As a Rave Review Book Club Spotlight Author host, I have the honor and privilege of introducing my audience to a variety of independent authors.
Please welcome to the stage the latest Spotlight Author, Michael Eging. Eging is the author of Annwyn’s Blood, a fantasy thriller set on the isles of Albion. In a unique offering, Mike interviews Princess Marianna of 6th century Britain. Happy reading!
As princesses go, Marianna grew up in the lap of privilege in 6th century Britain. Her father was the High King. She lived in a town with a picturesque view of the Welsh coastline. And she had suitors, a very long line of suitors who wished to align themselves with the royal house. So, what really happened on the road back to Caerleon? Well, we’ve decided to ask the princess that very question.
Mike: You know, Marianna—may I call you Marianna?
Marianna: I am a princess of the blood.
Mike: So Highness? Princess?
Marianna: If you must.
Mike: Well, after so many years together—you know, with rewrites, revisions, edits, and then more rewrites, it just seems like we’re more familiar than that.
Marianna: How dare you! Why, my father has strung up men for less!
Mike: My apologies, your highness. I meant no offense. With your indulgence, I have just a few questions about that fateful night on the road.
Marianna: Oh, while returning home from a pilgrimage…
Mike: Yes. The book doesn’t show that directly, but there are various reports that reached your father’s court.
Marianna: Well, I’m sure those reports were sufficiently detailed. Then again, you know how knights are. They don’t write and they tend to exaggerate.
Mike: Could you tell us in your own words—it must have been horrifying?
Marianna: At first it seemed unreal. I mean, who in their right might attacks a squadron of the King’s finest cavalry? We had barely left the shrine when the first arrow flew. Under a sliver of the moon, it was hard to see, but I’m sure they attacked from all sides! And as the men struggled, I felt something. You know, like a cold chill that crawled up my skin.
Mike: So this was more than just an ambush?
Marianna: Well, at the time I was afraid for my life. It’s easy to miss a soldier and hit royalty in the dark, you know. One missed cut and, well, for a brigand it means loss of the ransom and a very bad day. And for a princess – when I die, I want rose pedals strewn along the way. Not tossed into a muddy ditch.
Mike: Of course, there are those considerations. But when did you realize this was not a typical abduction?
Marianna: When the noise died down, it became apparent that the robbers had overwhelmed my guard. They were a motley lot, dressed in rags. And they smelled. Their leader swooped in among the dead and dying. I noticed him pause, half lifting a dying man. With his men already plundering the corpses, and killing the rest, he bent… I know this sounds mad, but he lapped at the wound like a hungry wolf. When he was done, he dropped the corpse to the ground. I slapped my horse’s withers with the reins and tried to escape. But he moved with such speed. He grabbed the bridle and jerked my horse’s head around with such force; I thought he broke its neck.
Mike: And in the midst of that attack—were you in fear for your life?
Marianna: Of course, yes. There was so much noise. And dying.
Mike: I recall the first time I heard the tale. It sent shivers up my spine.
Marianna: And now?
Mike: Well, there’s much more to the story.
Marianna: You mean after my abduction? Well, I’m not sure I was written in the best light.
Mike: We tried to be true to the events and the motivations. Each character was given latitude to…
Mike: But after the attack everything wasn’t as it seemed.
Marianna (standing and voice rising): What? You believe my dad? Or what about Erik? I know! It’s that mewling creature Aldonzo, isn’t it? Or Blaine! Do you have any idea what it’s like to be highjacked like I’m an object? I’m not a trinket or a bauble!
Mike: Princess, I’ve a few more questions…
Marianna (storming out): One bite—just one bite. Let it go already!
Well, there you have it. Life changes for the princess after a fateful night when a band of brigands ambushes her escort and sets in motion the events of Annwyn’s Blood!
Mike has wanted to write since he was very young. His earliest memories are of carrying a battered old notebook around full of illustrations and stories. He would often transpose those ideas on his grandmother’s old typewriter. While in college, he was inspired by professors and visiting writers to BYU. Literary classics such as Song of Roland and Inferno were often in his backpack, along with Russian textbooks. Chapter 4 of Annwyn’s Blood was written during this time as a short story.
Mike works in Washington, DC since pursuing graduate studies in Russian History. He focuses in domestic policy issues. Recently, Mike has pursued an interest in writing screenplays for feature films with his first option being a medieval epic, Song of Roland. He continues to focus on a variety of script/movie projects, most recently a horror thriller, Feast of Saint Nicholas, and a political thriller, The Prince. Recently, he founded and launched Filibuster Filmworks with his partners to produce and develop feature films, television and other projects.
He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, Lori and his wonderful children. He dreams of one day driving to Alaska in his old Defender with his kids and their dog, Marlin.