Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Risen Queen book launch speech

After having a staggered release just before Christmas, to go with its official release of January 1, amazing as it sounds, I have only just got my head around the release of Risen Queen.
I had an unofficial official launch at Infinitas Bookstore at Parramatta on January 28 and it was only there, while giving a short speech, that I truly thought about what the second book means to me.
For those unable to be there - and it was only ever going to be a casual affair - here's a rough account of what I said.
With your first book, it is the realisation of a dream and a highlight of your life.
The second book is a little different, especially coming just six months after the first, as mine did!
But The Risen Queen is a very special book to me.
Firstly, for the mood I was in while writing it. I had just been told by HarperCollins that they were going to publish The Dragon Sword Histories and I was propelled by a wave of excitement and adrenalin.
Words just flew out of me. I normally try to write about 10,000 words a week while on a first draft ... I find a weekly target allows me to catch up if I have slow days. With Risen Queen there were no slow days! I was punching out 12,000+ words a week, I couldn't wait to get on the train to write them.
Secondly, Risen Queen deals with one of the inspirations for this series - the battle of Pilleth. I have written about this before, the amazing defeat of an English army by the last true Prince of Wales, Owain Glyndwyr. Here the Welsh archers the English had hired or threatened to make them fight changed sides in the middle of the battle.
This had always fascinated me - and the fact history has not come up with a definitive reason for their defection AT THAT POINT - had me coming up with my own solutions.
While my battle of Pilleth does not quite follow the historical model, being able to write that was still massive for me.
This is also the book that sees the greatest development of Queen Merren.
Risen Queen - and myself - have been picking up comparisons to the late, great David Gemmell, from reviewers and bookstores alike. While I love Gemmell's work, his one failing was his inability to write strong female characters. I am honoured to be mentioned in the same sentence as him - but I really want to be known for female as well as male characters.
I truly hope readers can enjoy Risen Queen even half as much as I enjoyed writing it!

1 comment:

  1. Well I just finished reading The Risen Queen and I must say it is one of the best Fantasy novels that I have read in a long time. It was one of those books that you just don't want to put down except for the fact it is now 2.00am and you have to get up at 6.00am to go to work.

    Well done. I am eagerly awaiting book 3.