Delighted to have been offered the opportunity to read from the first Wolf of Dalriada story at the Wirral Festival of Firsts. In Finding the Wolf Within I shall be choosing excerpts that illustrate settings and character but don’t spoil the story. Tricky one!
Well, here he is. Click on my Guest Blog to meet Tim Walker, author of A Light in The Dark Ages series. He is introducing his latest and last in the series, Uther’s Destiny and fascinating it sounds
So excited – here’s a foretaste of the Author’s Mind interview which will appear on my Guest Blogging page in a week’s time!
Can you briefly describe the story of Uther’s Destiny?
The story begins two years into Uther’s reign in the year 469 AD. He has succeeded his brother, Ambrosius Aurelianus, as high king of the Britons, and his main concern is to protect the boundaries of his kingdom – modern day England and Wales – from barbarian invaders. Uther’s destiny as a warrior-king seems set until his world is turned on its head when his desire to possess the beautiful wife of a noble, Ygerne, leads to conflict. Brittle alliances teeter on the brink of collapse as Uther doggedly pursues his quarry, oblivious to other pressing matters of state.
Court healer, and schemer, Merlyn, sees an opportunity in Uther’s lustful obsession to fulfill the prophetic visions that guide him. He is encouraged on his mission by druids who wish for a return to ancient ways and urge him on to protect the one destined to save the Britons from invaders and lead them to a time of peace and prosperity. Merlyn must use his wisdom and guile to thwart the machinations of an enemy intent on foiling his plans.
Uther is challenged to rise above his domestic problems and raise an army to oppose a gathering Saxon force. In a climactic moment, the two armies meet in a battle that will decide the fate of the island.
A number of readers have kindly suggested The Wolf of Dalriada to their book clubs. I thought a list of possible questions to start the discussions off might be helpful. So here are thirty. Don’t feel you have to do more than say 10-15. Avoid overkill! There is no exam or qualification involved! And some of the questions are literary; others are more related to personal development (and bibliotherapy!)
- Which three words describe how you feel, having finished ‘The Wolf of Dalriada’?
- Who is your favourite character and why?
- Who is/are the hero(es)? Who are the villains? And why?
- Do the characters change? (Remembering this is Part 1 of ‘The Wolf of Dalriada’ series.)
- Do you empathise with your favourite character or wish you were more like him/her?
- Which character would you most like to invite to dinner this evening and why? Who would you invite too? What would you hope to learn?
- If you were a casting director for a film/tv version, who would you cast?
- What moments in the novel do you like best?
- What moments do you like least?
- What is the most significant event for you in the story and why?
- What events puzzle you and why? What are other possible outcomes for these puzzling events?
- Could you lose yourself in the world of ‘The Wolf of Dalriada’?
- Is there an important theme (or themes) that this story illustrates?
- What is the role of superstition and tradition in this story?
- What did you learn about change and social classes in this book?
- What is the predominant moral issue? Which character understands what is right here or does no-one?
- Are there other moral issues? What are they? Who understands what is involved?
- What are the ‘unanswered questions’? (Again remembering this is Part 1 of a series.)
- How would you describe the genre of this book, if any?
- Description involves the senses – sight, sound, smell, touch, taste. Is any one sense predominant in this book?
- Pretend you’re the author’s content editor. Have you noticed anything which is inaccurate or inconsistent?
- What does this tell you about the difference between fiction and non-fiction?
- What first drew you into the book? The blurb? The first sentence or paragraph? Why?
- Pretend you are writing a blurb for the cover of the book. What would you say?
What would you tweet (in 140 characters) about this book?
- Does the book remind you of any other writers or novels you’ve read? What’s the same? What’s different?
- People say all fiction is autobiographical. If you were to guess at a formative experience in the author’s life based on what they’ve written in this book, what would you guess?
- What did ‘The Wolf of Dalriada’ speak to in your own life?
- What did you learn?
- Do you want to read Part 2? (You could sign up for the Author’s newsletter on this website.)
- Any other questions?
Elizabeth Gates: Taming the wolf within – from idea to publication (Wirral Libraries free Bookfest)
Tue 3rd Oct 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Heswall Library, Telegraph Rd, Birkenhead, Wirral CH60, UK map
Elizabeth Gates : ‘Taming the Wolf within…
– from idea to publication’
Tuesday 3rd October 2pm Heswall Library
How do you find an idea for a novel? How do you write 100,000 useable words? How do you share your finished product?
In this talk, ‘Taming the Wolf within . . . ‘, author of ‘The Wolf of Dalriada’ Elizabeth Gates answers these and other questions. For further information visit : www.elizabeth-gates.com
There will be the opportunity to purchase signed copies of ‘The Wolf of Dalriada’ after the talk.
Book at any of our Central Libraries: Bebington, Birkenhead, Wallasey or West Kirby)
Advance booking is essential to secure your place
Phone 0151 639 2334 OR 07785 502 018