March 16, 2015

Character Interview: Arthur from Dawnflight @KimHeadlee #RLFblog #historical

The character interview allows a hero or heroine to tell readers about himself or herself. Today's interview is with Arturus Aurelius Vetarus -- better known to us as King Arthur.

Interview with Arthur

Tell us about yourself, please.
I am Arturus Aurelius Vetarus, Dux Britanniarum—that is to say, my name is Arthur son of Uther, and I command the army that defends the northern Brytoni territory of the Isle of Brydein from Caledonian, Saxon, Scotti, and Angli threats. I am Roman by my father, and descended from the Aurelii emperors: Antoninus Pius, Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius. My mother is Ygraine, chieftainess of Clan Cwrnwyll of Brydein—though the circumstance of my birth prevents me from becoming chieftain after her.
Authors call what you want but cannot have "the conflict" -- what is yours?
When I followed my late father to become Dux Britanniarum, what I had wanted was to be granted an exception for my illegitimacy by the elders of Clan Cwyrnwyll so that I could be designated my mother's heir. But that desire became as nothing the day I met Gyanhumara, Chieftainess of Clan Argyll of Caledonia. I knew she was the woman who would share my vision for a united Brydein and help me bring it to pass. But she was betrothed—by a stipulation of my own treaty with her people—to Urien, my greatest political rival, a man who will stop at nothing, including war, to achieve what he wants.
I cannot bring such a calamity upon those I have sworn to protect.
Perhaps you might be wondering why I do not simply void the betrothal clause. I could—for any man of aristocratic status. As a bastard, I do not qualify under the treaty terms. The day I had drafted that accursed document, I had never thought that in half a year I would be meeting the woman I crave more than breath itself.
What can you not do (but need to do) during this story?
Some of my advisers might argue that I should kill Urien and be done with the matter. The fact is that Urien's father and mine were great friends and allies, and Chieftain Dumarec has graciously extended that support to me. Dumarec's men form the backbone of the legion I command, and killing Urien would kill that alliance.
But if there is another way to make Urien pay for his disrespectful—and sometimes hurtful—treatment of Gyanhumara, I swear by all that is holy that I shall find it.
Tell us about your significant other, that person who makes living worthwhile.
Gyanhumara is a chieftainess of the Caledonian people by birth, and a warrior and leader of warriors by training. Her clan, Argyll, led the southernmost Caledonian clans to attack the Brytoni settlement at Abar-Gleann, though Gyanhumara herself did not fight in that battle. If she had, I would have worded that damned betrothal clause far differently, I assure you.
I do not love her because she is gorgeous, or wealthy, or intelligent, or amusing, or amazing, or skilled with a sword, or because a union with her will help to strengthen the fragile peace between our peoples. Indeed Gyanhumara is all of those things, and more. But take away all those attributes, and she would still be the woman for whom my heart thrums its most joyous song.
What would that person say about you?
Hah! Probably that I am secretive, private, and unreadable—because I must strive to keep my feelings for her buried. I would shout my love for her from the very gates of heaven itself, but not one moment before I determine how I can nullify her betrothal to Urien without inviting disaster.
What special skills do you rely on?
Uther and his best general, my cousin Merlin, taught me strategic and tactical thinking, as well as the ability to recognize good counsel and abilities within others. I credit these skills as the reason I was able to defeat Gyanhumara's people in my first battle as Dux Britanniarum. No doubt they attacked because I was untried as a leader of men, and although I despised the loss of life on both sides of that conflict, it pleased me to prove the Caledonians wrong. Yet it pleased me even more to turn former enemies into valuable allies.
My foster brother Cai would likely name as a "special skill" my ability to bring out the best in men with but a word, a nod, sometimes no more than a brief touch. I cannot explain why this is so, but I have observed the results myself and know that Cai is right. And I am grateful for this ability of mine, for I need all my soldiers to function at their very best in order to help me keep Brydein safe.

About the Author

Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet.
Kim is a Seattle native and a direct descendent of twentieth-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim's novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband's ancestor, the seventh-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her new imprint, Pendragon Cove Press.
Why did you choose this character for the interview today?
I have written an "open letter" guest post as Arthur, but this is the first time he has ever been called upon to conduct an interview.
Are any sequels planned for this book?
Oh yes! In fact the first sequel, Morning's Journey, is already on sale. I have a total of eight books planned for The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, though Arthur will be just a "gleam in the eye" in one of them.
Why should readers who haven't picked up one of your books before give this one a try?
Oh, where to begin? How about with terrific writing and an exciting plot? Furthermore, in all of Arthurian literature, Dawnflight features the only Guinevere character (Gyanhumara, or Gyan as she prefers to be called by family and close friends) that a reader can truly like, for a change. Dawnflight can be read as pure escapism, but it also contains layers of meaning for those readers who like to delve deeper. And this edition features a Tolkien-esque invention of languages to further enrich the world inhabited by Gyan and Arthur and their families, friends, allies, and enemies.
Is there anything you'd like to say to your readers?
Thank you so very much for all your clicks and buys and reviews and follows and shares and fan mail and every other type of support I haven't mentioned!

About the Book

Title Dawnflight
Genre historical romance with fantasy, military, and spiritual elements
Author Kim Headlee
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG
Among the misty lochs and glens of ancient Scotland, duty wages war against love on the battlefield of opposing cultures and agendas. When Gyanhumara and Arthur meet, they recognize each other as soul mates. Arthur's treaty has preserved Gyan's ancient right to marry any man, providing he is a nobleman—but Arthur himself does not qualify. And the man to which she is betrothed, the ambitious Urien, shall not be so easily denied by his greatest political rival. If Gyan and Arthur cannot prevent Urien from plunging the Caledonians and Brytons back into war, their love will be doomed to remain unfulfilled forever.
But there is an even greater threat looming. The Laird of the Scots wants their land and will kill all who stand in his way. Gyan, Arthur, and Urien must unite to defeat this merciless enemy who threatens everyone they hold dear.

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  1. That is one incredible cover. I am a huge King Arthur fan, so looking forward to this.

  2. The cover is gorgeous, and the story sounds so interesting.

  3. Thank you both!! My cover designer is Natasha Brown of I happen to think her graphic design work is amazing, and I'm glad that others think so too! In fact if you follow the link in this reply, you will see the cover graphic (for predesigned covers) that attracted me to her work to begin with. It is now the cover for another of my novels, Snow in July (and of course it's marked as "sold" if you drill down to the the complete set of predesigned covers). Thanks again, and many blessings to you!
    Kim Headlee
    Stories make us greater.


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