Archive for the ‘Tales of Ragaris’ Category

penelope-wallace-author

We’re taking a break from posting news and short stories to bring you a brief interview with author Penelope Wallace.

Q. What is your name?
A. Penelope Wallace.

Q. What is your date of birth?
A. 28th June 1962.

Q. Where were you born?
A. St Andrews, Scotland.

Q. Where did you grow up?
A. St Andrews, Scotland.

Q. What is your favourite sport?
A. “Sport” is an interesting concept. I’ve never come to grips with it as a participant, but I like watching tennis.

Q. Where did you go to primary school?
A. St Andrews, Scotland.

Q. Where did you go to secondary school?
A. St Andrews, Scotland.

Q. Where did you go to university?
A. Finally leaving St Andrews… Oxford and Aberdeen.

Q. What is your favourite colour?
A. The colours of the sunset.

Q. What is your favourite film?
A. I usually say “Some Like It Hot”.

Q. Last film you saw at the cinema?
A. “Dr Strange.”

Q. Who is your favourite author?
A. People choose just one?

Q. What is your favourite book?
A. As above.

Q. What is the last book you read?
A. “Magnum Bonum” by Charlotte M Yonge, and “The Gospel of Dot” by Humphrey Clucas.

Q. Who is your favourite band?
A. What is a band?

Q. Have you ever seen them live?
A. No.

Q. Do you have a favourite song?
A. Whatever I can’t get out of my head, unless I hate the words.

Q. How long have you been writing?
A. I have been writing on and off since I was six, when I wrote a shortened version of “The Jungle Book”.

Q. Where do you get your inspiration from?
A. Speculation about a world without gender prejudice, miscellaneous ideas… and a man who walked into my head.

Q. So your friends and family are supportive?
A. They are, on the whole.

Q. Are you an animal lover?
A. I will take the Fifth Amendment on this one.

Q. Do you have other creative outlets besides writing?
A. I answer questions stupidly and recite poetry.

Q. What is your favourite flower?
A. Forget-me-not.

Penny Release Party Poster

WeDoNotKillChildren

Join local author Penelope Wallace for the launch party of a book that gives fantasy a facelift.

Released in November 2016, We Do Not Kill Children was heralded as the hot pick in Amazon’s Christian fantasy genre in the run up to Christmas and finally the book is getting a local not-quite-a-release party.

We Do Not Kill Children is the debut novel from local author, Penelope Wallace and published by the local publishing house, Mightier Than the Sword UK Publications. “It’s a fantasy book for people who don’t really like fantasy,” said Ms Wallace, “It’s a story without elves, it doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger and it’s free from misogyny. However it does have several murders plus a sprinkling of torture and dismemberment of corpses – which all adds to the intrigue.”

Penny Release Party PosterThe launch party is being held at the Middle Street Resource Centre, Middle Street, Beeston on 26th May 2017. The doors will open at 7pm, with talks starting at 7:30pm. Entry is free. There will be refreshments on offer for all those that attend, with the chance to meet the author and talk to her about her book (and the second Tale from Ragaris, which is due to be published later this year) as well as the opportunity to purchase a copy and have it signed. The illustrator for the books, Ian Storer of Scipio Design will also be in attendance with more examples of his work. C.S. Woolley, the founder of Mightier Than the Sword UK Publications and another local author, will also be there with some of the other books in the Mightier Than the Sword UK Publications catalogue available for purchase.

We Do Not Kill Children Blurb

“We do not kill children; we do not commit rape; we do not take pleasure in torment.”

Dorac Kingsbrother was one of the King’s Thirty in the kingdom of Marod. That was before he was found guilty of the murder of Lord Gahran’s three children. Though Gahran was a traitor, his children were innocent. The code of the King’s Thirty leaves no room for such a barbaric act, and for this heinous crime Dorac faces a life in exile.

The shame of such a sentence is something that Dorac can’t brook, and so he sets off on a journey to the Old Stones, the place where those that seek death meet their end. Followed by Gormad, a child in search of adventure, Dorac is not alone on his final journey.

