Book Tour and Giveaway!

Hi Folks! I’ve been tardy on my next post (which will be about Bedwyr!) but that’s because I’ve been doing some serious writing and research for Three Wicked Revelations. For today, however, I’m excited to be a part of an online book tour organized by Perseid Press. For the month of May, The Retreat to Avalon eBook will be on sale for only $2.99! In addition, Silver Dagger Book Tours is doing an Amazon gift card giveaway for anyone who reads the blog and comments.

The Retreat to Avalon Giveaway Book Tour

So for today, I’m posting the interview that Silver Dagger put together. They asked a lot of questions. I hope you enjoy them.

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

I’ve had quite a varied life. My parents moved around a lot, so I’ve lived in a lot places around the US. Then I joined the Army and they moved me around some more. I left active duty and became a police officer in Florida for a while until I realized it was giving me a negative outlook. So I changed careers and got into IT. Better hours, better pay, and not a single trip to the emergency room.

As for writing, it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. I might have started sooner, because I had a great idea for a book about the Rohirrim, and I sent a letter to the Tolkien estate about it. They politely turned me down, which was a bit crushing. I started a crime novel in my 20’s but it fell aside as life got in the way. Then one day I’m watching John Boorman’s Excalibur with my lovely wife, and she, knowing that I’m a huge history nerd, made the mistake of asking me if anything about the Arthurian legends were true. So I proceeded to make her regret that question. Among other details, I described Geoffrey Ashe’s research into the historical King Arthur, and said that I wished someone would do a movie or write a book based on that. She said, “Maybe you should do it.” I chuckled, but it stuck in my head that night and the next day I told her I would. Almost five years of intense research and writing later, The Retreat to Avalon was published.

What is something unique/quirky about you?

Oh, where to start… I’m a wealth of useless information, so I do really well in trivia games. I’m annoyingly optimistic. I love to prank my kids. My wife suggested my alter-ego that appears when I have to do our taxes…

Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!

There are a number of stories from my police and military days. I don’t come off great in the best ones. Off the top of my head, one of the more interesting jobs I’ve had was to design a bomb investigations course for the Iraqi police and military, and then teach their instructors the program.

What are some of your pet peeves?

Inconsiderate drivers. And when the kids don’t clean up after themselves.

Who is your hero and why?

My wife. She is the kindest, sweetest, most beautiful soul I know, and braver than anyone might expect, even herself.

Where were you born and grew up?

I was born in Germany, but my parents moved around a lot, so I grew up in Maryland, Arizona, Oregon and Ohio, for the most part.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Nothing. Everything happens when it’s supposed to happen.

What kind of world ruler would you be?

The kind who wouldn’t take the job.

What are you passionate about these days?

Travel, writing, and history.

Do you have a favorite movie?

It’s hard to choose a favorite. It depends on the genre. I’m drawn first to comedies, and the first two that come to mind are Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles, or Running Scared with Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal. Brooks was a genius at making bigotry look like buffoonery, and the chemistry between Hines and Crystal, along with their quick wit, makes that one of the best cop buddy movies.

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

All of them! I would love to see an authentic, historical Arthurian series based on my series, The Arthurian Age. Waiting for someone else to actually do the book or movie is what convinced me to write it.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Imagining actors is fun, even though I am the worst at pop culture and knowing who most actors
are. I think a young Karl Urban would make a fantastic Gawain.

Silver Dagger Book Tour and Giveaway for the historical Arthurian novel, The Retreat to Avalon, by Sean Poage

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

We’ve made three trips to Britain based around exploring the locations in my series, The Arthurian Age. During one of those trips, we stopped by Oxford and I had to visit The Eagle and Child, the pub where the Inklings met. Unfortunately, the pub has been closed for some time, but I could look in the windows at a place that doesn’t look like it has changed much at all in a century, and I could picture Tolkien and Lewis and the others sitting and talking there.

What inspired you to write this book?

Well, when I was in high school, I was wandering around the library trying to find a subject for a term paper. The librarian, Mrs. Heusinkveld, handed me The Discovery of King Arthur by Geoffrey Ashe and said I might like it. She was right. For years I hoped someone would do a movie or book based on his research. When I mentioned that to my wife, she suggested I do it. And here we are.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Currently I’m working on the third book in the series, Three Wicked Revelations. It completes the series, but I plan on a fourth book that focuses on “Merlin” and his life. It will explain a lot of things that happen in the background of the other three books. After this series, I plan to do some fantasy novels, some historical-fantasy based on Greek legend, and to re-visit a story I started and didn’t finish years ago, about working as an undercover drug investigator for the Army in Germany.

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?

I do! I’ve actually written a few short stories about some of the characters and events. I will be releasing those in the future, possibly as free stories for people who join my very small mailing list.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I’ve finished a novella that is related to my series The Arthurian Age, but seen from the point of view of the legendary first Anglo-Saxon king in Britain, Hengist. J.R.R. Tolkien argued that Hengist was a historical person, and my story is based on his book, Finn and Hengest. It will be out this year.

What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?

Just ten? Very difficult to do… J.R.R. Tolkien and all his works, of course; The Thieves World anthology series from Robert Asprin that includes many amazing authors, including my favorite, Janet Morris, and her related books like her Sacred Band series; Fritz Leiber and his Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his Sherlock Holmes series; Armor by John Steakley; The Anabasis by Xenophon; Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey; Neuromancer by William Gibson; Gates of Fire and others by Steven Pressfield; the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown.

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

Critias, a commander in a mercenary band known as the Stepsons, from Janet Morris. He first appears as part of her stories about Tempus in the Thieves World series. He’s a great character. Part soldier, part spymaster. He has to watch his best friend and right-side partner spiral under a witch’s attention, all while trying to hold the band together and accomplish his orders in a world that is turning upside down.

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?

I love to read and experience other worlds, times and stories. As a writer, I get to experience those things as I create them. I absolutely love it.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

Exhaustive! I’ve gone so far as look up the phase of the moon on a certain day in the year 470. I pester my academic friends, especially a brilliant archeologist named Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, for everything from Dark Age Latin and Celtic words, to obscure records, to ensuring that I portray the cultures and mores correctly.

Describe your writing style.

It is evolving as I learn more about writing and editing. I’d say I tend towards a more straight-forward style rather than purple prose. I like to use dialogue to bring out details in a story, and I tend towards characters who are more every-day people who exhibit greatness when needed, because I’ve found that people are capable of far more than they often realize.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?

I’ve learned a lot about writing since my first book, and there are small things I would change, but nothing major. Mostly just stylistic things.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

So much! The publishing process is very interesting. My publishers at Perseid Press, Janet and Chris Morris, have taught me a lot about writing and publishing. I’m so grateful and never thought I would be close friends with someone who has been one of my favorite authors since I was a kid.

Do you have any advice to offer for new authors?

Read. Read widely. Read constantly. Read the classics, as well as newer books. Pay attention to how good writers do certain things, like dialogue, or plot reveals. I don’t think it’s possible to be a good writer unless you’re a good reader.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Don’t worry about pronouncing the Welsh names. Pick a sound and go with it. And if you lose track, each book has an appendix with every character and location listed, with information about each.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

There is something timeless about Arthurian legend. So many people over the centuries have written their own versions, but few have tried to show Arthur in his real place in history. One of the best compliments I receive on my books is that they portray a King Arthur that not only seems real, but still feels like an Arthurian story.

The Retreat to Avalon Giveaway Book Tour

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

3 thoughts on “Book Tour and Giveaway!”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing Retreat to Avalon with us Sean!
    I hope you’re enjoying the rest of the tour!


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