close

The Qwillery | category: Graynelore

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

My Favourite Extract: Stephen Moore talks about his novel Graynelore


Graynelore by Stephen Moore was published by Harper Voyager UK on August 13, 2015 and the cover won the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for August. Please welcome Stephen back to The Qwillery to tell us about his favorite bit of his debut adult novel.



My Favourite Extract: Stephen Moore talks about his novel Graynelore




My Favourite Extract: Stephen Moore talks about his novel GRAYNELORE

A few years ago I had a conversation with my mother about her historical family roots and she reminded me that I am, in fact, directly descended from notorious Sixteenth Century Border Reivers. Who? Family groups from the English/Scottish borders who saw robbery, rustling, kidnap, blackmail, blood-feud and murder as all part of their normal daily life. What author worth their salt wouldn’t want to write about that? I couldn’t resist, and after travelling a long and winding road of research and creative adventure I eventually arrived at my fantasy novel, GRAYNELORE. How might I best describe GRAYNELORE? If it’s an epic fantasy, it’s also a tale of divided loyalty. It’s a blood-soaked mystery, a grown-up faerie-tale and, in its own twisted way, a kind of love story.

Which begs a question: out of all those amazing possibilities, do I, the author, have a favourite bit, an extract from the book I love above all others?

And, after much thought, I realise that I do! It’s the very first scene I wrote when I began Graynelore. It came to me fully formed and almost word perfect first time. Believe me, an extremely unusual event for a writer who composes piecemeal and as inspiration hits; an author who can easily re-write a scene a dozen times or more in an attempt to get it just right. Originally this scene did not belong anywhere in particular, only eventually becoming the start of Chapter Six: The Killing Field, and pivotal to the plot.

Why do I love it? Well, it very much set the tone and nature of the story I went on to tell. Also, I’m a very visual author. I see the actions, the events and the landscapes of my tales clearly laid out before me. And I’m a lover of beautiful words. The way they read off the page; indeed, the way they visually appear in print. It’s all important, and not to be rushed! This particular scene begins with the description of a face, a beautiful, enticing, seductive image. However, as the scene unfolds, it quickly becomes apparent that all is not what it first appears to be...

Her eyes, they were a blue that startled, invited, demanded. They caught hold of me, drew me to her like a lover. Still wet, they glistened. Not with tears. Nor fear. There was no stain on her cheeks. Her white cheeks... White skin… She was a beauty yet. The wind was playing lightly across her face, moving a single frond of auburn hair. She had caught it upon her tongue at the edge of her mouth. Open mouth. Red mouth… Surely she was teasing me, smiling, whispering. No... yes.
         I tried to put Notyet’s face in the way of hers, only I could not seem to find it. Vague, hidden as if veiled, its image would not come to me.
         ‘Rogrig,’ she said.
         Again.
         ‘Rogrig...’
         Did she really speak my name, then? No... yes. No. It was only the voice of the wind.
         ‘Rogrig… Rogrig...?’
         But this last was not a woman’s voice, nor the wind.
         ‘Watch this, Rogrig!’ It was a clumsy youth who had spoken: Edbur, my elder-cousin Wolfrid’s whelp, his laughing cry was thin with a disguised fear.
         Then there was violence, the sweet scent of fresh blood spilled, the kicking.
         I was suddenly released from my stupor and the woman’s spell was broken. Instinctively I gripped the hilt of my sword, but let it rest at my side. There was no threat here. I recognised the boy’s smell. Edbur, Edbur-the-Widdle… It was a fitting nick-name. He was old enough, and big enough to fight, but the whelp soiled himself at every skirmish. Still, there had been killings made here, and if wounded pride was the worst of his injuries he had served his surname, his grayne, better than many. The fortunes would soon forgive him for it. And if they did not, well, then I would forgive him in their stead.
         The boy’s swinging kick sent the severed head of the dead woman tumbling. Edbur-the-Widdle laughed outrageously as it thumped and thudded between grass and gulley, as it broke heavily upon stone, spilling teeth, spitting blood.
         Not a woman now.

Is the scene a little gory? Perhaps, but it’s also honest and even beautiful (I hope). And if it was to become important to the story, it was also pivotal in another way. You see, up until this point all of my books had been written for older children (and I’ve been a published author for almost twenty years!) With this one scene, I found myself standing at an unexpected crossroads. And I knew if I was going to write truthfully about Border Reivers it might well be a faerie tale, but it was not going to be a children’s story. And so it turned out. GRAYNELORE is my very first fantasy novel for adults.





Graynelore
Harper Voyager UK, August 13, 2015
eBook, 400 pages
(Debut - Adult)

My Favourite Extract: Stephen Moore talks about his novel Graynelore
Rodrig Wishard is a killer, a thief and a liar. He’s a fighting man who prefers to solve his problems with his sword.

In a world without government or law, where a man’s only loyalty is to his family and faerie tales are strictly for children, Rodrig Wishard is not happy to discover that he’s carrying faerie blood. Something his family neglected to tell him. Not only that but he’s started to see faeries for real.

