Wulfaert Author Interview with Alex Rawlings

Saturday, 11 November 2017

                        

 

In the following update I want to offer you the chance to read an interview with the author. Here you will be able to get a taste of what the story is about, what inspired it and what influences helped to bring the story to life. The interview will be released in 2 parts.

 

Part 1

Some projects on Unbound are yet to be written. What stage is Wulfaert in its development?

Wulfaert is a completed manuscript. Once the target funding has been reached, it will be edited by the Unbound team, working alongside the author, to make it the best it can be.

What is this book about?

Wulfaert is a story about love, sacrifice, transformation and ultimately redemption. It is set during the Church’s crusade against the heretics of Languedoc at the beginning of the 12th century. It was a time of upheaval, violence, great courage and endurance.  A wonderful setting for an exciting story.

It has a Grail crystal, castles, spies, crusaders, Templar Knights, heretics, mad monks, a hero and his true love. What more could you want?

What motivated you to write this book?

I began Wulfaert during a time of great change in my life. I had just moved from the UK to Belgium to live with my partner, Sandra.  I was looking for work or doing part time work and my normal avenues of creativity and expression were no longer available to me. I felt a pressure in me, a strong desire to find a creative outlet to express some of the ideas and feelings that were emerging within me. I had always wanted to write a book but that was something that was always somewhere in the future. I wrote a short story that I had wanted to put down on paper for many years, a novella really, 12,000 words long. I looked at it and thought, I can do it, I can write a book. So I did.

(This novella will be released as an exclusive supporter reward later in this campaign)

There have been many stories written about the Grail. What makes this book different?

I have always been fascinated by myths surrounding the Grail and I love reading Grail quest and adventure novels. With the more modern Grail stories, I was always disappointed by the reveal at the end of the book. It always seems to follow the same plot. At the beginning there is a hint that a great secret exists, a secret that can change the world, a secret that has been hidden for centuries. We follow the hero on his Grail quest only to find, at the end of the story, that the secret is some fact or piece of knowledge that really doesn’t change that much and the hero remains untouched by this revelation.  I wanted to create a reveal that had depth, that had meaning, that was ultimately an experience that shook the hero’s world to its foundations and left him changed forever. A discovery like that should be a great wisdom and not just information.

Most importantly I wanted to explore what this journey would be like, how it would feel and how it would change the protagonist’s experience of the world he lives in.

What was your main inspiration in writing this book?

I am a big fan of Historical Fiction and I loved the idea of trying to bring a period of history to life by focussing on the human experience, the human story, as it would have unfolded at that time. The time of the Cathars and the crusades already contains Grail legends so it was ripe for a good story. It is also a time of great upheaval, a time where heroes and villains stand clear above the mundane. Although it is a time that has been used as a setting in other books, I was not worried about creating something unique.

It is a period in history that is well researched and historians such as Johnathan Sumption, Aubrey Burl and Stephen O’Shea have all written excellent books, rich with great historical detail and these were extremely useful to me.

The majority of inspiration, however, comes from my own experiences on my Grail journey. These experiences and those of the people who have walked this path with me are detailed in the book and, I hope, give it depth and authenticity.

As your characters developed, was there anything that surprised you?

One of the joys of creative writing is character development. I write my books intuitively, planning very little and allowing the story to unfold as I go along. Therefore the characters grow and develop in their own way and I was constantly surprised by choices they made or reactions they had.

Two characters stand out to me.

One is Wulf, the protagonist of the story. He develops a great deal over the course of the book. As his journey progresses he discovers a depth in himself that he never knew existed and this discovery is reflected in how he sees and feels the world around him. This in turn changes how he responds to the world and the choices he makes as the story moves forward.

The other is the mercenary, Captain Magnus van de Quade. He is a man who normally has everything under his control, who is ruthless in maintaining that control.  As his journey progresses he discovers that he cannot have everything as he wishes it, such are the events that are unfolding around him. Unlike some of the other characters, whose behaviour degrades under this pressure, Magnus mellows and his character really changes. There are parts of him that become almost likeable. This really surprised me.

Part 2 will be released in the next update

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