Friday, February 28, 2014

St. Louis' Knight - The First of the Templar Tales

Roughly one month from today, I hope to release the next book in my Tales of Chivalry series. 

St.  Louis' Knight is the first of three interrelated novels featuring Templars forming a sub-set of novels, the Templar Tales.  The final book of the Templar Tales (chronologically) is The English Templar, describes the destruction of the Knights Templar in the early 14th century and is already available for sale. The second book in the series Sir Jean of Acre describes the final days of the crusader states in late 13th century, including the seige and fall of Acre.  It is out-of-print -- and in need of a re-write.

St. Louis' Knight is more a prelude to the later books than an integral part of them, although it does introduce a central character of The English Templar as a young man. The inspiration for this particular novel came during my first trip to Cyprus almost twenty years ago and resulted in a short novel, The Cypriot Knight, published in 1995.

That was a mistake. My enthusiasm had outrun both my research and my skills as a novelist. Influenced by advice on “what would sell,” I warped the story and lost the thread. The product was half-baked ― and it rightfully did not sell very well.

This past year, while looking for a new project after finishing my Leonidas trilogy, I looked again at The Cypriot Knight, the first novel I ever published. Even as I cringed at the product as it stood, I recognized that it had potential. I decided it deserved a second chance.

The new novel incorporates some scenes from the old, but it is essentially a new work, hence the new title. It has greatly benefited from much more research on the Albigensian Crusade, the Seventh Crusade, and the crusader kingdoms generally. I hope it has also benefited from greater skill on my part as a novelist. 

In the weeks to come, I will be posting excerpts from St. Louis' Knight here. Hope you'll enjoy them.

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