But not everyone believes that Dorac is guilty. Gemara Kingsister, head of the Six, investigates the murder of Gahran’s children; though there is more at stake than the life of a lone warrior in this, the first of the Tales from Ragaris.

With the manuscript for the sequel to We Do Not Kill Children in the hands of our editors, we’ve decided to celebrate with an extract from Penelope Wallace‘s debut novel and transport all you lovely readers to the kingdom of Marod.

We Do Not Kill Children: An Extract

Meril woke early, but lay still and tense, shivering a little and dreading getting up.  It was hard to believe that they were really going to do this thing.

Master Hassdan had spent most of the day before arranging it.  He told her that nothing would make the inhabitants of the house accept a desecration of the children’s graves; any explanation he could offer would be regarded as an insult.  So Mistress Soumaki was to undertake further questioning of Lord Gahran’s people that afternoon, all together in the hall, to keep them out of the way.  Soumaki plainly thought this a waste of time, and a distraction from their task, and said so forcefully.  The possibility that the children might have been substituted was a very faint and unlikely one.  Hassdan was in charge of the mission, so she had to give way, but she did not like it.  Meril, excruciatingly embarrassed, had to witness their argument.

As they left the room, Master Hassdan had relieved his feelings by slapping the back of her head, and saying, “Take that smirk off your face.  Go and make yourself useful in the kitchens.”  While she was doing this, he exerted the authority of the King’s Thirty over the two reluctant priests, and talked to Captain Rabellit, whom Cremdar had left in charge.  The captain was willing to help, he told Meril, but she had to select the least talkative of her soldiers to assist.  “Not that there’s much hope.  Someone will surely let it out.

Meril, chopping vegetables and apologising for the ones she dropped on the floor, had been trying to learn what the dead children had looked like, but she had discovered little.  They were all little angels.  Gascor had a mole next to his eye.  Ilda’s hair was curly, and Filana’s straight.  This was all she could learn, apart from the colours of the clothes they had been wearing that day.

She had asked several people about the events of the funeral, and learned these by heart.  Cremdar, Arvill and Braf had wrapped the children in a sheet and sewn it together “out of respect”, before breaking the news and arresting Dorac.  The actual bodies had been too terrible to be viewed, after what that monster had done to them.   All anyone else had seen was the bloodstains on Dorac’s cloak, and on the floor, and seeping through the sheet… and the fact of the children’s absence.  The remains had lain in the chapel with those of their father for an hour or so, for last rites to be spoken, and people to pray.  Then they had been carried out into the grounds by Captain Rabellit and one of her soldiers, with everyone else following behind.  Lord Gahran’s chaplain had spoken the words of the funeral service, and all had wept and crowded round while the bloodied sheet was placed in the earth, in a hole dug by the soldiers.  The other body, that of the stablehand Arator, had been buried later.

“Very very odd,” commented Master Hassdan.  “Not even a coffin.”  It was clear, he said, and Meril earnestly agreed, that the people of Ferrodach could have had no part in anything suspicious after the murders, at any rate.  Captain Rabellit seemed trustworthy, and she was sure the grave had not been disturbed since.  When asked if Ferrodach had had enough warning of their arrival to organise a substitution, she had thought not.  “Our scouts saw nothing, and when we rode up, everyone was very surprised.  Or seemed to be.”

So today they were to dig up corpses.  Meril could not get her mind off this, wondering how horrible the sight and smell would be, and if she would disgrace herself utterly – throw up, or scream, or worse, in front of everyone.  She thought of pictures at home of the opening of the tombs at the Last Judgment, which had given her and her sister nightmares.  Her stomach was cold and heavy, and she could not make herself move from her pallet outside the Ferrodach guest chamber.

Meril!  You good-for-nothing brat!  Are you intending to sleep till noon?  St John preserve me from idle children.”  Hassdan kicked her up, and she stammered apologies.  He was still complaining loudly about her laziness and clumsiness as they went down to the hall (the same stair that Master Dorac and Master Cremdar had used that day), and Soumaki gave her a compassionate look.  It was almost funny.

 

We Do Not Kill Children

front“We do not kill children; we do not commit rape; we do not take pleasure in torment.”