If he’s going to make any sense of it he’s going to have to go right to the source – the faeries themselves. But that’s easier said than done when the only information he has to go on is from bards and myth.





About Stephen

My Favourite Extract: Stephen Moore talks about his novel Graynelore
Stephen Moore is the author of the fantasy novel, GRAYNELORE. (Published by HarperVoyager, 2015.)

A published author since the mid 1990's he’s also written several well received fantasy books for older children (ages 9-14yrs/YA) including, TOOTH AND CLAW, SPILLING THE MAGIC and FAY. (Published by, Crossroad Press.)

Stephen hails from the North of England; a beautiful land he loves to explore; full of ancient Roman history, medieval castles and remnants of the infamous Border Reivers.

Long ago, before he discovered the magic of storytelling, he was an exhibition designer and he has fond memories of working in the strange old world of museums. Sometimes he can still be found in auction houses pawing over old relics!

He loves art and books, old and new. He’s into rock music, movies, history and RPG video games! But mostly, he likes to write, where he gets to create his own worlds.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @SMoore_Author  ~  Goodreads

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Winner


The winner of the August 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is Graynelore by Stephen Moore with 52 votes equaling 36% of all votes. The cover was designed by Cherie Chapman, part of the design team at Harper Collins.



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Winner





The Results

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Winner




The August 2015 Debut Covers

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Winner




Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue with voting on the September Debut covers starting on September 15, 2015 with 17 covers to choose from!

Interview with Stephen Moore, author of Graynelore


Please welcome Stephen Moore to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Graynelore is published on August 13th by Harper Voyager UK. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Stephen a Happy Publication Day!



Interview with Stephen Moore, author of Graynelore




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Stephen:  Graynelore is my first adult fantasy novel, but I had my first children’s fantasy book, Spilling the Magic, published way back in 1996. (Was it THAT long ago?) Why did I start writing? I’ve got a photo of myself when I was eight years old. I’m dressed in ragamuffin hitched-up jeans complete with holes in the knees. That kid didn’t read many books. Looking back, I realised most of the classic children’s books I subsequently read (and loved) were all very prim and proper, and dare I say it, rather middle class. No one seemed to have written books for the eight year old boy I had been in that old photo. So I wrote him a book... Spilling the Magic.



TQAre you a plotter or a pantser?

Stephen:  I guess I’m both in an odd way. When I begin a project I write longhand and piecemeal: not to a storyline. There’s no starting at the beginning. I let ideas tumble as they will. Whether its characters, or landscapes, conversations or plot. Nothing’s a mistake and there’s no writers block. I’m happy to surprise myself. Then, when I’m done scribbling the laptop comes out. That’s when I begin to shape the story – find the beginning, middle, end, and all that – and after ten drafts or so the book takes on its final form.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Stephen:  I’m a slow writer... It can take me a year or even two to write a book depending on the story. So that’s sometimes frustrating. I’ve got so many book ideas and not enough time to write them! Choosing the right project to take forward, knowing what’s ahead, can be daunting. If it’s a nice problem to have! I would like to write faster (Believe me, I’ve tried). But I guess the writing method I use works for me – and that’s the key. (You can’t have everything.)



TQWho are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Stephen:  My favourite reads are my influences. Charles Dickens for one: his character development is superb. Then there’s Tolkien for his storytelling and world building. And Mervyn Peake can’t be bettered for his descriptive powers, particularly in his novel Gormanghast. Then again, Robert Louis Stephenson’s Treasure Island is my all time favourite book. That’s the stuff of true adventures! If my favourite author is Robert Westall: best known for his wartime novel for older children, The Machine Gunners. He’s a writer whose stories have a ring of authenticity about them. An authenticity I strive to match.



TQDescribe Graynelore in 140 characters or less.

Stephen:  A story of divided loyalty. An epic fantasy. A grown-up faerie tale. A blood-soaked mystery. And, in its own twisted way, a love story.



TQTell us something about Graynelore that is not found in the book description.

Stephen:  Some of the atmosphere, characters and place names in Graynelore find their inspiration in the music of early rock bands, such as Genesis, Lindisfarne, Wishbone Ash and Pink Floyd. Though I’ll leave it up to my readers to discover the connections...



TQWhat inspired you to write Graynelore? What appealed to you about writing Fantasy?

Stephen:  A few years ago I discovered a most amazing thing: my family history includes a link to the infamous Sixteenth Century Border Reivers. The Reivers were inhabitants of the English/Scottish Borderlands; family groups who considered theft, kidnap, blackmail, murder and deadly blood-feud as all part of their day job. I couldn’t resist writing about them! If I knew from the start, to do the idea justice, for the first time I was going to be writing for adults and not children. Of course, I’m an author of fantasy, not historical fiction... it was a long and winding path that eventually lead me to Graynelore.

Why fantasy? The genre has always appealed to me. I see no limits. I get to write about anything I want. I get to travel anywhere I want to go, real or imaginary, and I get to do pretty much anything I like when I get there. What could be better?



