O is for...Out Of Time

#HNSIndie
Click Here for a list of other A-Zers
Out Of Time








Throughout April I have invited 26 authors who had been selected as Editor's Choice by the Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews
 to help me out with the 2016 A-Z Blog Challenge...

Except to be a little different I interviewed 
their leading Character/s...

Today's Character is from :



HH : Hello! I believe you exist in Loretta Livingstone's novel - Out of Time, and would like you to introduce yourself - who you are, what you do, etc?
John : Good morrow, Mistress Hollick. (He bows and kisses Helen's hand.) My name? Why,  Madame, is it possible you do not recognise the Count of Mortain? My name is John, but you may call me 'my Lord', sweeting. 
I fear Mistress Livingstone has made of me but a minor character. (He stops abruptly while that sinks in.) But, I feel sure that is because she was a little nervous of spending more time with me. I know not why; I was most charming to her. Some women are unnecessarily timid. And, of course, she has a husband. I fear husbands and I do not usually get on.
As to what I do - for the present, I plot against Brother Richard, but one day, I shall be King of England.

HH : Where and when are you? Are you a real historical person or did your author create you?
John : Madame, I am cut to my heart. Have you not read about me in your historical chronicles? My date today is 1191, but my better dates are yet to come. I know not who commissioned your chroniclers to write my future history, but had they been present in my time, I would have had them charged with treason. Mayhap they were related to my Lady de Braose. For certes, they seem to have heard her tales, and had I laid my hands on them, they would have shared her fate.

King John
HH : In a few brief sentences: what is the novel you feature in about?
John : The novel is not about me, Mistress Hollick, which I find strange. Mayhap my author had not the skill to write about a future king? It is, instead, the story of Marion. There is some mystery about her which I have not yet been able to discover. De Soutenay is holding something back from me, but no matter. I shall find it out, and he will answer for it.
Marion had the fortune - or misfortune, if you will - to cross my path. She saved my life with a mysterious device, and now, I want it. And I want her. She proves to be most difficult to lay my hands on, but if I do... (John grins wolfishly.)
I believe de Soutenay thinks she may have come from another time, mayhap the future. Not that he has told me this, for I should not believe him.

HH : I 'met' my pirate, Jesamiah Acorne, on a beach in Dorset, England - how did your author meet up with you? 
John : My lackwit of an author had intended to write about that foul outlaw, Robin of Locksley, he whom they call Hood. Fortunately for her, sound reason prevailed. She would have had Marion meet Marion. Hah! They would have clawed each other's eyes out.
Hmm, I do believe I might have found that most entertaining. (John closes his eyes for a moment and strokes his beard.) But, no matter. I can draw that scene for myself. Suffice it to say, she decided that to write about someone who served me, no matter how unwillingly, would make a far more interesting story.

HH : Tell me about one or two of the characters who feature with you - husband, wife, family? Who are some of the nice characters, and who is the nastiest one?
John : Ah, the nicest? I believe Marion to be one of the nicest - certainly the nicest armful. Although I have my eye on another - a new face at court. She has the look of Marion. Yes, I mean to know her better.
As for the others, I fear that where I am, that dolt de Soutenay will be. He holds my secret; therefore, I hold him, which he likes not. And, (John sighs deeply,) my lady mother. No matter where I go, you may be sure my mother, Eleanor, will materialise.
I confess, I sometimes wonder if, perchance there is some truth in the rumour of her descent from Melusine. Can you imagine, sweetheart, how irritating it is that, no matter how cleverly I lay my plans, her spies always betray me? 'Twould be better for me if she spent more time with her favourite, but no! She must ever meddle in my plots.
The very nicest? That would be me. And the nastiest? (He stands a little closer, eyes twinkling) Why, sweeting, I believe I will allow you to decide that.

HH: (ignoring his obnoxiousness) What is your favourite scene in the book? 
John : My favourite scene? That would be the one where I surprise de Soutenay. The look on his face when I inform him if he does not procure Marion and her device for me, he will lose his lands...Ah, that is a memory worth dwelling upon. That, and the look on his face when my mother caught him off guard. In truth, I derived great pleasure from that.

HH : What is your least favourite? Maybe a frightening or sad moment that your author wrote.
John : My least favourite would be the one when I fell from that accursed horse. For certes, I am still somewhat confused as to how that came about, for none would accuse me of poor horsemanship. Indeed, darling, if they did, they would surely pay, one way or another. 'Tis not that I fear death, but to die thus, gasping and clawing for breath - and before I had been crowned King! 'Twould have been a great misfortune for England.


