Hi folks, back again with some great news, and a small request. First, the great news:
For years, I wished that someone would write the story of King Arthur based on historian Geoffrey Ashe’s research from his book, The Discovery of King Arthur. When I decided to try, it was mostly because I wanted to puzzle out how and why it might have happened the way he hypothesized. Never having completed a novel, I wasn’t sure I was capable of writing a story that others would enjoy. As of today, I’ve received three reviews on Amazon US, one on Amazon UK, and two on Goodreads. All five stars! Those are wonderful, and I am so grateful for them. Then I received an email from Mr. Ashe, himself, with his review of my novel:
Avalon, so the story goes, is a mythic place where King Arthur fades from view after his last battle. But in his ground-breaking novel The Retreat to Avalon, Sean Poage tells us otherwise. Avalon, he says, is a real location on the map, and a real Arthur did go there. We can even fix the date.
Firmly based on historical and archaeological research, the story depicts a post-Roman Britain still preserving a tenuous unity under a charismatic leader: Arthur, the High King. As an ally of one of the later Roman emperors, he leads an army of Britons overseas. The author re-imagines the warfare of the time with authentic detail. Apart from the war, he skillfully reconstructs the ordinary life of the people of Britain, with much information about their food, their clothing, their buildings, their religion. He also gives credible glimpses of a place in Britain destined to inspire, long after, the romance of Camelot.
Told through a group of vivid characters, The Retreat to Avalon brilliantly opens up a world which historical research has only recently begun to discover.
– Geoffrey Ashe, MBE FRSL, Author of Mythology of the British Isles, The Finger and the Moon, The Hell Fire Clubs, and many more.
When I first began this project, I sent Mr. Ashe an email detailing my plans. He was kind and supportive, but I could sense he was reticent and probably skeptical. I’m sure I’m not the first person to contact him with such an aspiration. When my wife and I visited England a few years ago to research some of the locations in the book, he and his lovely wife were gracious enough to meet us for tea in Glastonbury. They introduced us to our first authentic cream tea experience (clotted cream, then the jam on your scone), chatted with us about the Glastonbury area and Mr. Ashe’s work, and were absolutely delightful. It was a truly memorable experience. When I finally finished the first draft of the manuscript, I rushed it off to him. Completely unpolished, it probably did little to raise his expectations. Luckily, another year of editing ensued, and a much better book was the result. As soon as the publisher sent me my first box of printed books, I sent one off to Mr. and Mrs. Ashe with my thanks. I was so pleased to find out they loved it! Considering Mr. Ashe’s impressive body of work and knowledge, knowing that I’ve done his work some justice and that he enjoyed the story is a rare kind of wonderful. I hope to do as well, or better, on the sequels. There is a lot more to tell.
Ok, so now the request:
If you’ve read and like The Retreat to Avalon, please, please, go to Amazon (preferably) or Goodreads and leave a review. It means so much for a new author like myself, because it is really the only way our books begin to be noticed. I’d be so grateful!
More good news, I am currently well into chapter two of the sequel.
Best wishes, all!