Guest Post: “On Theon Greyjoy…” by Mark Alder

AlderM-AuthorPicTheon Greyjoy – do you like him now? Did you ever like him? Will you ever like him?

As a writer, I find Theon by far the most interesting character in Game of Thrones. He illustrates a lot about how to make a character disliked. He also, in his long redemption, illustrates the techniques novelists and screenwriters use to build sympathy in a character.

Theon has had many of these sympathy building techniques applied to him in the course of his redemption, but here’s the thing – up until the very last scenes of the last series of  the Game of Thrones TV series, they simply have not worked.

He’s particularly interesting when compared to another GoT character who has undergone his own redemption – Jaime Lannister.

[Please Note: Spoilers for Game of Thrones!] Continue reading

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Upcoming: SON OF THE MORNING by Mark Alder (Pegasus)

AlderM-SonOfTheMorningUSMark Alder‘s Son of the Morning was first published a couple of years ago in the UK by Gollancz, but I just spotted that it is finally coming to North America, too — it is due to be published by Pegasus Books in February 2016. The cover is to the right, and the synopsis is as follows:

In an epic novel that reimagines the Hundred Years War — in a world where angels and demons choose sides on the battlefield — England and France find themselves locked in a holy war, but which country has God’s favor?

England, 1337: Edward III is beset on all sides, plagued by debt and surrounded by doubters. He refuses to pay homage to the newly crowned Philip Valois of France and seeks to secure his French holdings, but he’s outmanned. Philip can put 50,000 men in the field, but he is having his own problems: he has summoned the angels themselves to fight for France, but the angels refuse to fight. Both kings send priests far and wide, seeking holy relics and heavenly beings to take up the cause of their country, but God remains stubbornly silent, refusing to grant favor to either side.

Meanwhile, among the poor and downtrodden, heretical whispers are taking hold: what if God — who has never been seen to do anything for them — is not the rightful leader of the heavens after all? And as Edward’s situation becomes increasingly desperate, even his counselors begin to believe that if God won’t listen, perhaps they can find a savior not from Heaven, but from Hell.

In a sweeping tale packed with courtiers and kings, knights and priests, and devils and angels, Mark Alder breathes fresh and imaginative life into the Hundred Years War in this unique historical epic.

The sequel for Son of the Morning appears to be Son of the Night, which Amazon UK has listed for a November 2016 release, although this is possibly subject to change. No cover art as yet.

Mark Alder is a pseudonym, and the author also writes as M.D. Lachlan, whose Wolfsangel series is also published in the UK by Gollancz. The cover for the UK market is below:

AlderM-SonOfTheMorning

Quick Catch-Up with M.D. LACHLAN

The Valkyrie’s Song is the fourth novel in your Wolfsangel Cycle series. How does it feel to have it got this far? Are there more books to come?

Amazing, really. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the Norse world — or at least my version of it. There are more novels to come but there may be a big leap in time period for the next one. I’m thinking of setting it in WWII.

LachlanMD-W4-ValkyriesSong

What drew you to the werewolf myth, and the particular periods of history you’ve chosen for your novels?

I don’t know — it just hopped out of me fully formed on the page. I like the werewolf because of the lack of control, the  idea of the ancient animal heart beating beneath the civilised surface, ready to run amok in our lives. Big teeth, too — everyone loves big teeth. Continue reading