Hello, L.M. David here. Today I am interviewing Devorah Fox, author of The Lost King. Apologies, Devorah, for the tardiness in posting this interview …
Okay, get the interview started:
Q. Welcome Devorah. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
A. The daughter of “book people,” I’ve been a bibliophile my entire life. I started writing as a teen–I remember collaborating on a novella with two girlfriends. I tackled writing a novel in the 1990s. I recall not being able to find quite the book that I wanted to read, so I decided to write it myself.
Q. Your book, The Lost King, is set in Chalklands. What is it like living in the world you created in this book?
A. It isn’t easy. In the middle of the Middle Ages very little was preprocessed or manufactured. If you wanted something, first you had to grow it, build it, make it. If you needed socks, you couldn’t just waltz into a store and buy them. Instead you had to raise the sheep, shear and card the wool, spin the thread, knit a pair — you get the idea. Also, there wasn’t much variety and not as many options. For example, you ate what was in season and locally available. Not everyone was educated and even those who wanted to better themselves didn’t always have the means to do so.
Q. In The Lost King, your main character is King Bewilliam. What’s he like?
A. Even when Bewilliam finds himself stripped of all that made him king — his title, lands, wealth and power — he is still proud, almost arrogant. In many ways though, this quality helps him to persevere. Someone with less of a sense of self would give up in despair when faced with the challenges that he faces.
Q. The first chapter starts out with King Bewilliam lying in a field and homeless. What happened?
A. “What happened” makes up the rest of the story. Without giving away the ending, King Bewilliam is in such shock that he can’t remember how he came to be in this strange place, let alone penniless.
Q. How long does it take the king to figure out someone’s placed him under a spell?
A. He wanders around for months. He’d like to reclaim his old life, if only he could remember where that was!
Q. What is the most fascinating thing about King Bewilliam’s quest?
A. I found myself charmed by his persistence, self-reliance and inventiveness. He could have given up, looked for charity or turned to others for support. Instead he continues to strive to regain what he believes to be his place in the world and calls on his creative skills to solve problems.
Q. Is there a love interest for King Bewilliam?
A. He’s a handsome, charming, and vibrant man so yes, despite his trials and tribulations he does find time for romance too.
Q. Will there be a sequel to The Lost King? If so, tell me a bit about it.
A. I’m working on The King’s Ransom now. I hadn’t planned for The Lost King to be part of a series but when I got to the end, I realized that there was more to tell, that King Bewilliam had more to learn and experience. Plus, fans of the book wanted to spend more time with the characters from The Lost King.
Q. What was your favorite part in The Lost King?
A. I like when King Bewilliam tries to rescue a “damsel in distress” only to meet the capable and independent Empress Alexandra who as proud and strong-willed as he is.
Q. Which character was your favorite, and why?
A. I like all of them as they were all inspired by people that I have known.
Q. Why set this story in the Medieval era?
A. When I started writing, I wanted to capture the plight of contemporary people who have survived a life trauma only to find nothing to “come home to” but I wanted to tell the story in a “once upon a time” fashion. As I got into the story, I realized that I was describing life in the middle Middle Ages. As one reader said about the medieval fantasy world setting, “The story could have taken place today” and that was indeed my intent.
Q. If you could go back in time, would you want to live in the age of Knights in shining armor, jousts and drafty castles?
A. Oh, no, no, no. I am a 21st century gal, no doubt about that. I love the modern conveniences, the enabling technology, and the freedom to be what I want to be.
Q. As self-published author, what has been the most challenging thing you’ve dealt with?
A. Finding time to write. Being self-published means I’m running a small business. The commercial side of writing is demanding and time-consuming. Between marketing and promotion I find that I don’t get much writing done.
Q. What advice do you have for other authors following the same path you have towards publication?
A. Read the fine print and be certain you know what you’re getting yourself into. Take advantage of tutorials and guidelines. Self-publishing can lead to expensive and disappointing results for those who don’t know what they’re doing. It was an easy decision for me because I’ve worked with publications practically my entire professional life and have been a self-publisher (nonfiction) for decades. I already knew my way around layout, resolution, distribution, etc. Those who don’t either have to expect a steep learning curve or rely on someone else’s expertise. The advantages of self-publishing are the degree of control and the speed. Self-publishers can get books into readers’ hands practically overnight!
L.M.: Thanks for the advice. And the interview.
**As a side note, after this interview was posted, Ms. Fox sent me an email stating she’d published the second book in this series entitled: The King’s Ransom and is working on the third in the series. Congrats! Oh, and she warned me to stay away from vampires …
A three-time National Novel Writing Month winner, Devorah Fox has written for television, radio, magazines, newspapers, and the Internet. Before she started writing timeless fiction she edited and published the BUMPERTOBUMPER® books for commercial motor vehicle drivers as well as developer of the Easy CDL apps for the iPhone. She has written commercial driver license test preparation guides for Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. and edited books for Techni-Com, a Canadian publisher. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she has lived in Port Aransas, Texas, since 2005. Secretary of the Rockport Writers Group, Fox writes the “Dee-Scoveries” blog at http://devorahfox.com and a column of the same name for The Island Moon newspaper. She wrote her first novel in the third grade and has written several more since. The Lost King, Book One of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, is her first published work of fiction.
When all you have owned, everyone you have loved, and everything you have done are gone, who are you? King Bewilliam awakens one morning to find himself mysteriously transformed from a beloved respected ruler and dragon slayer of renown to a homeless vagabond. Who cast this spell and why? His quest to uncover and break the bewitching spell and regain his kingdom sets him on a journey of adventure, romance, and self-discovery. Book One of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, The Lost King is a modern tale in medieval clothing.