Birthing seems to be a bit of a theme for historical author Anna Elliott. In part one of our two-part interview with Elliott, she revealed that she was four months pregnant with her daughter when she dreamed she would write what became the first installment in her Avalon trilogy. Now finishing the second title, which will continue the story of Queen Isolde and her struggles in a post-Arthurian Britain, and hard at work on the third book, Elliott is expecting a second child in a few short weeks! She’s had to juggle motherhood, the demands of pregnancy, and the hard work of writing a novel all at once. So of course I had to ask her how she did it since most women can only handle two out of three (raises hand). The answers are delightful and revealing.
Please enjoy part two of our two-part interview with Anna Elliott.
Q: Since you were taking characters from Arthurian legend (Morgan, Modred, even King Arthur), how did you approach characterizing these icons of literature? Do you have advice for authors who hope to do the same?
AE: I love reading the original Arthur legends and spending time with all the familiar characters: Arthur, Morgan, Modred, Merlin, and all the rest. But when I write, I don’t consciously create characters–they usually simply appear in my mind, fully formed, and its my job to get to know them well enough that they come across as vividly on paper as they do in my imagination. I did use the Arthurian primary sources as a starting point. For example, the following passage from Geoffrey of Monmouth was the basis for my conception of Morgan: