Tag Archives: King Arthur

Author Interview with Melissa Cabrera

Emily’s Shadow is now available as a POD book.

So far, the book has got good reviews.

I was interviewed by Melissa Cabrera who hosts a funky/interesting website: http://www.werevampsromance.org/

Interview:

Melissa: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Christina: First, I want to thank you, Melissa, for your passion and energy for books. I love your website. Your review of Emily’s Shadow is a big help and encouragement to me.

About me: I was born and raised in London, England. After I quit school, I worked in a job I hated, doing animal research. I rescued three of the mice, quit the job, and set off to France where I met an American GI, fell in love and moved to the U.S.

Melissa: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Christina: My father passed away suddenly, and I had to go to England for his funeral. I’d been feeling as if my life lacked meaning, and heard Joseph Campbell say follow your bliss. What was mine, I wondered? I didn’t know. But here I was in England, and to entertain my little nephews, I began telling them stories, and decided I’d try my hand at becoming a writer.

Read Complete Interview at http://www.werevampsromance.org/apps/blog/entries/search?query=Emily%27s+Shadow

e-book version: www.bloodmoonpublishing.com

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Emilys-Shadow-ebook/dp/B004PYD8NS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1312932932&sr=1-1

POD: www.lulu.com

 

 

St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:St_Michael%27s_Mount.jpg

St. Michael’s Mount is a sacred site in Cornwall about ninety miles from King Arthur’s Castle in Tintagel.  It is a small island accessible on foot when the tide is out and has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. In 495 it is said hermit monks or local fishermen saw a vision of St. Michael standing on a ledge of rock on the island.

Step foot in a land where giants once walked. Legend says that a mythical giant named Cormoran once lived on the Mount, and he used to wade ashore and steal cows and sheep from the villagers to feed his gargantuan appetite. One night, a local boy called Jack rowed out to the island and dug a deep pit while the giant was asleep. As the sun rose, Jack blew a horn to wake the angry giant who staggered down from the summit and – blinded by the sunlight – fell into the pit and died.  http://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk/Myths—Legends.aspx

Buy Emily’s Shadow, a fantasy novel set in Tintagel, Cornwall

Bodmin Moor: King Arthur’s Hall

Emily and her brother Byron, in Emily’s Shadow, mistakenly call the moor Bodwin rather than Bodmin, because many signs had been removed during war time to thwart the Nazis should they ever invade Britain. The map their father had was an old one and difficult to decipher; perhaps that’s why he got lost on his so-called short cut, much to his bride Carole’s irritation.

In the British sitcom, Doc Martin, to go Bod means to go insane.  Imagine walking around lost on a foggy day in this barren place where Druids once gathered, perhaps offering sacrifices to pagan gods beneath the monument now called King Arthur’s Hall.

King Arthur’s Hall (1) is …thought to be a late Neolithic or early Bronze Age ceremonial site.[1]

The monument consists of fifty-six stones arranged in a rectangle with a bank of earth around them and measures approximately 20m by 47m. The interior fills with water and a contemporary ground level has not been established.[2] It has suffered damage by cattle in the past and is now protected by a gated fence. It can be reached by footpaths east of St Breward.

Reference: (1)ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Arthur%27s_Hall

 

Merlin’s Cave

Merlin, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth in Historia Regum Britanniae, might well have been the son of a demon who impregnated a mortal woman who was a nun. Yet, Tennyson in his Idylls of the King describes ocean waves bringing the infant Arthur to the shore, where Merlin carries him to safety.

The cave, a very real one, at the base of the cliffs beneath Tintagel Castle fills with water when high tide comes in. Certainly, this is a mysterious dark cavern, nowadays a place where scuba-divers search for shells and fossils. It runs clear through the headland, constantly being eroded by the sea.

In Emily’s Shadow, Merlin’s cave is accessible from the top of the cliffs through a hole that has been boarded due to the danger of falling.  It leads to an opening above the sea, where water trickles onto sharp volcanic rocks protruding from the seabed down below. Perhaps, as surely as Merlin could shape-shift, so too could he conjure dark openings to suit his purposes. Of course, now, the hole at the top of the cliffs is no more, and the trickling stream is a fault line, running down the face of the cliff, pointing to many small caves where witches might hide.

References

http://www.timelessmyths.com/arthurian/merlin.html

Illustration: www.mysticrealms.org.uk

Thin Places

Today Melissa Cabrera is featuring me on her website http://www.werevampsromance.org/. She reviewed Emily’s Shadow. I was thrilled that she gave my book five stars. Her interview questions were also mind-provoking.

She got me thinking about what inspired me to write a fantasy novel. So here’s the scoop. It all started when I visited one of those thin places where a sense of mystery seems to hover, where one wonders if there is a portal to another world.  This particular place was in Cornwall, England, an area that I’ve always loved by the seaside, with big craggy rocks and crashing waves.

So here I was in Tintagel where castle ruins perch high upon a cliff, the very place where King Arthur met his knights, where Merlin stirred his potions in the recesses of a cave…

An ancient stone church sits on the bluff on holy ground, a place where sacred sites have existed in one form or another for centuries.

I stood watching a crescent moon sink behind the remains of the castle keep, a large rectangular area enclosed by broken rock walls, and as I gazed upon this strange place, smelling the sea, hearing gulls cry, listening to waves roar, I imagined a giant sword lying on the ground.  It seemed real to me. I knew I must write about this place, but what I did not know, so I began to read about Arthur and Merlin and a story began to form. It went through many changes, and many revisions, with help and support from many people, especially my poet husband, Philip St. Clair, before it ever found a publisher.

The sequel, Blue Caravan, has also taken root in a thin place. Set in Blackheath, a windy grassland in London where red doubledeckers crisscross the treeless plain, this story is challenging Emily in new ways. Here she is working as a bus conductress, struggling with her day-to-day life, yearning to go to Cambridge, and in total denial about her time in Tintagel, her meeting with a sorceress, her encounter with Merlin, but such things cannot remain long-buried, and whether she likes it or not, she is drawn into another supernatural situation…