How many secrets does your family have?
For 13 years, Sorley has taught music alongside the man he loves, war and betrayal nearly forgotten. But behind their calm and ordered life, there are hidden truths. When a young girl’s question demands an answer, does he break the most important oath he has ever sworn by lying – or tell the truth, risking the destruction of both his family and a fragile political alliance?
Empire’s Reckoning asks if love – of country, of an individual, of family – can be enough to leave behind the expectations of history and culture, and to chart a way to peace.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I’m most productive in the morning and late at night, although the older I get the harder late nights are. When I’m really into the flow of a book, I can write any time. I write either at my desk in my study, usually with the cat to keep me company, or (preCOVID) in cafes.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
The only ritual is reading over the last 1000 words or so I wrote, to get back into the flow and the characters’ voices.
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
– What is your favourite book?
That’s a really hard question, because I read many different genres. In historical fantasy, which my work is close to but isn’t, because it lacks magic, Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana. In nature writing, another favourite genre, Robert MacFarlane’s The Old Ways. And always and forever The Lord of the Rings.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I’ve written a couple of urban fantasy short stories, but I will likely stay with historically-based fiction, but not pure historical fiction. I prefer the freedom to ask ‘what if’.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Physically, yes. Not personalities.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I use the notes function on my phone, usually, but if I’m going somewhere that’s not appropriate, then I do take a notebook.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
Most vampire/werewolf and zombie books. Once in a while one stands out, but mostly I stay away from them.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
My husband – whose first YA fantasy comes out soon – and I sometimes play around with cross-characters stories. But other than that, I don’t think I would want to. My world and voice is my own.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I have been lucky enough to travel to almost all the settings of my books for research – as much as you can, in modern times, research a book set in roughly the 7th C. My last trip was to Rome. I suppose, looking forward to the rest of the planned books in the series, Greece would be useful, but not under current circumstances!
Thank you, Marian L Thorpe and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Not content with two careers as a research scientist and an educator, Marian L Thorpe decided to go back to what she’d always wanted to do and be a writer. Author of the alternative world medieval trilogy Empire’s Legacy, Marian also has published short stories and poetry. Her life-long interest in Roman and post-Roman European history informs her novels, while her avocations of landscape archaeology and birding provide background to her settings.