1. Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always been inclined to make up stories in my head and pen short stories and poems, though it wasn’t until about four years ago that I started taking writing seriously. So I would have to guess and say that the impulse to write probably stems from childhood: the first proper full-length novel I ever read was TH White’s ‘The Once and Future King; which is still the best version of the Arthurian legend I have ever read. I will have to credit Mr White (and possibly Tolkien as well) for my inspiration, then!
2. Please tell us about your novel, “Folville’s Law.”
Folville’s Law is my attempt at writing an old-fashioned adventure yarn in the style of Rafael Sabatini, George MacDonald Fraser and Patrick O’Brian, but set in the period I love best: the High Middle Ages. I wanted to present a taut, compelling story, but one that also depicted the nastiness and brutality of the time.
The narrative follows the adventures of a fictional knight named Sir John Swale, a rather tortured character who has to choose between his loyalty to a corrupt master, Hugh Despenser, and doing the right thing. His struggles take place against a general background of political decay and civil war, as Queen Isabella and her Flashman-esque lover, Roger Mortimer, prepare to invade England and usurp the reigning monarch, the rather hapless Edward II.
My inspiration for the novel derived from my reading about medieval outlaw gangs, the Folvilles and Coterels in particular. They reminded me Old West-style outlaws, but set in an earlier time period. Take away his sword and armour and replace them with a buckskin and a six-gun, and there would be little to distinguish Eustace Folville from Billy the Kid et al.
3. How important do you think villians are in your story?
I tried not to have ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’ as such: everyone is morally conflicted, and torn between virtue, ambition, and self-preservation. The major villain, however, is clearly Eustace Folville – and like all out-and-out villains, he was the most fun tow rite!
4. Out of all the characters you have created, who is your favorite and why?
I like Swale, but his ‘love’ interest Elizabeth Clinton was an interesting creation. She is a rich widow, and has had to learn to live by her wits in a world dominated by violent men. She’s tough, but not (I hope) in an unsubtle or unrealistic way.
5. How did you research the lives of the historical characters of your stories?
I have always been a hopeless history geek, so much of the background information was in my head anyway. I’m also lucky enough to have access to primary sources and academic texts via JSTOR, the DNB, the National Archives and other record offices and printed sources
6. What is your next book project?
‘Nowhere Was There Peace’ (provisional title), a novel set during the Second Baron’s Wars in England during the late 13th
century. I’m about halfway through writing it!
7. What is your favorite quote?
‘Bon Besoigne Fait Qui Merde se Delivrer’ – ‘A man does well when he rids himself of filth’. Quoted by Edward I when he left Scotland after conquering it in 1296.
8. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Do your research, never, ever listen to naysayers unless their criticism is constructive, try to write at least 4-500 words a day, be polite and reasonable to everyone you encounter in the publishing business, and above all keep smiling.
David Pillings Website:
David Pilling is 33 years old and currently works in the Library and Archive at the Tate Gallery in London. Previous jobs included stints at The Royal Opera House and The School of Oriental and African Studies.
He has been writing fiction and non-fiction on a freelance basis for the past three years, and many of his non-fictional articles have appeared in various regional and national UK publications.
His fiction is inspired by his love of historical and science fiction and authors such as George McDonald Fraser, George R.R.Martin and Bernard Cornwell.
E-book Giveaway- Folville’s Law
Discription of Folvill’s Law:
A novel set in the closing years of Edward II’s reign, following the adventures of Sir John Swale, knight of Cumberland, as he investigates a murder in the Midlands that threatens to destabilize the kingdom. Along the way he meets a widow, Elizabeth Clinton, and makes an enemy of the ruthless outlaw Eustace Folville. Meanwhile, England is threatened by invasion and civil war, and it remains to be seen who will survive and who will perish in the brutal game of 14th century war and politics
This E-book is in form of PDF. The giveaway ends on April 20th and the winner will be announced on April 21st. If you have a Kindle and are the chosen winner please let us know.
1. Please leave a comment with your name and email address below in the comment area to enter the giveaway.
2. 5 points if you visit and like David Pillings website.
3. 5 points if you follow my blog @ Network Blogs
(If you are already a follower of Layered Pages you will automatically receive the bonus point.)
4. 5 points if you read and leave a comment on Author David Pillings interview on Layered Pages or
Ladies & Literature.
6. The winners will be announced on Layered Pages and by via email.
Thank you David for this wonderful interview and Giveaway!