In conjunction with Indie BRAG
posted every Friday
To be a little different from the usual 'meet the author'
Q: Hello, I’m Helen the host of Novel Conversations, please do make yourself comfortable. Would you like a drink? Tea, coffee, wine – something stronger? You’ll find a box of chocolates and a bowl of fruit on the table next to you, please do help yourself. I believe you are a character in Susan Appleyard’s novel Dark Spirit. Would you like to introduce yourself? Are you a lead character or a supporting role?
A: Mmm. Thank you. How did you know I adore chocolate? I am Ludwig, King of Bavaria, of the Wittelsbach family, and I am of course the lead character in Ms. Appleyard’s book.
Q: What genre is the novel and what is it about?
A: It’s a historical novel that relates the last months of my life and my er… unfortunate demise.
Q: No spoilers, but are you a ‘goody’ or a ‘baddie’? (Or maybe you are both!)
A: Oh, what a difficult question Miss Helen. I am only human and at the same time a king. I think it is true to say that I am a better human being than king. I never wanted to be king, you see. I just am not made that way. I don’t like crowds, and I HATE war, which is not very kingly. I am criticised for spending too much money on my palaces, but if you’ve seen them and are a person of refinement, I hope you will agree that I did created something wonderful there. Also, I am always kind to my subjects. I love driving out on my sleigh on winter nights to visit them in their cottages and give them presents.
Q: Tell me about another character in the novel – maybe your best friend, lover or partner … or maybe you’re a arch enemy!
A: Dr Gudden. Can you believe that despicable fellow declared me insane without ever examining me? We had only met briefly several years earlier when I called on him to treat my poor brother Otto. Doesn’t that tell you a great deal about him? Oh, but I expect you want more. Well, you won’t hear anything good from me. He is a conscienceless cad who destroyed my life.
Q: Is this the only novel you have appeared in, or are there others in a series?
A: This is the only one and it is, in fact, a novella. I do hope Ms Appleyard will resurrect me. I believe she’s thinking about it.
Q: What is one of your least favourite scenes you appear in?
A: The scene where I am seized by Dr Gudden and the policemen. I’m sure you will agree it is very sad.
Q: And your favourite scene?
A: The day I drove in my sleigh up to the royal hunting lodge in the Vorderiss for lunch with my head ranger and his family. Frau Thoma managed to produce a bouquet of Alpenrosen which she presented to me. The women had set up a table in a meadow where the view was the finest while the apple-cheeked children played in the snow. That was the day I took up an axe and chopped wood. They thought I would chop off my leg, but I showed them. Ha! Ha! They almost fell over in surprise.
Q: Tell me a little about your author. Has she written any other books?
A: Oh, yes, many. Two were published by what you people call traditional publishers, and seven she published herself.
Q: Is your author working on anything else at the moment?
A: Yes, and I’ve had to speak to her quite sharply about her predilection for tragic stories, but she takes no notice of me. She’s presently working on a novel about the Albigensian Crusade, which took place in the 13th century.
Q: How do you think indie authors, such as your author, can be helped or supported by readers or groups? What does your author think is the most useful for her personally?
A: She does wish someone would make Goodreads a little more user-friendly. Is that the sort of thing you mean? Otherwise there is so much help to be had on social media and the net, so many kind people devoting their time and knowledge to help others. Authors are very fortunate that way.
Q: Finally, before we must bid adieu, the novel you appear in has been awarded a prestigious IndieBRAG Medallion, does your author find this helpful, and is there anything else he/she would like IndieBRAG to do to help indie authors receive the recognition they deserve?
A: My author is very proud to have received IndieBRAG medallions for several of her books. She cannot think what more IndieBRAG could do.
Helen: Thank you, King Ludwig, it was a pleasure talking to you. Would your author like to add a short excerpt? While she does so, may I pour you more wine, and I think I might have another box of chocolaes somewhere, the one beside you appears to be empty.
Salute! Here’s to being a successful Brag Medallion Honouree!
The first snow of the year had begun to fall in Munich when Karl Hesselschwerdt, the king’s beefy, red-faced stable quartermaster, ducked into a café and was surprised to see the aide who had been chosen to go to Persia and beg a loan from a millionaire.
“Haven’t you gone yet or are you back?” he asked with a smirk.
The man was clearly embarrassed to be caught out. “Do me a favour. Tell the king that by the time I got there the fellow had died of cholera.”
“I’d like to oblige, but I can’t,” Hesselschwerdt replied with a grin. “I’m supposed to be in Naples to find a loan for the king. I’m not due back until Wednesday.”
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