I’d like to introduce Dana Taylor, talking about her Robin Hood story, Royal Rebel. Welcome Dana!
Dana: Hi Sarah!
Sarah: Historical fiction authors usually try to be very accurate with their history, but your book changes history very deliberately. Can you talk about that?
Dana: After looking over your website and seeing the excellent way you focus on historical accuracy in your books, I thought I had probably taken a wrong turn in the blogosphere. My one leap into the historical realm is entitled ROYAL REBEL, which has been known to drive historical purists to hysterical rants.
Little did I know when I innocently decided to write 50 pages for an RWA contest that I would at once draw praise and ire. A few years back, before I was about to be published by a small press, I realized my ability to enter many RWA contests was about to come to an end. I’d placed in several contests, getting somewhere between 2nd & 5th place, but that 1st place ribbon had eluded me. So, I analyzed the winners and decided I needed to come up with an idea that had two elements: a twist on a familiar theme and an immediate confrontation between the hero and the heroine. ROYAL REBEL was born—a twist on the Robin Hood tale. Robin becomes Princess Robin, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. I created a new hero in Sir Simon of Loxley, an arrogant knight and undercover agent for King Richard.
Sarah: Sounds like a cool idea to me! And besides which, my books are diligently historically accurate–except when they’re not That’s one of the fun things about writing historical fantasy.
Dana: The manuscript went on to place in every contest I entered and took 1st Place in both the Great Expectations and Gotcha Contests. It even landed me an agent. Most judges enjoyed the colorful spoof. However, one came down on me for completely disregarding historical accuracy. She went so far as to write out the actual lineage of kings for the time period. Admittedly, ROYAL REBEL is inspired primarily by the Errol Flynn Robin Hood movie. My main villain is Sir Basil, named after the actor Basil Rathbone.
Sarah: How has indie publishing an historical fantasy worked out for you?
ROYAL REBEL was my first manuscript to test the waters of digital publishing. It was my entrance into a new territory. Knowing I might get dinged for my blithe disregard for facts I ended the description with “Any historical accuracy is strictly coincidental.”
Over the course of time, it’s received many enthusiastic reviews. However, it also inspired a stinging 1 star from “Ghost Writer” that was both shocking and amusing. My favorite paragraph is:
Many good writers can sweep a reader through an historical romance without much mention of reality, but this writer does worse, altering history to the point that it offends any reader with even a minimal knowledge of western culture. Nitpicking aside (and there are plenty of nits to pick), by defeating Prince John, so that he never became King, and thus was never forced to sign the Magna Carta, the basis for western Constitutional Law, she makes feudalism viable in England and America to date. If one wanted to make George Washington a King, as some did, this book would justify it. Any sensible lawyer in America should been able to better advise her.
Sarah: You know when you start getting one-star reviews, you’ve really made it!
Dana: I know! Wow! According to Ghost Writer I could be ending Western Civilization as we know it. But, hey, this is part of the grand adventure of writing and publishing—stirring people to great emotion. So, I guess the message is “Reader Beware.” If you enjoy historicals with fun, adventure, and fantasy, ROYAL REBEL may be a book for you. If you’re a stickler for the facts, ummm, you’d better move on. Perhaps try a book by Sarah Woodbury!
Sarah: Thanks for stopping by, Dana! Your books sounds like great fun and I hope people will take it the way it was intended.
Dana Taylor writes uplifting stories filled with inspiration and humor. Born and raised in California, she graduated from the University of Redlands. She has been published in various magazines, including the Ladies Home Journal. She hosted the Internet radio program Definitely Dana! at HealthyLife.netand won various contests with the Romance Writers of America, including Best First Book from the Desert Quill Awards. Her published works include ROYAL REBEL, AIN’T LOVE GRAND?, HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS, and DEVIL MOON: A MYSTIC ROMANCE. Her non-fiction book is EVER-FLOWING STREAMS OF HEALING ENERGY. Visit her blogsite Supernal Living with Dana Taylor at www. DefinitelyDana.wordpress.com. She is a founding member of the on-line community SupernalFriends.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can buy Royal Rebel at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Royal-Rebel-ebook/dp/B0030T1EDK/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1318387411&sr=1-2