Monday, 19 July 2010

From one Viking loving writer to another - My Viking Day with author Giles Kristian

Well if you've been following me on Twitter over the past Sunday then you will know I managed to withstand the drudgery of a 4 hour train journey to Northampton and 4 hours coming back again. 
All because I am a fan of anything vikingy and one of my new favourite viking era historical fiction authors was attending.
Does the name Giles Kristian ring any bells? Does the best selling title Raven or Sons of Thunder bring forth the glorious days of the dark ages before your mind?
Well if you were a fan of anything vikingy or had read the books that name would mean a hell of a lot to you.
But there was much more than Giles Kristian on display at the event I went to attend.
Really, what?
The Festival of History 2010!
This is one fantastic brilliant HUGE awesome historical event I don't know how I haven't heard of it in the past 6 years I've been attending the Jorvik Viking Festival. WHich is itself a fantastic event and soley for viking fans the world over BUT this Festival of History covers everything apart from the neolithic basically. All british history of course. 
It has Romans, Elizabethans, Vikings, Anglo-saxons, Regency, Victorians, Civil War, Napoleon War, Boer War, WW1 and WW2 and soooooooo much more. Of course I glimpsed all this as I explored the massive festival encampment on the grounds of Kellmarch Hall in Northampton.
Yet how could I not linger around the Viking camp more than anywhere else? I couldn't - simple as that and I couldn't be torn away once they started having combat contests *big grin* - please watch videos below for a show of the viking battle strength and class.
This is of two vikings fighting with spears.
This is of two vikings fighting with swords.
If they don't display properly please go to my YouTube site to see the videos there.

However now I come to the true highlight of my delightful day there and that is everything to do with Giles Kristian (
Here is Gile's little promotion stall displying his books, exclusive bookmarks and his own genuine viking helmet and sword!
Here is Giles Kristian (on the left) with the speaker *forgotten his name* for his public interview event at the festival. He whispered my name as he passed me on way to stage making me jump and blush. THen not only did I pluck up the courage to ask him a question as a writer he openly and very publicly said 'Yes, I know you're a writer, Soul Chaser." I quickly blurted out that it won't mean anything to anyone because only I know about it. I did appreciate the plug but it came a bit toooo early in my writing career hehehe. He also proudly announced that he had just finished book three of Raven - Odin's Wolves which will be due out next February so that's a date to put in my calendar *big grin*

Now my finest moment in life so far - a captured moment of my meeting with Giles in person.
And wearing my valkyrie t-shirt too which he liked *big grin*

We had such a friendly and open conversation together after I kindly got him to sign my books and one on behalf of my boss who foolishly misplaced her own. First question he asked me was 'Ok becky how long did it take you go get here?' as he understoon I was at first not going to come because of the distance but in the end due to persuasion from my partner and the knowledge I had some savings left I went ahead and went. We then talked about his books, about writing, about the festival, got this photo, he asked me how Soul Chaser was going and I had to ashamedly admitt it had kind of stalled. Engine was still wirring in my mind but the writing process itself wasn't moving anywhere. I think his quote in my own copy of Raven showed his support and encouragement for me to keep rowing as he put the words 'To Rebecca, welcome aboard - now row!' - which I will interpret as 'now write!'.
It was only after this brief friendly and warm conversation that I learnt he even had a stall in the market side of the festival which I also only discovered due to the fact that he had a stall. So after letting him get back to promoting his fine novels I went in search for it as he had told me had a genuine vikings word. I located the stall and met up with his extremely friendly and chatty family. I think I got into an interesting with his in-laws about writing, the ups and downs, my journey down, was it worth it, anything vikingy, he even asked about my own writing which was humbling to have any sign of interest. I also was introduced to Gile's daughter Freya who is under 1 year old I think - she really does suit her name. Lovely blonde hair, star bright blue eyes and she is the first baby to genuinely like me when I smile and wave at her - she smiled and waved back. Truly adorable.

Thus after the best meeting in my life of an author I love I ended the day with a tasty true wild venisson burger with ketchup and onions. MMMMMm it was tasty. Wish I could have another one. So it was I made my long trek back home - which would have been quicker if some poor guy hadn't panicked when getting on my train a few stations earlier before I was on it at Milton Keynes Central as he pulled the alarm handle stopping the train suddenly and causing a lot of hassle. Due to that event I missed my connection back to Huddersfield byu 2 minutes when arriving at Manchester Piccadilly and so had to wait a further hour before the next one. Ultimately my train journey became a mirror image there and on the way back of the time spent travelling.

Was it worth it?
Will you go again next year?
Count on it! It's booked in my diary for 2011.

Now let's see if of starstruck encounter with the lovely Giles Kristian (follow on Twitter @GilesKristian) will give me the kick up the backside I need to keep writing Soul Chaser.
I'm feeling optimistic right now after his inspirational words - so watch this space.....    

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