This evening in the Library we have Mary Anne Yarde, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.
You are very welcome, Mary Anne, please introduce yourself:
Hello everyone, and thank you, Pam, for inviting me on to your fabulous blog! My name is Mary Anne Yarde, and I hail from a village just outside of Bath, England. I grew up surrounded by the rolling Mendip Hills in Somerset.
I have been writing for around 14 years. But I didn’t really take my writing very seriously until four years ago. I published my debut novel, The Du lac Chronicles, in 2016.
Did you read much as a child? Are you an avid reader now? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?
I was the child that always had a book in her hand, and that has not changed. As a teenager, I devoured books by Austen, Hardy and Dickens. Now, I like to read a broad genre of books. But my preferred choice would always be historical fiction, although I don’t mind a good thriller or romance now and then!
Are you self-published or traditionally published?
I am self-published. I love the freedom and the control that this gives me.
Which genre do you write in and why?
I write historical fiction set in Dark Age Britain. My writing is heavily influenced by the folklore of that time as well. I thoroughly enjoy writing about this era.
Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
I grew up with the classical writers, and then I discovered Catherine Cookson. I don’t think there is one author whom I can say really influenced my writing. Perhaps it is a combination of them all.
Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?
I grew up surrounded by the rolling Mendip Hills in Somerset — the famous town of Glastonbury was a mere 15 minutes from my childhood home. Glastonbury is a little bit unique in the sense that it screams Arthurian Legend. Even the road sign that welcomes you into Glastonbury says…
“Welcome to Glastonbury. The Ancient Isle of Avalon.”
How could I grow up in such a place and not be influenced by the stories of King Arthur?
I loved the stories of King Arthur and his Knights as a child, but I always felt let down by the ending. For those not familiar, there is a big battle at a place called Camlann. Arthur is fatally wounded. He is taken to Avalon. His famous sword is thrown back into the lake. Arthur dies. His Knights, if they are not already dead, become hermits. The end.
What an abrupt and unsatisfactory ending to such a wonderful story. I did not buy that ending. So my series came about not only because of my love for everything Arthurian, but also because I wanted to write an alternative ending. I wanted to explore what happened after Arthur’s death.
What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?
I find the beginning the most difficult. Staring at that blank screen can be pretty intimidating. The only way to overcome it is to write something. Anything. After that, I find the process a great deal easier!
Do you have a favourite time of day to write?
My favourite time of day to write is in the afternoons.
What is the best thing about being an author? And the flipside – what is the worst?
I love the creative journey that each book takes me on. For me, it is little like being Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit — I know where I have to get to, I am just not sure as to what kind of adventures I shall encounter along the way. What a great way to earn a living. I go on an adventure every day, and I don’t have to leave the house! The flipside… I enjoy the promoting side of being a writer, but it does take up a considerable amount of time. Unfortunately, it goes hand in hand with publishing.
Is social media an essential chore or something you enjoy? Which forum do you prefer?
I think social media is essential for all authors, no matter how they are published. It is a great way to connect with readers. I have certainly met some really lovely people, especially in the author community, through social media. My preferred forum is Twitter, and you can usually find me on there.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?
I also tutor history and music. So if you took away the writing, I would still be a tutor.
Please tell us about your latest published work.
I have just released The Du Lac Prophecy (Book 4 of The Du Lac Chronicles), and I am now starting work on Book 5 which is taking me to Jerusalem in the late 5th Century. I am really enjoying researching the history of this fascinating city.
The Du Lac Prophecy: (Book 4 of The Du Lac Chronicles)
Two Prophesies. Two Noble Households. One Throne.
Distrust and greed threaten to destroy the House of du Lac. Mordred Pendragon strengthens his hold on Brittany and the surrounding kingdoms while Alan, Mordred’s cousin, embarks on a desperate quest to find Arthur’s lost knights. Without the knights and the relics they hold in trust, they cannot defeat Arthur’s only son – but finding the knights is only half of the battle. Convincing them to fight on the side of the Du Lac’s, their sworn enemy, will not be easy.
If Alden, King of Cerniw, cannot bring unity there will be no need for Arthur’s knights. With Budic threatening to invade Alden’s Kingdom, Merton putting love before duty, and Garren disappearing to goodness knows where, what hope does Alden have? If Alden cannot get his House in order, Mordred will destroy them all.
If you would like to know more about Mary Anne and her books please check out her social media links below:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Yarde/e/B01C1WFATA/