Interview with Dee Marie - Author of Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy
I feel very privileged to know this wonderful person, author, and artist - Dee Marie. I have read her articles on Computer Graphics for years. Sons of Avalon is her first book. It is truly a spell-binder. I could not turn the pages fast enough. And for those of you who like a well written book, Dee Marie writes beautifully. This book is based on the Arthurian Legend. It is the first of a trilogy for which she has done extensive research for many years. I recommend this book as a must even if you are not into the Arthurian legends.
I asked Dee Marie if she would give me an interview. I sent her a number of questions and the following are the questions and her answers.
What lead to your interest in Merlin and King Arthur?
I am a romantic at heart, so an interest in the Arthurian Romances was a natural progression within the parallel world of my imagination. I also have been a lover of ancient legends, especially Celtic, Roman and Greek history.
While researching the book, I was fortunate to visit many of the Arthurian sites in southern England. The first time I set foot on Tintagel, in Cornwall, I felt like I had arrived home.
I'm glad that you brought the subject of research up, as I know that you spent years researching this book. Would you give readers an idea of how you went about it?
I started my research by reading every non-fiction book I could get my hands on that dealt with King Arthur, Merlin, and the Arthurian Legends. I also studied the history of Britain and London, Druid and Celtic Lore, ancient battle strategies and traditions, as well as Roman-Britain clothing, food, drink, and herbs.
As mentioned, I traveled through southern England to get a "feel" for the countryside as well as the people...I fell in love with both.
While books (and travel) were my main sources of research, the Internet offered invaluable additional information. It was especially helpful when I needed to check specific historical facts while writing. My biggest problem with research was to know when to stop. I think that I enjoyed researching the book nearly as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Do you create your characters or do they create themselves?
That is an excellent question...my answer would have to be yes and no. As I am writing about Merlin's world (a legendary figure within an established time and place in history), the characters, locations, and historical references...are steeped in reality with a touch a fantasy...created from Arthurian Legend lore.
As to the character's "voice," again that is a complicated answer. Once I started writing the novel, the characters would appear to me in the twilight world of lucid dreaming. Often driving a storyline, and inserting their "take" on a certain situation or scene.
At times it was very annoying, especially with Merlin and Sir Lot. They were both very opinionated, and often would block the story until I "listened" to their side of the tale.
How did you take the story about Merlin and give it your personality?
Actually, it was Merlin's personality (and later Sir Lot's) that I added to the story rather than my own. I did my best to stay true to the basic Arthurian Legends, adding details from Merlin and Lot as they guided my words.
I read the book and couldn't put it down. What is in store for future books?
Thank you so much your wonderful words, and for your continued support and friendship. As to future books in the Arthurian series...the second book is in the final stages of the first draft. I have also finished the initial outline for the third book in the series.
The second book continues the rival between Merlin and Sir Lot, at the same time it introduces a young Arthur into the mix.
The third book revolves around the court of Camelot and the relationship between Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot.
If this were to be made into a movie, who would you like to play the major roles?
I think every author ponders which Hollywood stars would best bring their characters to life. I did not have any specific actors in mind when I wrote the book. However, since its publication, I have been on a constant "talent search." Now, when I watch a movie or television show, I scrutinize the cast for "possible" players in a movie version of Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy.
This is my current casting call, which is always subject to change, due to the fluctuation of new talented streaming into Hollywood, or simply my fickle whims.
Merlin: Zac Efron (High School Musical)...I know he is an odd choice for the passionate brooding lead. He does have Merlin's features...features far too pretty to be wasted on a male. As to date, he has not stretched his acting range. Yet, I detect something smoldering beneath the surface, and I believe he would deliver a powerful performance.
Uther: Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tutors, Alexander)...With his intense emotional diversity, Jonathan was "born" to play the part of Uther Pendragon. I actually had a dream where he accepted the part of Uther...I love those kind of dreams <insert wicked grin>.
Ambrosius: Jared Leto (Alexander, Lord of War)...Again, I am sure he would not be the first pick of many to play the part of Ambrosius, but I have followed his career, and he is my first choice to play the sensitive High King with an addictive personality.
Lot: Robert Pattinson (Twilight) ...I took a giant leap-of-faith with my imaginary casting of Robert Pattinson, as Sir Lot. I had only seen him briefly (playing a small part in two of the Harry Potter films). However, with the prospects of his staring role in the movie Twilight (based on the popular novel with the same name, and my current obsession with the vampire series), I have a gut feeling that no one but Robert could portray misunderstood anti-hero Lot.
Meleagant: Tom Sturridge (Vanity Fair) ...At first I considered him for the role of Nentres. Yet, For purely selfish reasons (after all this is my fantasy casting call), I would be interested in watching him take on the challenging role of young man on a spiral decent into insanity.
Nentres: Scott Michael Foster (Greek)...He would be the ideal judicious, loyal and insightful member of the Young Royal Guard.
Nimue: Abbie Cornish (Stop-loss, Candy)...Although she is a little older than I had imagined in the novel...she still possesses an ethereal beauty that radiates off the screen.
Morgause: Vanessa Hudgens (Thirteen, High School Musical)...Again, an odd choice for a crucial part. Yet, I see something undiscovered, deep, dark and sensual, just waiting to escape.
Lady of the Lake: Rosemary Gore (Soulmates)...As a teenager, Rosemary would occasionally hang out at our house. There was always a mystical "otherworldly" quality about her, that would make her the perfect person to play Merlin's mother, and Ambrosius love interest.
Igraine: Natalie Dormer (The Tutors, Casanova)... Igraine is to Uther, what Helen of Troy was to Paris. Natalie Dormer is an exceptional blend of arrogance and allure... a woman a man would risk his life for...a woman worthy of instigating a war!
That was fun. Thank you so much for allowing my over-active imagination to run amok. Also, thank you for your continued support of Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy, and for your unconditional friendship. I hope your readers enjoy the new retelling of the ancient Arthurian tales. I invite everyone to visit my Sons of Avalon website and if they have any questions please do not hesitate to drop me an email, I love hearing from my readers.
Title: Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy
Author: Dee Marie
Softcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Conceptual Images Publishing (February 8, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy, is available through online bookstores, including Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com. It can also be ordered directly through your local bookstore.