Dear all -
First an apology – this should have gone up last night but my computer is still having the occasional temper tantrum, and so I am a day later. But better late than never, esp in this case where our guest is none other than Prue Batten, who will be telling us about her new book Gisborne; Book of Pawns.
I asked Prue for a biog, and this is what she sent me;
“The best way to describe myself would be to use a quote written about me by Mark Williams on a blog (
in 2011. Since then, Mark has become my UK digital publisher through his highly successful publishing house: MWiDP.
Here are his tongue-in-cheek words: ‘She lives in Tasmania, has a pet Tasmanian Devil called Gisborne, eats kangaroos’ testicles, has the most ridiculous one-star ever awarded on Amazon, and wrote a novel on Twitter…’
Believe it or not, most of it is true. My husband and I do own a farm so we have lots of kangaroos around, but the testicles? NEVER! As to the Tasmanian Devil? Not really the right sort of animal to cosy up to; besides, as reported in the Huffington Post,
the Devils are suffering the ravaging effects of a disease that is bringing them to the edge of extinction.
I do have a one star rating on Amazon… a woman bought my first book thinking it was an embroidery book, despite the blurb, and then gave ME a one star despite HER mistake.
And yes, myself and 50 others wrote a Jane Austen style novel on Twitter, [(#A4T)
] which was mentioned by The Times (UK) no less as it took off in 2011.
Me in a nutshell!”
That is indeed a corking biog! So without further ado, let me hand you over to Prue, and let’s find out a bit more about her take on one of the characters from the UK’s favourite folk-legend, and just what he looks like! JAC
How many of you might have watched the BBC’s version of Robin Hood?
Being a lover of all things historical, both dramatic and less so, I did and I was honestly charmed by the in-jokes, the modern turn of phrase, the olde costumes with an edge and the slightly left field storylines.
In Series Two I began to hear a rather lovely male voice, one I hadn’t noticed in the first series – fans since have called it velvet, although how a voice can be velvet I don’t know… perhaps it’s the feel that tickles your spine as you hear the tone. At any rate, I was sewing at the time, and I remember looking up to see whose was the voice. It appeared to be an actor called Richard Armitage and whom I subsequently found out had an Army named after him and a global legion of fans devoted to him!
And so my affaire with Guy of Gisborne was conceived.
At the end of Series Three, I went to an online site called www.wattpad.com only to find that many fans were re-writing the series in flash-fiction form. And as I washed the floors one day, I began to imagine what Guy of Gisborne might have been without Robin Hood, without the Sheriff of Nottingham. And heresy… without Maid Marian!
Thus Gisborne the novel began – far from the traditional trope.
I began detailed research into the twelfth century, structuring the story as pure historical fiction. (I have an innate love of the hist.fict novel, stirred and fanned in the first instance by the inimitable Rosemary Sutcliffe from my childhood).
Eighteen months later I have finished writing the first in the series. I say ‘series’ advisedly because whilst there is definitely to be Volume Two, I think there could even be Volume Three… but of course my plots take me on strange journeys and Vol 2 may be the conclusion.
Gisborne, my protagonist, is based very loosely on his dopplegänger Armitage, or at least how Armitage portrayed the man… the tall, dark, embittered knight who abhors life.
So what is it that makes this man so raw?
Ah… well that’d be telling, wouldn’t it?
A postscript: The idea for a second volume came from a short story called Gisborne that I wrote for a miniature book press in America (www.bopressminiaturebooks.com) in 2011. The tiny bespoke book led me on such a journey, sold and is selling well, so that the publisher and myself sent one to the man who inspired it. We received a kind letter back, sent from his UK home in Leicestershire, whilst on a break from filming The Hobbit in New Zealand.
The short story prompted me to think hard on the ending for Vol 1 and to see that changed and manipulated, it might lead Gisborne down another even more convoluted road. Thus Volume Two is on its way!
The novel will be available for all other readers (eg: Nook, Kobo, i-Pad etc) by the beginning of March. It will be available in print with all online distributors in May.
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So there you have it, guys, and many thanks to Prue for that little slice of gossip!
If you’re curious about Richard Armitage, here’s the link to his IMDB page and if you’re curious about Prue, please do go and check out her blog – sounds as if the next part of the story will be out soon, and you’ll get the news first that way!
Have a good weekend all – for the next couple of weeks I am having a push on the editing so please do check back here, but if posting is a bit sporadic it should only be for the next month or two while I concentrate on getting Book 2 out into the open.
Catch you later, peeps!