HH : What are you most proud of about your author?
John : 'Twas my author's first full-length book, and an historical one, at that. 'Twas something she swore she would never write, for she did not feel she had the capability. I take the credit for persuading her otherwise; although, my mother believes it was she whom my author yearned to write about. And I am most proud that it has been short listed for an HNS award, although, of course, my part would have much to do with that. How wise of her to include me, otherwise, mayhap she would have been less fortunate.

Mistress Livingstone
(John: I trust she is not penning the Magna Carta?)
photo: Sharon Elmidoro Photography
https://www.facebook.com/groups/67390894484/
HH : Has your author written other books about you? If not, about other characters? How do you feel about your author going off with someone else?
John : My author is writing a sequel to her story, and I have ensured she allows me my place. 'Tis my right, you understand. As for writing more about me - would that I had the time. Alas, I find it necessary to fill my days protecting my future inheritance. It leaves me little time to attend on the whims of Mistress Livingstone. (He smirks.)
And why would my author go off with anyone else? Who would choose another, once they have known me? 'Tis merely that I am too busy to spend more time with her. She will wait.

HH : As a character, if you could travel to a time and place different to your own fictional setting, where and when would you go?
John : I confess, I am enjoying your own time, sweetheart. Now, I understand you love a pirate? (He moves closer and puts one arm around Helen's waist.) Let us dally a while, darling, and I'll show you how much more fun you can have with a king.


HH : (politely moving aside) well, that was all very interesting sire, thank you, but alas I have the next blog post to prepare... (moves off shuddering: adds) Oh might I suggest lampreys for your lunch, and maybe some juicy peaches? I hear both are most delicious.... *


More about Loretta.... 
Here is the company we will be keeping on this 
A-Z Blog Challenge!
APRIL
A 1st  Friday - Aurelia  - Alison Morton
B 2nd Saturday  - Bloodie Bones - Lucienne Boyce
C 4th Monday - Man in the Canary Waistcoat Susan Grossey
D 5th Tuesday - Dubh-Linn  - James Nelson
F 7th Thursday - Fortune’s Fool- David Blixt
H 9th Saturday - The Love Letter of John Henry Holliday - Mary Fancher
K 13th Wednesday - Khamsin- Inge Borg
L 14th Thursday - LuckBringer   - Nick Brown
N 16th Saturday - A Newfound Land  - Anna Belfrage
O 18th Monday - Out Of Time  - Loretta Livingstone
P 19th Tuesday  - Pirate Code  - Helen Hollick
Q 20th Wednesday - To Be A Queen – Annie Whitehead
R 21st Thursday  - The Spirit Room - Marschel Paul
U 25th Monday  - A Just And Upright Man - John Lynch
X 28th Thursday – The FlaX flower – AmandaMaclean

So call back tomorrow 
To meet the next exciting Character! 

(unless it is Sunday - in which case, I'll have something different 
but just as interesting !)
* note to those unfamiliar with the above period of history: Henry I, John's maternal great-grandfather, died in 1135 supposedly from a 'surfeit of lampreys ' (eel-like fish.) John was said to have  died in  1216 from an over-indulgence of peaches... (want to know more? Good article by Elizabeth Chadwick HERE

50 comments:

  1. Oh dear - poor John; will anyone ever write him in a good light? Unlikely, as it seems he was irredeemably bad!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John: Madame, I do not understand you? Indeed, I thought I was most charming to Mistress Hollick. I...
      Loretta: Sorry, Annie. I've sent him back to the twelfth century before he makes himself look even worse. Poor John, he really does see himself as a most misunderstoond monarch (and monarch-to-be). And the time travelling is making him very confused too. In Out of Time, he's Prince John, but he knows he will become king, so he's not sure which to be in our century. He's leaning towards king. But then, he would.
      And Helen, thank you so much for inviting him. I'm sorry he overstepped the line. I suspect you were expecting Giles, but John got wind of the invitation and sent him to France.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for dropping by Annie - John in Sharon Penman's Here Be Dragons was portrayed fairly well - at least at first.It was interesting to see him as seen through the eyes of his daughter, Joanna, who worshipped him until... well, no spoilers, but until she saw him for what he really was! Interestingly, in her latest novel, Elizabeth Chadwick has shown his father, Henry II, to not be the 'good' king we all took him for. For myself, I have never liked any of 'That Lot' who carried on from Duke William!

