My First Novel

Howdy, fellow BRB'ers!

Those of you who have been paying attention to my comments over the past couple of years may remember that I was in the process of finishing my first novel, a revisionist Arthurian epic entitled Camelot Fallen. I've been releasing it in installments for Kindle through, and today the third and final installment is now available! Here are a few links for your clicking pleasure:

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I started planning out this novel seven long years ago, back when my wife and I were living in Scotland and I was working on my masters degree in Medieval & Renaissance Studies at the University of Glasgow. Yeah, I know seven years is a really long time to finish a single novel (even one that is over 133,000 words total), but I guess that's what happens when you have a wife, and a full-time job, and small children, and dogs, and lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats... wait, what was I talking about?

Anyway, aside from blatant self-promotion, I thought you all might be interested in some of my ideas, thought processes, influences, etc. along the way...

You see, during the 17th Century, British writer John Milton wrote the epic poem Paradise Lost, one of the most famous literary works in the English language. However, Milton’s original intent was to base his poem on the legend of King Arthur rather than the biblical Fall of Man. I've always been fascinated by this idea and have long wondered what an Arthurian epic by Milton might have been like. So I finally decided to write one myself. Now, my novel is written in prose rather than verse, and I imagine that fact will be much appreciated by modern audiences who may not have the patience or stamina to endure epic poetry. However, I can see clear similarities between the legend of King Arthur and Milton’s magnum opus. Both stories are tragedies marked by an idyllic land (Camelot / Eden) beginning in perfection but eventually being lost due to the failings of mankind. Even the title of my novel, Camelot Fallen, is a play on Paradise Lost, and the savvy reader may even notice the handful of lines I adapted from Milton and placed throughout my own text.

I have also always been a lover of the Arthurian canon, specifically The Once and Future King by T.H. White and Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson, with both authors leaving their mark upon my writing and my imagination. The internal historicity of Camelot Fallen, while not strictly accurate and dotted with anachronisms, was largely drawn from my own research on the mysterious world of Post-Roman Britain as well as Geoffrey of Monmouth’s pseudo-historical Historia Regum Britanniae. Other literary influences for this novel include This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti, City of God by Augustine of Hippo, and the many works of C.S. Lewis, specifically That Hideous Strength.

Anyway, if you decide to check out my work, I truly hope you enjoy it and I'd love to hear your feedback. I’d also like to leave you with a quote from Lewis himself. In a now-famous review of J.R.R. Tolkien’s seminal Lord of the Rings trilogy, he wrote the following about the value of myths and fairy tales:

’But why,’ (some ask), ‘why, if you have a serious comment to make on the real life of men, must you do it by talking about a phantasmagoric never-never land of your own?’ Because, I take it, one of the main things the author wants to say is that the real life of men is of that mythical and heroic quality. One can see the principle at work in his characterization.... The imagined beings have their insides on the outside; they are visible souls. And man as a whole, Man pitted against the universe, have we seen him at all till we see that he is like a hero in a fairy tale? ...The value of myth is that it takes all the things you know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by the veil of familiarity.