On February the 2nd I will be releasing Morgan and thought I would talk about my journey with my favourite Camelot character. Morgan is going to be 10th book and yet, Morgan le Fay was the starting of my whole writer journey. It was around 2001 and me , my then partner and our daughter were visiting Cornwall for a family holiday. Amongst many of the places we visited on of them was Tintagel and while looking out at the castle remains on the cliffs edge, I felt totally enchanted by the place. Then while visiting the shop nearby I saw this statuette.
I fell in love with it and so bought it. On the way home, the story of Morgan played on my mind. I’d always loved the King Arthur and Merlin always held my interest. He was the mythical wizard that was much more interesting than the knights. As a child, I have always held an apathy with the misunderstood characters in any story or film and those who have read my books know this full well. Morgan le Fay was one of those characters. She was dark and mysterious and always seemed to get a rough deal in all interpretations. She was evil and enemy of Arthur, yet she was his sister; however, no-one seemed to take into account her motivations. What had happened to make her that way. In the stories, she was Igraine’s first child to her husband Gorlois. Her father was then killed by Uther Pendragon in order to have Igraine has his wife and thus Arthur was born. Can you really blame a young girl who has been betrayed by a man like that. There is also some tales that talk of the conception of Mordred. Some say she tricked Arthur into bed, but there is another that I prefer and used. After being separated as children, they both meet again as young adults and are tricked during a pagan ceremony into sleeping with each other both not knowing who the other was.
There are very few actresses that I feel have done her justice. One being Helen Mirrim in Excalibur and Eva Green in Camelot. I am a massive fan of Helenia Bonham Carter, but her portrayal in Merlin was annoying and flippant. I hated it and get very irritated if she is not played right. She has significance and should be shown that way.
Throughout the story she is desperate to keep herself and station at the centre of Arthur’s court and yet as any strong woman in old stories she is painted as an evil seductress and the downfall of Camelot. This for me was my motive. I’d never written anything like a full length novel before. Just shorts, poems and songs, but there was something about this that was telling me to write it. So I did. I sat at our clunky computer with Windows 95 on and started to just write. It was the biggest pile of crap ever, but you know what I was bloody proud. I’d made the first step on my writer’s and journey and it didn’t matter how bad it was or that I hadn’t even planned anything, I’d done it. So why has it taken so long to get it published?
Simple, it was never good enough. I tweaked it continuously and the last time I felt happy with it, I sent it to an agent. The feedback was send them the rest of it. I did and excitedly waited. Weeks passed and then I got some response. The agent felt that the idea was a good one, but it was too weak to stand against all the other King Arthur stories out there. Disheartened, I thought maybe I should leave it. I had started on The Higher and Immortal was in it’s rough stages. I’d caught the writer bug and it was burying deep.
One of my favourite author’s Giles Kristian said at one of his talks that something like the first 150,000 words you write is always your worst and I was beginning to think this was that. Morgan was going to always be the worst thing I’d ever written. The problem being I couldn’t leave her alone. I wanted to tell her story and every couple of years or so, she would enter my thoughts and say “Okay, you’ve written a few books now, maybe you’ve learned something. Look at me again.’ So this year I relented. Found it. Looked it over and thought right this is it.
So you see, Morgan le Fay is more than just a character, she inspired me to write her story and in doing so gave me the confidence to start on this writing road.
On the 2nd of February you can decide for yourself and read the book that started it all for me and hopefully I’ve done her justice.