      Delete
    3. Yes, a lot of them leave much to be desired as, um, people you'd want either ruling or to spend time with, but how fabulously Sharon and Elizabeth write them. And, as you say, Helen, Sharon gave us a really interesting look at some of the things which may have motivated him. She always gives both sides of the story. I'm an addict of all their books.
      Thanks so much for dropping by, Annie. :)

      Delete
    4. I must admit to being a tad partial to John. Not easy to be the runt of the litter and be more or less abandoned by your mother, while your older brothers refuse to share what they already have to give baby brother an adequate inheritance...

      Delete
    5. Yes, they weren't the fondest of family, were they. Poor John didn't have the best start in life. And all the brothers had mean streaks in them, I think. I am always appalled by Richard's treatment of Henry when he was dying. At least John actually spent time in the country he ruled. Richard was glamorous and successful, but he didn't seem to have much time for England.

      Delete
  2. Loretta, love the author photo and the caption by John! A rather terrifying cover, especially if your time-travelling Marion is about to meet bad Prince John on her plunge into the past. OUT OF TIME sounds most intriguing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you, Cheryl. And yes, she does indeed come across him, but is not at all anxious to get better acquainted, at least not when the abbess has a word in her ear about who he is. Her meeting is thankfully brief, but Prince John is a determined sort of bloke.
      Haha, yes, the caption was put into John's mind by Helen. I wish I'd thought of it.
      Thanks so much for dropping by.

      Delete
  3. Ah, Lord John - a pleasure to meet you at last. And as to that horse, maybe next time you should go for a rouncey instead? You know, something safe and plodding :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John:
      Mistress Belfrage,
      I am your devoted servant - well, when I say servant...However, I feel your knowledge of horses leaves somewhat to be desired. You speak of rounceys and plodding, yet I am a most accomplished rider. In fact-
      Loretta:
      Sorry, Anna, I've disappeared him again. He really is getting quite out of hand. I'm having to watch him like a hawk now he's found Helen's time-sensitive interview room.
      Thanks so much for dropping by. :)

      Delete
  4. Poor John! Completely beyond redemption. He must have been my first and most despised historical figure, I think. All those Robin Hood stories as a kid. And then, as a young teenager, that brace of Peter O'Toole Henry II movies - "Becket" and "The Lion in Winter." Well done, Loretta, for bringing him back to us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you, David. I must admit, I had to switch off when I tried to watch The Lion in Winter. Although I don't see John as, um, how can I put this...a sweetie? I really couldn't cope with the shambling wreck of a character portrayed in that film. I see him as so much classier than that. An elegantly awful person, haha. I must admit to being much influenced by Sharon Penman's portrayal - she wrote him fabulously and gave him so much depth.
      Thank you so much for dropping by. :)

      Delete
  5. I love it! And I would expect nothing less from dear Prince John than for him to weasel his way into an interview. Of course, my mental image of him will probably always be the Disney lion who sucked his thumb and cried for mommy. Nicely done, Loretta!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poor John! Even he didn't deserve the Disney treatment, lol. I feel the creators of that image would have been cast into one of his deepest dungeons.
      I'm so glad you enjoyed his interview, Heidi. Thanks so much for dropping by.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for dropping by Heidi - do browse back through my past guests (and come back for future ones!

      Delete
  6. Just to let you know, Helen has had to have some eyedrops, so will not be able to see very well for the next few hours. She has kindly (and temporarily) promoted me to the position of Second Mate for the day, so I will try hard not to steer the ship onto the rocks, otherwise Jesamiah might never forgive her or me.
    She has lent me her hat, although I'm no good at posting pictures here so I can't show it off; just use your imagination.
    And, as a perk, I'm hoping to get to flirt with the gorgeous Jesamiah Acorne tomorrow when we have P for Pirates, although doubtless I'll have been demoted again by then, if not made to walk the plank.
    So avast ye lubbers, splice the mainbrace and let's cast off into uncharted waters. (Sorry, I'm not good at pirate speak.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Loretta - I hate eyedrops as they mean I can't see anything for several hours. Oh well... It was actually Jesamiah's hat, and he is now wondering where all his rum has gone... LOL

      Delete
    2. Hiccup! No idea, sorry. Hiccup. Oops, pardon me. ;-)

      Delete
  7. Oh, this is a fun format. I like characters who don't know they are less appealing than they think. It's a fun twist (though a bit tricky to write)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you, Hart. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, it was a lot of fun to write, and such a good idea of Helen's.
      Thanks so much for dropping by.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for dropping by my blog Hart - do call back for more interviews with interesting characters (P is for my Pirate for instance...)

