11. Some more encouraging numbers

Twelve wasn’t a great number, but I got some more encouraging numbers today. Today I asked for viewing figures on the serialisation of A Prize of Sovereigns. The first four chapters have appeared now, with the fifth due out tomorrow. There have been 262 unique views in the month since the first chapter was published. Which is still not 20 million, but it’s not unrespectable. The publishers seem pleased.

I haven’t said much about A Prize of Sovereigns yet. Which is remiss of me, since a major point of writing a blog is to promote my writing. One of the promotional pieces I wrote for it runs like this.

War is coming to the kingdoms of Ceweth and Lorrador. Byrom, King of Ceweth, is a bad man. But he hopes to be a good king. Aurthur of Lorrador is a thoroughly nice man, but a weak prince. The fate of both realms depends on the decisions they make. Told from multiple viewpoints of princes and peasants, statesmen and storytellers this is a tale of intrigue, betrayal, war, and revolt. As the story develops, it assumes a strange familiarity; in the end, it is our own, and asks the eternal question: what does it mean to be a good person?

I wrote it to explore that question about goodness, and once I had decided to locate it in a medieval setting, I began to add elements. I was in the middle of reading George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series then. I loved the story, and the way he used what he calls “historical mash-up”. I adopted “historical mash-up” with glee. I created the main aristocratic characters by amalgamating several real people. I created the events of the war between Ceweth and Lorrador out of real events in the Hundred Years War between England and France, but not necessarily in the precise sequence in which they really happened. Unlike Martin though, I was interested in exploring the strategies rulers employ, and how they may have unintended consequences. And, also unlike Martin, I wanted to explore what ordinary people felt. The ordinary people, called smallfolk in Game of Thrones, barely appear. I guess you could say I wrote the Game of Thrones I would have liked to have read. Or you might say, A Prize of Sovereigns is George RR Martin meets Ken Follett.

Actually, that’s not bad. I might use that line with the next agent I talk to.

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