about writing a short background to Andraste’s Blade – my inspirations, characters, and thoughts on the
ancient religions that play such a part in the novel. Rather than boring
you with prose, I’ll do this in the form of an interview with my hero, Peter Davis.
father, Alun, shows me into the farmhouse’s living room and makes his excuses, blaming a need to get his “remote
working sorted after the move.”
Peter – he must be around twenty – looks at me with some nervousness and
fidgets with his fingers while we wait for his sister to appear with three coffees.
Lucy has insisted on staying for the interview, claiming to want to protect her na´ve older brother from the vultures
of the press.
Eventually Lucy returns with a tray of drinks, and I manage to tear my eyes away from
the blonde long enough to open proceedings. “It’s a lovely house
you’ve got here. And right in the middle of the mountains…”
“Yeah, it’s idyllic all right. You
probably already know that I paint – I’d like to do it for a living – and North Wales certainly provides
Lucy tutted, flicking blue eyes to the ceiling.
“I’d rather have night clubs and designer clothes shops than inspiration, but as it’s all for Johnny…”
My, but Lucy’s stunning, I thought.
I looked to her, comparing the blonde with Peter’s boy-next-door looks before raising my eyebrows, encouraging
Lucy to explain Johnny.
“He’s our younger brother. He’s
got chest problems, and the doctors more or less instructed us to get him away from pollution for the good of his health.”
“But you must feel some sort of privilege.
This is one of the most beautiful areas in Britain, combined with the history which seems to ooze from every river
or valley or mountain.”
Peter nodded. “I agree, the mountains
are perfect. I can’t imagine wanting to live anywhere else. But I’m not really interested in history.”
“I’m the historian,” Lucy said.
“At least, I’m studying it at university.” A grimace. “But some of it can be so dry.”
“I’d rather be painting,” Peter said. “But, with the area being so historical, I think adding something of the ancient world to my paintings
would be a good idea. We’ve got an old burial mound and a stone circle
just past the house.” He jerked a thumb in their general direction. “But I don’t believe in all the pagan mumbo-jumbo, though. Neither does Lucinda, here.”
“I prefer Lucy, as you well know, oh girlfriendless one. ” She grimaced and shot Peter brother a glare. I detected an underlying affection in the brother-sister banter, and they confirmed
my thoughts with a laugh. “Anyway,” Lucy continued after sipping
coffee, “The Celts certainly believed in all this stuff, even if it was all wrong.”
“Well, maybe I’ll put a druid in one of my paintings.” Peter, too, took a drink before looking at his sister. “They
were all old men with beards who dressed in white, weren’t they?”
“And the silver scythe for cutting mistletoe, brother. Don’t forget the silver scythe.” We all laughed. “I doubt a silver scythe would have been much good for fighting off the forces
of Celtic evil, though.
Peter grinned. “Well, the chances
of us ever having to fight off ancient Celtic evil around here are pretty slim!”
all laughed, but I did detect a sudden stiffening of the room’s atmosphere…