      Delete
  8. I have always wondered about King John--after all he wrote the Magna Carta--he must have had some redeeming qualities. Fascinating man and I suspect suffering under the shadow of his brother Richard.

    @Kathleen01930
    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John:
      Why, Mistress Valentine! At last a lady who understands me. And such a charming name. Dear lady, might I invite you to partake of some refreshment before Mistress Livingstone whisks me back to my own time?
      Loretta:
      Thanks for dropping by, Kathleen. Yes amd Richard did rather bleed the country white, so, had he reigned longer, he might have been considered to be as bad as John in his own way.

      Delete
    2. Unfortunately, as far as I remember, he did sign Magna Carta but went back on his word not long after. He was very good at making promises which he had no intention of keeping. Mind you, so were bthey all back then!

      Delete
  9. Ooooh the baddies are so much fun to write, aren't they? Although I'm not suggesting for a moment, dear King, err Prince that you might be one of them. Dallying a while in your wolfish company has been most entertaining, sirrah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John:
      In truth, Mistress Blake, it has been my great pleasure too. And I suspect that my author, far from disapproving of me, is secretly in love with me herself. I have a startling effect on women, it has to be said. Now, sweeting, do you not find it draughty in this time-capsule? Mayhap I might be permitted to show you the delightful hangings in my chamber? (He holds out a hand.) Shall we dally longer?
      Loretta:
      In your dreams, my lord! But I'm glad you enjoyed time spent with my John, Victoria. (John interrupts. 'See, she calls me her John. Is that not love?')
      Loretta:
      NO, John, it just means you are my creation in this incarnation.
      Thanks so much for dropping by, Victoria. Please feel free to entertain him a while longer if you would like. But, unless you like very dangerous games, please don't let him show you his wall hangings.

      Delete
    2. Hmmmm delightful wall hangings but in your chamber you say. I'm torn my lord because I do like a nice bit of embroidery or would that be velvet? Oh, but I remember now I have an urgent appointment that I cannot possibly .... byeeeeeee ....

      Delete
    3. John:
      Where did she go? In truth, I do find women so timid. Ah well, mayhap I'll return to my own time and seduce another baron's wife. I find the fury on their impotent faces so pleasurable, whether or not I fancy their women.

      Delete
  10. Delightful interview, and congratulations Mistress Livingstone on your book being selected for the HNS Indie Award Short List 2016! And though John may think much is owing to his charm and wit I feel you Mistress deserve the acclaim and credit. Not to worry, I won't tell him if you won't. ; )
    Terrific author picture and caption as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alexandra, I'm so sorry. I somehow missed your comment. I just dropped by to reread the whole thing and noticed you. Please accept my apologies and thank you for your kind comments.

      Delete
  11. Oh, how we do adore to write about our “bad boys,” especially if they are charming rogues (only to reveal their darker side later on). My warning flags went up at once when John bent to kiss Mistress Helen’s hand, a custom with which this Austrian-born writer is well acquainted. I am glad the prince’s bold advances though were parried with such aplomb by the Lady Helen.
    What a turbulent time this was. The research for Out of Time must have been mind-boggling, with the western royal gaggle going to war everywhere (mainly East to pillage and plunder).
    I only remember the "Austrian side" of the story. And, yes, there was that certain little incident...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol, I was lucky, Inge, as the whole book mostly only covers about three days. I did my best to make sure that the people involved weren't actually supposed to be somewhere else at the time, although, for the sake of the story, I think I could have got away with a few liberties if necessary. There were only four main locations, and one of those was in 2006, so again, that wasn't a problem. Also, none of my main characters were real people. John and Eleanor only had cameo roles. I'm afraid I'm no Sharon Penman, I don't think I could have written much about real people. That requires a lot more knowledge than I possess and, as I am disabled and get exhausted easily, I did my best to stay within the realms of what I could reasonably manage. I did do quite a lot of research on the generalities of the era, though.
      The next book will be a little trickier but, again, most of the characters are not real.
      It was so much fun to write though. And I think Helen has far too much sense to fall for this particular rogue, even if her heart hadn't already been won by Jesamiah Acorne, haha.
      Thanks so much for dropping by. :)

