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Saturday 23 April 2016

T is for...Tristan and Iseult

Click Here for a list of other A-Zers
Tristan and Iseult

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 JD Smith’s  novel – what is the title of the book, and would you like to introduce yourself - who you are, what you do etc?
I am Iseult, daughter of a King of Ireland, mother of a Queen, a woman of the blood.

HH : Where and when are you? Are you a real historical person or did your author create you?
It is the 6th century and the Romans have been gone from Briton for more than a hundred years. Now is the time of the Saxon invasion. They have yet to take the whole of Britain and tread the shores of my homeland, of Ireland, but in time they will I am sure. I am a legend, breathed upon pages of history. And I lived.

HH. In a few brief sentences: what is the novel you feature in about?
It is about my heart and the hearts of men. It tells of the future I might have had, married to the man who murdered my father, and of the life I would lead instead. It tells of how hearts are made and broken, how they suffer the test of time, and how, no matter what, we must stand by our promises and oaths and the words we have sworn in blood.

HH :  I ‘met’ my pirate, Jesamiah Acorne on a beach in Dorset, England -  how did your author meet up with you? 
My name and my tale have littered the pages of history, my story told in poems and opera. I have featured in many stories because I am real and because I am legend. I inspired Master Shakespeare to write of Romeo and Juliet, because I have known the very truth and nature of that which we hold so dear; of love.

HH : Tell me about one or two of the other characters who feature with you - husband, wife, family? Who are some of the nice characters and who is the nastiest one?
To breathe his name is to breathe life into an old dream, bringing to the surface what was lost and could not be found. Tristan and my love, my light, my future. He is the man who captured my heart the day I landed on the shores of Cornwall. And Mark is the man who protected me, saved me, cared for me. They are two men I cannot forget. They are not like Morholt, who would have married me for my name and my blood and the legitimacy I could give him.

HH : What is your favourite scene in the book?
The day I discover the truth. The day I know what it is to find your world falling away beneath your feet. The day the waiting began.

HH : What is your least favourite? Maybe a frightening or sad moment that your author wrote.
The story told in my love’s voice. Words of hurt and anger and fear. Words he spoke to protect us all.

HH : What are you most proud of about your author?
To tell my tale as others have not. With truth and honesty and a voice that is my own. To not shy from what passed and to never glorify the simplicity of what me and my fellow characters felt.

My Lady Scribe
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!
My tale is one that has no sequel, no second story, no life beyond the end. My author now tells the tale of another woman, one bound by the love of her country and her ambition, and not that of a man. She writes of a woman who is so different to me, so much stronger and decisive and effective. I wish I could meet her, but Zenobia is 300 years before my time. She is Syria’s Boudicca.

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?
[Sighs] To Ireland, perhaps. Back to my mother and my uncles in the north. Who knows? I find I have no place in the world, not truly. No home to call my own. I have heard travellers speak of Brittany, across the other water, and perhaps I should visit there some day.

Thank you that was really interesting!
Now where can readers of this A-Z Blog Challenge find out more about you and your author?

Twitter @jdsmith_design

Here is the company we will be keeping on this 
A-Z Blog Challenge!

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 - Luck Bringer   - 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 !)


  1. JD, that was a big ask, taking on the story of Isolde. I have a friend named Isolde, whose father was a German speaker, so that's the way I always think of the name. She writes historical romances! The 'voice' you've chosen for Iseult is mysterious and compelling. And at last someone is writing about Zenobia! I've always been fascinated by her and have read a great deal about her--but there's still not enough good scholarship about this empress and her times. And you're so lucky to know already which portrait to use on your cover -- the brilliant painting of Zenobia in chains by Herbert Gustave Schmalz. I think that painting alone was enough to make me want to write about her --but I don't think I'm ready to tackle ancient historical subjects just yet ... All the best with your atmospheric evocations of the past.

  2. JD, oops, just reread the interview and noticed the three Zenobia covers. I didn't realise you had already published at least one of the trilogy, right? Looking forward to reading it!

    1. Thanks for your comments, Cheryl. I'm really glad you find Iseult's voice mysterious and compelling. I've published three books in the Overlord series so far, chronicling the life of Zenobia, with the fourth due out later this year. You are right that there is not enough information about Zenobia out there. Very little is known about her life and Syria at that time, but I've certainly attempted to incorporate as much as I could find.

  3. I just loved this book... so well-narrated!

  4. Who can resist such legendary, immortal love? (Not this Wagner fan for certain.) But, "no life beyond the end" will surely disappoint your readers...well, they'll just have to go on to your next award-winning novel, as I am sure they will.

    1. The lovely thing about these two 'legends' is that they DO go on... in the world of story, characters live for ever....

    2. Too right, Helen. Thank you for your comments, Inge. I always felt compelled to write about the story of Tristan and Iseult because I found so much of it to be true to life regardless of the decade. I think it's timeless.

  5. It's fascinating how some stories, especially love stories, have such a force to them. I didn't know this story influenced Romeo and Juliet.

    1. I so agree - they stand the test of time so well!

    2. It's certainly rumoured to have inspired Shakespeare, and he would have been familiar with the French poetry telling of the legend, so I think it's rather likely.

  6. Ahem, all sounds a bit mushy to me, and not a football in sight :-)

    1. *laugh* I wonder if Tristan ever kicked a filled pig's bladder around when he was a lad?

    2. I reckon he probably did. If I ever do a rewrite I'll add that!! Thanks for your comment, Steven. I actually wrote a dedication to my eldest son which goes: For Marcus, a great reader, who one day may read this. Rest assured that, although it is a story of love, it also has swords - I think my Overlord series might suit your better, Steven. It's less lovey :-)

  7. Sorry I'm late to the party - I was away for a couple of days and then felt a bit ill on my return. A very interesting read, Jane.


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