A special treat today, kiddies! Guest bloggers!
Let's give it up for famous daytime television talk show host OPHELIA
, who has graciously consented to interview Owein
, the Druid hero of my August Dorchester release, THE GRAIL KING.
Some of you may remember Owein from my 2005 release CELTIC FIRE
Joy: Welcome, Ophelia! Welcome Owein!
Ophelia: So glad to be here, Joy. Owein, are you ready?
Owein: As ready as I'll ever be, Ophelia.
Ophelia: All right, then. Owein, I understand you've come all the way from second century Britain to be with us today.
Owein: Aye, ye call my birthplace the English-Scots border now.
Ophelia: Can you tell me a little about yourself? I understand you're a Druid.
Owein: Aye, Ophelia, I have the power of the Sight. 'Tis a curse and a blessing.
Ophelia: How horrible!
Owein: Ye canna imagine.
Ophelia: And your family? Are they really royalty?
Owein: Aye, my grandmother was a Celt queen. My mother and sister would have been queens, if not for the rat bastard Romans.
Ophelia: I sense some hostility there, Owein.
Owein (shaking his head): Ye are a canny lass, Ophelia.
Ophelia: I understand that when you were only fifteen, your older sister, Rhiannon, was kidnapped by a Roman commander named Lucius Aquila. Can you tell our audience how that made you feel?
Owein (grimaces): I wanted to kill the rat bastard.
Ophelia (gasps): No!
Owein: Aye, I tried my best to kill Lucius Aquila. My soul? I sold it to the dark side of Druid magic in return for the Roman rat bastard's life. But the gods taunted me, and I failed. Rhiannon abandoned her clan and married Aquila. (Gives a disgusted shake of his head.) She said she loved him. Can ye believe it?
Ophelia (leaning close, touching Owein's arm): And how did you feel about that?
Owein (sighs): I told her to follow her heart--what else could I do? I loved Rhiannon and I knew she wouldna be happy without her rat bastard Roman lover. But I can tell ye, Ophelia, inside I felt betrayed.
Ophelia: What happened then?
Owein: War, Ophelia. With the rat bastard Romans.
Ophelia: Oh, my!
Owein: I was taken in battle. Sold as a slave. Condemned to die. Escaped. Eventually, I found a new life with a new clan. I married a fine woman and before long, she carried my child.
Ophelia (frowns in intense sympathy): But your newfound happiness didn't last.
Owein (snorts): Of course it didn't last, Ophelia! I'm a romance hero! If ye read any romance novels at all, ye would know a romance hero walks a lonely, tortured road.
Ophelia: Can you tell us what happened?
Owein (hand clenching into a fist): The rat bastard Romans happened! Commander Sextus Gracchus's men marched on my village. Killed my wife. Sold what was left of my clan into slavery.
Ophelia (shudders): But not you?
Owein (drops his head into his hands): Nay. Some fine warrior I turned out to be. I wasna even there to protect my wife and my village. The day before, I'd traveled to a ring of sacred stones, seeking wisdom for my people. The gods were laughing that day.
Ophelia: So you suffered a religious crisis.
Owein (raising his head and shooting Ophelia an incredulous look): Ye might say that.
Ophelia: So you lived alone, in your burnt and ruined village in a mountain wilderness, for what--two years?
Owein: About that, Ophelia.
Ophelia (breathless): Until something happened. Can you tell us what it was?
Owein (leans back): 'Twas during a snowstorm. I had a vision. A river of blood, flowing past my feet. When I followed it, I found a very real Roman lass, nearly frozen to death.
Ophelia (sighing dreamily): Clara.
Owein: Aye, Clara. The daughter of rat bastard Sextus Gracchus, the man who destroyed my village.
Ophelia (doe-eyed): What was poor Clara doing there, lost in the mountains?
Owein: She was looking for me, Ophelia. She needed my help. But she didna have the slightest idea of what my aid would cost her.
Ophelia (excitedly): And what did it cost her? She was the daughter of your enemy. She was alone and helpless. Her clothes were wet and frozen. I understand you had to take them all off--
Joy (lurching across the couch to grab Ophelia's microphone): Oh, look at the TIME! Well! Ophelia! Owein! Looks like we're just about done here!
Ophelia (glaring): Party pooper.
Joy: Thank you so much, Ophelia, for your insightful questions. And thank you, Owein, for your candid answers.
Ophelia: Any time, Joy.
Owein (muttering): ...rat bastard Romans.Joy:
All right, then! Readers, do you think Owein was a little hard on the poor Romans? I mean, they can't all be rat bastards! Check back in a few weeks when Ophelia returns
to interview Marcus Aquila
, one of The Grail King's hottie Roman characters. Just wait until you hear about Marcus's childhood trauma involving a crazed Druid...
Until next Friday... Joy
PS. BTW, for all you DaVinci Code
fans, here's the answer to the question I hear most often: Yes, the Grail in THE GRAIL KING
Holy Grail! Keep an eye on my website for more about this.