      Delete
  12. Oh, good. Perhaps now I don't have to apologize for Leopold V, Duke of Austria, who imprisoned your fine Richard the Lionheart, extracted 35,000 kg of silver in ransom and from it financed Vienna's huge bulwark to protect the inner city.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John:
      Sweeting, I am forever in your debt. Such a pity my mother managed to raise the ransom - there were so many better places that money could have been spent. But, I would not have grudged Leopold a penny had he arranged for a little accident to befall Richard whilst he was his 'guest'.
      However, let us not quibble over trifles. At least he didn't last more than a few extra years - however impoverished he left the treasury of England. Such a pity though, that your Duke was incapable of finishing the job - Richard, I mean.
      Now, Mistress Inge, as it happens, I can think of a couple of ways you might make it up to me. Hmm? What say you we-
      Loretta:
      Sorry Inge, he got through again. Quick, leave while you can - I've disappeared him for a while.

      Delete
    2. Lol, I can always get him back for you. Have fun. ;-)

      Delete
  13. Interested to know how much research you did Loretta? Is there much original material?

    P.S. I'm seriously starting to worry about these fantasies with historical figures :-)!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Apologies for not usng the reply function, Steven - I think Helen's blog has decided I'm an illegal alien, it won't let me use the reply button at the moment.
    As my characters and situations were, in the main, purely fictitious, and the real characters were not in factual situations, most of my research was fairly general. I did try to ensure that neither John nor Eleanor would have definitely been out of the country for those dates. For the rest - apart from the epilogue - it was more general stuff. Would there have been enough unrest for Giles to be wearing a hauberk when travelling alone? The size of horses, whether they would have used horses or oxen for ploughing (oxen), whether they would have been ploughing during the date of the story (they would) and fairly general stuff. The second in the series will require more research than Out of Time. Even that was really hard work for me as I suffer from ME and get exhausted very easily, but the writing itself was great fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I love to see the bones behind a story.

      Delete
  15. Delightful interview. I look forward to reading Out Of Time. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you, Alexandra, I'm so glad you enjoyed it - it was a lot of fun to write. I hope you enjoy the book too. :-)

      Delete
  16. Fantastic interview! What a brilliant character!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lucienne, I'm so glad you enjoyed reading it. Thanks for dropping by.
      By the way, John is so pleased you like him. He wonders whether you might like to dally awhile with him when he has five minutes between conspiracies?

      Delete
  17. Juno, I don't think even Aurelia would be safe from this 'hands on' monarch in waiting.
    Congrats on such a vivid picture of John.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now you've got me wondering what Roma Nova was during during this period! Goodness Alison, you're going to be writing forever to fill in all these back-story gaps! :-)

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Alison. Lol, I suspect Aurelia would be able to deal with him!
      And congratulations to you, too, on making the HNS Indie final - what a great achievement.

      Delete
  18. I'm sorry to say that I have met plenty of men like John - not short on self-confidence, are they! But I shall very much enjoy reading about him, and learning more about a period of history that is quite new to me. (This is Susan Grossey, by the way: my comments are coming out under a pen-name, and I can't seem to do anything about it!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Susan,
      Lol, no, that they aren't. Not nice people to be with, but wonderful to write. My John has been heavily influenced by the likes of Sharon Penman and Elizabeth Chadwick, and I must admit, some of my favourite chapters in the book were the ones where John popped up.
      Thanks so much for dropping by - I hope you enjoy reading more about him. The Angevins as a whole are absolutely fascinating, although only John and Eleanor feature in Out of Time. I didn't think I could cope with the whole lot of them arguing and fighting, haha.

      Delete
  19. Hi Susan,
    Yup, they sure aren't. Horrible to spend time with but wonderful to write. I must confess, my John is very much influenced by Sharon Penman and Elizabeth Chadwick. My favourite chapters in Out of Time are the ones where John shows up. I hope you enjoy finding out more about him. A fascinating man, who could have had so much more loyalty if he'd treated people better and had a little more trust in the good ones, in my opinion. But of course, all kings feel so entitled, lol.
    Thanks so much for dropping by.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment - it should appear immediately, but Blogger sometimes chucks its teddies out of the cot and has a tantrum (especially if you are a Wordpress person) If you are having problems, contact me on author@helenhollick.net and I will post it for you.
However, SPAMMERS will be stamped on, squashed, composted and very possibly cursed - if you spam my blog, next time something nasty happens to you just remember that I DID warn you...

Helen