Dorac Kingsbrother was one of the King’s Thirty in the kingdom of Marod. That was before he was found guilty of the murder of Lord Gahran’s three children. Though Gahran was a traitor, his children were innocent. The code of the King’s Thirty leaves no room for such a barbaric act, and for this heinous crime Dorac faces a life in exile.

The shame of such a sentence is something that Dorac can’t brook, and so he sets off on a journey to the Old Stones, the place where those that seek death meet their end. Followed by Gormad, a child in search of adventure, Dorac is not alone on his final journey.

But not everyone believes that Dorac is guilty. Gemara Kingsister, head of the Six, investigates the murder of Gahran’s children; though there is more at stake than the life of a lone warrior in this, the first of the Tales from Ragaris.

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Well Christmas is well and truly done, so we shall be moving on into the New Year, but before we do, we have one more festive offering for you in the form of a Christmas interview with lovely Penelope Wallace.

If you haven’t read her debut novel, We Do Not Kill Children, we highly recommend that you check it out.

Penelope Wallace Christmas Interview

Your favourite day of Christmas from the song “Twelve Days of Christmas”?

A: The lords a-leaping and ladies dancing would make for a good ceilidh or barn dance.

If you had to be Scrooge or the Grinch, which would you be?

A: I am always Scrooge-ish about Christmas beginning too early.

Tell us about this book. Who did you write this book for?

A: “We Do Not Kill Children” is a not-too-dark story of murder and intrigue, in a pseudo-medieval setting with gender equality. I wrote it for people like me, who find swords and honour enthralling, don’t understand technology, like women to have roles other than love interest, and don’t want to read about rape.

What is your favourite part about preparing for Christmas?

A: Possibly opening cards and guessing who they’re from. Also seeing family.

Is there a central message in the book?

A: There are two: heroism is the daily trudge as well as the dramatic leap; and every criminal justice system needs a Court of Appeal.

What is your favourite Christmas Tradition?

A: Carols, and presents.

What is the most important idea you share in your book that will add value to the reader’s life?

A: Possibly to treat people as individuals, and not stereotype them, eg by gender or appearance.

Who is in charge of cooking Christmas dinner in your house?

A: Definitely not me. Normally my husband.

If you could compare this book with any book out there we might already be familiar with, which book would it be and why?

A: Fold “Brother Cadfael” into “Song of Ice and Fire” and add feminism.

If you could spend Christmas anywhere, where would it be?

A: At home is good.

Why did you start writing?

A: It is the obvious way to preserve and develop the strange images and story-lines in my head. Maybe.

Do your characters celebrate Christmas?

A: They certainly do, and you can watch them doing it in the epilogue of “We Do Not Kill Children”.

Will it be a White Christmas?

A: Probably not.

What is your favourite Christmas song?

A: “God rest ye merry” and “Hark the herald angels sing” are excellent carols. If you mean secular song… how about “There’s only one more sleep till Christmas”?

When do you decorate your tree?

A: As late as possible, before Christmas Eve.

Which movie do you watch every Christmas?

A: The classic “Muppet Christmas Carol” (see above under “Song”) but “Love Actually” is also frequently watched.

Do you have a favourite book that you always read over the festive period?

A: No, but I sometimes read Milton’s “Ode on the Morning of Christ’s Nativity”.

We Do Not Kill Children

front“We do not kill children; we do not commit rape; we do not take pleasure in torment.”

Dorac Kingsbrother was one of the King’s Thirty in the kingdom of Marod. That was before he was found guilty of the murder of Lord Gahran’s three children. Though Gahran was a traitor, his children were innocent. The code of the King’s Thirty leaves no room for such a barbaric act, and for this heinous crime Dorac faces a life in exile.

The shame of such a sentence is something that Dorac can’t brook, and so he sets off on a journey to the Old Stones, the place where those that seek death meet their end. Followed by Gormad, a child in search of adventure, Dorac is not alone on his final journey.

But not everyone believes that Dorac is guilty. Gemara Kingsister, head of the Six, investigates the murder of Gahran’s children; though there is more at stake than the life of a lone warrior in this, the first of the Tales from Ragaris.

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