, A Light in the Dark Ages, starting with Abandoned (2015/2018 2nd edition). As my knowledge and interest in Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries grew, I continued with book two, Ambrosius: Last of the Romans (2017), followed by Uther’s Destiny (2018), then Arthur Dux Bellorum (2019) and now the new book Arthur Rex Brittonum (2020). In this new book I am portraying a real, historical Arthur, freed from the unwieldy weight of the more fanciful aspects of the legend.
I also write a children’s book series with my teenage daughter, Cathy – The Adventures of Charly Holmes.
If you had to give an elevator pitch for your latest book, Arthur Rex Brittonum, what would it be?
“Mr Spielberg, did you know that the King Arthur of legend was based on a real, historical figure? My extensive research has exposed the true Arthur - a daring sixth century warrior king who united the British people in opposition to the slow, creeping colonisation of their land by Anglo-Saxons. As early freedom fighters go, there is no one as charismatic as Arthur – Britain’s first and most enduring superhero. Forget Guy Richie’s ridiculous movie and please take this copy of my new book, Arthur Rex Brittonum – that’s Latin for ‘King of the Britons’, which gets as close as anyone has gotten to the real story. I’ll be standing by for your call-up to work on the script – jointly with your choice of scriptwriter, naturally. Good day - here is my card, and this is my floor.”
If you could go back in time and live in a different era, what period would you choose and why?
Having discovered that the Welsh Annales (a record of events with dates) mentions Arthur’s final battle at Camlann, in the year 539, ‘where Arthur and Medraut (Mordred) fell’, I would love to witness that event, from a safe distance.
You've had a varied writing career, are there any other genres that you would like to try your hand at?
I am fascinated by the dystopian genre, and believe it to be a sister-genre to historical fiction. Much of the same rules apply to writing about the future as about the past – although research could be based more on scientific and political projections and assumptions about the future than actual events.
If any of your books were to be made into a film, which would you choose and why? And who would you cast in the main roles?
“Thanks for choosing to make a film about my book, Mr. Spielberg! Please note that Arthur Rex Brittonum starts when Arthur is a mature family man in his 30s. His early years, or backstory as you would call it, is in the previous book in the series, Arthur Dux Bellorum – something to bear in mind. As for a lead actor – my preference is for Tom Hardy as the mature Arthur. How about your American actress, Jennifer Connolly as Guinevere? Arthur’s first wife, Gunamara, could be played by Margot Robbie. What do ya think?”
What was the first book that you read that made you think 'I would like to write something like that one day'?
As a teenage schoolboy, I read the captivating Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliffe. This made a deep impression on my young mind and started my interest in Roman Britain, and what came after. Thankfully, More recently, I came across Bernard Cornwell’s excellent Warlord Chronicles book series after I had already mapped out my own. He takes a similar approach in describing a rough-and-ready Dark Ages Arthur – although his Arthur is never king, just a warrior leader. I drew great encouragement from reading his superb prose and incredible descriptions. I hear this is soon to come out as a TV series, based on the first book in his series – The Winter King. Can’t wait to see it.
If you could give some advice to your younger self about the whole writing/publication process, what would it be?
If I had known during my time living and working in Zambia (between 1995 and 2009) that I would develop an interest in creative writing and self-publishing upon my return to the UK, I would have kept a diary of my adventures with detailed descriptions of people and places. As it happens. I have recently asked two friends of mine whom I corresponded with if they could send me copies of my letters, as I now want to return to my rough memoir notes that are lying in a folder on my laptop. Perhaps it’s time to revisit that interesting period in my life.
If you could write in a collaboration with another author, who would you like to write with and why?
Well, I’d love my books to be made into films or TV series. I did film studies as part of my degree and have always had a deep, but unfulfilled, interest in writing for screen. I’d love to collaborate with an established script writer in bringing my historical book series, and also my Thames Valley and London tales, to big or small screen. We can always dream…
And finally, what can we expect from you next?
Perhaps a ‘Son of Arthur’, or a memoir of my time in Africa. More immediately, I hope to have Charly Holmes’s third adventure, Charly in Space, out in September.
Thanks for having me on you blog and good luck with your own ventures!
Find out more about Tim Walker at:
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/timwalker1666
Amazon Author Page: http://Author.to/TimWalkerWrites
Facebook Page: Tim Walker Writes