Greetings folks, just a note to point out that I have just added an author interview about the first book, Our Man on Earth, to The Swithen website. It gives insights into the character of Meylinde, how I came to understand her and her crucial role in the book and the entire series, as well as why I felt I had to go back and revise the book to make her a more full and fleshed-out character in her own right. This interview was originally available only as part of the bonus materials included in the First Trilogy Boxed Set, but now it’s here and free to all.
It’s a very satisfying time for me as the series is slowly starting to take off and gather fans, and I find that the first book outsells the others regularly—which is why I’m glad I went back and revised it! Not sure you know, but the main character of this book, Merlin’s mother, vanishes from the original legend once Merlin leaves her care, never to be seen again. That’s how it is in the Arthurian legends, folks! You get used and thrown away!
After developing her in such detail for Our Man on Earth, and going with her through all the torment and suffering she endures, I just couldn’t bear for her never to be seen again—but, I did say that I’m going to follow the original legend to the letter. Luckily, I was soon able to find a way to keep her in the series while remaining faithful to the legend, but that opened up the question of how weakly she was presented in the first novel. I spent a week at a cabin in the woods in Ontario working on my revision every day, ultimately adding 50 pages to the novel to fill in her character as a person and let us understand her psychology and indomitable strength even better.
My reward is that she is, hands down, the most beloved character in the series so far (of course, everyone else is not all that nice, so it helps). It has been great to me to have her be so well accepted and loved, and to grant her the incredibly influential place she has, and will have, throughout the series.