ABOUT THE BOOK.
‘I have lived more years than I can remember, probably more than the sum of all your years combined. Kings have called me friend and brigands have sworn to burn the flesh from my bones even if they have to search all seven halls of the shadowland to find me.’
On the night of midwinter’s eve, a storyteller takes his listeners back to the Dark ages and a tale from his youth.
Deserted by its Roman masters, Britain has been invaded by the Saxons at the invitation of Vortigern, traitorous leader of the Britons. Now, as the tribes unite to reclaim their land, one man must rise to lead them and become their true and only king.
FIND IT ON:
ME: If you have to describe Shadowland in no more than one sentence, what would you say?
C.M.: Shadowland is the story that came before the story you thought you knew...
ME: What inspired you to write it? How long took to write it?
C.M.: I decided that I didn’t like television any more. That when the commercials came on I often couldn’t remember what I was watching so it was a waste of my life. I had often thought about writing so decided to sit down and try. It took me just under a year Shadowland, then another couple of months to edit, then I had to find a real editor to go through it because I can tell a story, but I’m rubbish when it comes to placing semi colons, hyphens and commas! Shadowland has now been professionally edited, yaaaah!
ME: Was it difficult to include historical facts?
C.M.: I’ve always loved history so I found it really interesting to dig into books on the dark ages and to research the legends of Arthur. The dark ages in particular interested me because so little is known of that period. This is when the Romans were leaving and the Saxons invading. The poor old tribes of Britain were in no condition to defend themselves so new leaders had to emerge.
ME: Did you have to make a lot of research about the Saxons invasions?
C.M.: I loved reading about the Saxons, Vikings, Jutes and Angles. These were the groups that saw Britain as a ripe opportunity at the time. I did a lot of research and thoroughly enjoyed the reading.
ME: I really like the friendship between Usher and Cal, was it important to make this bond a main fact in the story?
C.M: I think one of the main messages that comes across is loyalty to ones friendships and also loyalty to ones own commitments. Live as the person you want to be not as life pushes you. Cal is so loyal to his friend that he walks the Shadowland for Uther, the space between life and death to find him.
ME: The folklore about Druids is amazing. Did you have to read a lot about them? How you choose what to include and how?
C.M.: I remember visiting Stonehenge in Britain many years ago and seeing modern druids, yes they are still around. The idea of the druids is fascinating. These are the people in the dark ages that were so in touch with spirit that they were the main advisers to Boudicca and the tribes. Real interesting and I loved writing about them, especially the crazy old druid that guides the group on their descent into the druid’s well.
ME: Cal finds out that he has a special ability, did you wanted to write more about that or did you think that what is in the book is enough?
C.M.: I loved writing the parts of the book where Cal makes his changes. It was tempting to take that further and if this was meant t be a general historical fantasy rather than for the YA market, maybe I would have. I might explore that another time.
ME: I’m a fan of History, what other moment in History would you like to write about?
C.M.: I like the Victorian times which is making a bit of a comeback in the steam punk genre. I would also like to set something around the times of the second World War in Europe. I have lots of ideas!
ME: Are you currently writing a new book? Can we know was it about?
C.M.: I have just released my second book. It’s called The Flight of the Griffin and it’s a pure YA fantasy. It’s a quest adventure that draws the reader along as four young friends have to find and unite three crystal skulls to stop the balance of the world tipping into chaos. They have demons chasing them and a real nasty hunter called Matheus Hawk. It’s getting great reviews.
ME: What it’s your favorite place to write?
C.M.: I live in the woods outside Barcelona in Spain. I have a room at the top of the house and late at night when the rest of my family has gone to bed, the dogs have settled down and the moon is high, I love to write!
Thanks so much for this opportunity to tell you about my work. I hope you will all give one of my books a read!
YOU CAN FIND C.M. GRAY ON HIS BLOG. HERE
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When you mix history, magic, and two great characters you probably will get Shadowland.
A story about two friends, which have to follow the path of the Saxons that destroyed their village. A journey that will guide them among stranger territories where they’ll find interesting characters while discover some secrets about their lives.
Shadowland is a great story about a very interesting time in history, the author takes real facts but also has the ability of introduces us in magical territories. I love the combination between real legends such as Arthur and the sword with two lovely characters.
Some of the best things about the book are the Druids, this part of folklore that is really interesting to read about. And the fights! I loved the actions scenes. The author makes an incredible job describing the battlefields and the trainings with swords and horses and all that.
Cal and Uther are two great friends. Their friendship is so strong and you can really feel it while you are reading. I’m glad it only got stronger as the book moves one and that they help each other through some difficult times.
Overall is a great read, enjoyable and well written.