Posted on 08/24/2020 at 08:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we're interviewing J.P. Reedman, a historical fiction and fantasy author residing near Stonehenge.
Born in Canada, she has had a lifelong interest in the ancient and archaeology. Her novels range from Stonehenge, to Robin Hood, to Richard III and medieval women and a few surprises.
SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?
J.P.: Back long ago, as a small child in the '60s, my sister, who was fifteen years old than me, took me to the library while our mum worked.
I immediately gained a great love of books, and of history and myth—ancient Egypt, Robin Hood, King Arthur, castles.
Then, at the age of 5, I wrote my own "book," The Adventures of Two in the Sunset, followed by Beth and her Dolls and Cleopatra (illustrated by me, of course.)
It was from then onwards I always said I was going to be an author. My first properly published works were in the small press publications of the 1980s.
SADYE: What have been the most surprising, rewarding, and challenging parts of your writing career?
J.P.: The most surprising part is that I have become a reasonably successful historical fiction writer.
I always wanted to be a fantasy writer. I still do some fantasy, and crossovers, but mostly historical. I was scared to do historicals for a long time in case I got details wrong.
Doing the research has been very rewarding, and I am lucky that I now live in the UK (I was born in Canada) and can get the "feel" of the places in my books on site.
As for challenging, learning the ropes as an indie author. I really had no idea at first and floundered around for a year or two.
SADYE: What period of history would you most like to travel back to and what historical figure would you most like to meet?
J.P.: One of my most successful series, I Richard Plantagenet, takes place during the Wars of the Roses. I would, of course, like to meet Richard III.
I already know he is nothing like Shakespeare’s character; he made good laws for the commons and was much loved in Northern England, but much of his short reign is shrouded in mystery—and clouded by rumour, innuendo and later propaganda.
SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?
J.P.: History and its interpretation can, to a certain extent, be fluid, and history is indeed written by the victors. Always keep an open mind.
SADYE: What experience in your past or general aspect of your life has most affected your writing?
J.P.: I wrote consistently throughout my childhood, teens and twenties. In my 30s, I emigrated and did other things, which meant I almost stopped writing for seven or eight years.
Then at 39 I came down with a mystery illness after what seemed a simple virus. I was sick for 6 months with various changing complaints and no one could figure out what was wrong.
At the tail end the virus attacked my optic nerves, and I began to go blind. I did not know at that point if I would become totally blind or if I would recover.
I recovered my sight but in those awful weeks, I had a lot of time to think—and I told myself sternly that if I recovered my sight, I was not to waste any more time, and must return to my writing roots, as no one knows exactly what is around the corner.
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Categories: Author Interview