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Graynelore?

Stephen:  The fantasy elements of Graynelore needed no research: just my imagination. As for Border Reivers, that’s different. They lived virtually on my doorstep. To follow their trail, I went out into rural Northumberland – their natural landscape – and up into the Scottish Borders. Scattered across the countryside you can still find architecture associated with them. In the form of bastle houses (literally fortified farm houses) and peel towers (tall fortified towers) where they both lived and found shelter against their reiving neighbours when under attack.



TQWho was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Stephen:  The easiest has to be my narrator, Rogrig Wishard. I knew I wanted Graynelore to have its own distinctive voice. I was lucky. The very first fragment I wrote was a description of a bloody killing field he gave to me. It was immediately in his distinctive turn of phrase. And it was so unguardedly honest, it even shocked me! Of all my characters my blood-soaked reiver is a favourite.

The hardest...? From wyrms to elfwyches, from unifauns to shape-shifting crows, you know I don’t recall any of them being particularly difficult to write. However unusual, I don’t tend to have trouble getting to the heart of my characters.



TQWhich question about Graynelore do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Stephen:  Let me see... something like: With all the talk of Reivers, is Graynelore truly a faerie tale? And my answer is: Yes of course! This is fantasy – why ever not! Mind, if it is a faerie tale – believe me when I say – beware, you’ve never read one quite like this before.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Graynelore.

Stephen:  I’ll let my narrator introduce himself to you in his own inimitable way (that’s a favourite of mine):

I am Rogrig, Rogrig Wishard by grayne. Though, I was always, Rogrig Stone Heart by desire. This is my memoir and my testimony. What can I tell you about myself that will be believed? Not much, I fear. I am a poor fell-stockman and a worse farmer (that much is true). I am a fighting-man. I am a killer, a soldier-thief, and a blood-soaked reiver. I am a sometime liar and a coward. I have a cruel tongue, a foul temper, not to be crossed. And, I am – reliably informed – a pitiful dagger’s arse when blathering, drunk.
        You can see, my friend, I am not well blessed.
        For all that, I am just an ordinary man of Graynelore. No different to any other man of my breed. (Ah, now we come to the nub of it. I must temper my words.)
        Rogrig is mostly an ordinary man. The emphasis is important. For if a tale really can hang, then it is from this single thread mine is suspended...



TQWhat's next?

Stephen:  Graynelore is a stand-alone novel. However I do have an idea for another book based in the same world... I have already begun to scribble, if it’s early days as yet.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





Graynelore
Harper Voyager UK, August 13, 2015
eBook, 400 pages
(Debut - Adult)

Interview with Stephen Moore, author of Graynelore
Rodrig Wishard is a killer, a thief and a liar. He’s a fighting man who prefers to solve his problems with his sword.

In a world without government or law, where a man’s only loyalty is to his family and faerie tales are strictly for children, Rodrig Wishard is not happy to discover that he’s carrying faerie blood. Something his family neglected to tell him. Not only that but he’s started to see faeries for real.

If he’s going to make any sense of it he’s going to have to go right to the source – the faeries themselves. But that’s easier said than done when the only information he has to go on is from bards and myth.





About Stephen

Interview with Stephen Moore, author of Graynelore
Stephen Moore is the author of the fantasy novel, GRAYNELORE. (Published by, HarperVoyager. 13th August 2015.)

A published author since the mid 1990's he’s also written several well received fantasy books for older children (ages 9-14yrs/YA) including, TOOTH AND CLAW, SPILLING THE MAGIC and FAY. (Published by, Crossroad Press.)

Stephen hails from the North of England; a beautiful land he loves to explore; full of ancient Roman history, medieval castles and remnants of the infamous Border Reivers.

Long ago, before he discovered the magic of storytelling, he was an exhibition designer and he has fond memories of working in the strange old world of museums. Sometimes he can still be found in auction houses pawing over old relics!

He loves art and books, old and new. He’s into rock music, movies, history and RPG video games! But mostly, he likes to write, where he gets to create his own worlds.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @SMoore_Author  ~  Goodreads

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Graynelore by Stephen Moore


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Graynelore by Stephen Moore


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge.


Stephen Moore

Graynelore
Harper Voyager UK, August 13, 2015
eBook, 400 pages
(Debut - Adult)

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Graynelore by Stephen Moore
Rodrig Wishard is a killer, a thief and a liar. He’s a fighting man who prefers to solve his problems with his sword.

In a world without government or law, where a man’s only loyalty is to his family and faerie tales are strictly for children, Rodrig Wishard is not happy to discover that he’s carrying faerie blood. Something his family neglected to tell him. Not only that but he’s started to see faeries for real.

If he’s going to make any sense of it he’s going to have to go right to the source – the faeries themselves. But that’s easier said than done when the only information he has to go on is from bards and myth.


My Favourite Extract: Stephen Moore talks about his novel Graynelore2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August WinnerInterview with Stephen Moore, author of Graynelore2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Graynelore by Stephen Moore

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×