Thursday, September 5, 2013

Aloha to Elizabeth Chadwick and THE OUTLAW KNIGHT

The Maryland Renaissance Festival is underway in Crownsville, Maryland, taking revelers back to a time of honour, treachery and love ... with a side of humor, food, and costumes.   Historical author Elizabeth Chadwick offers readers an authentic means to understand honor, treachery, and love in the Medieval Times.   Today she joins me for a cozy chat ...

Kim:  From your bio, "I grew up in a village just outside Glasgow" (link).  I know my readers will be envious! What is your favorite sight, smell, and sound of the "dear green place"?

Elizabeth:  It’s a while since I lived there, but I think my reply would have to be the winters. I know my parents wouldn’t agree, and I might not feel the same now I’m an adult, but for me as a child, I loved making neck-breaking super slides of polished ice. I loved the sledging and the snowball fights. There was never any lack of snow in winter. We didn’t have central heating and the frost make fronds and patterns on the window panes. I now live in the softer English midlands where some years we don’t get any snow at all and I miss it. In contrast, I also remember the long, summer evenings and watching speckled brown trout gleaming in the burn (stream) of a nearby farm.

Doune Castle, Scotland

Kim:  Also from your bio, "half a dozen eight year olds galloping about on pretend horses like the knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail."  My hubby and I have visited Scotland for the sole purpose of hunting castles. We loved Doune Castle, where Monty Python was filmed.  We climbed atop the ramparts to clap together coconuts! Now that you are an adult, do you enjoy British comedy that pokes fun at British History and British culture?

Elizabeth:  If it gets it right – which Monty Python certainly did! I love comedies which embrace the quirkiness and fun in the British character. One of my favourite films is Wallace and Grommit and the Curse of the Were Rabbit. It’s saturated in Britishness and British humour and makes me laugh aloud.

Being as I grew up near Glasgow, anyone wanting a taste of that accent should Google Rab. C. Nesbitt (a British sit-com) and prepare to be boggled! I used to have a milder variation of that accent!

Kim:  We are also fans of contemporary comedies such as Are You Being Served and Keeping Up with Appearances.

Elizabeth:  Indeed, who can forget Mrs Slocombe’s pussy? Mrs Brown’s Boys is my current favourite TV comedy.

Kim:  I am curious about your meeting with Prince Charles - did you practice your curtsy?

Elizabeth:  I didn’t have to curtsey, just sort of nod my head. The poor guy had been inveigled into handing out the Society of Authors literary awards that year because one of the organisers had been writing his biography. I didn’t really speak to him as such, just go up, do the dip and be handed the cheque. It was a great start to my published writing career though!

Kim:  What are the challenges and rewards of writing historical novels

Elizabeth:  The challenge I think is to get it right historically but not to dump information and send the reader to sleep. Also to explain attitudes that have changed over the centuries and might be viewed as wrong or offensive today. The rewards for me are that I get to learn a lot more about my characters and their life and times. I often get to give talks at some wonderful historical venues, and I get to talk history with a great bunch of readers, who really are a lovely support community.

White Castle, Wales 

Kim:  Tell us about THE OUTLAW KNIGHT - what inspired it?

Elizabeth:  I was working on the novel before it, The Marsh King’s Daughter, and I had to find out about a particular character called Eustace the Monk, who really existed and had been a fearsome pirate in the early 13th century. His story was in a book that also detailed the tale of one Fulke FitzWarin, told in a 13th century chronicle. Like Eustace, Fulke had actually lived. When I read his story and realized what a long and magnificent life he had led, first as a courtier, then an outlaw fighting King John for justice, then an important baron of the Welsh Marches, I just knew I had to tell his story. It was bigger than Hollywood!

Mahalo, Elizabeth, for joining us at SOS Aloha!  Sourcebooks is giving away a print copy of THE OUTLAW KNIGHT:

"Picking up an Elizabeth Chadwick novel is like having a Bentley draw up at your door: you know you are in for a sumptuous ride."—Daily Telegraph

A Deadly Rival.
An Ancient Family Dispute.
An Impossible Love.

He should have known better than to fight with the future King John. Ruthless and feared, John is not one to forget or forgive. But Fulke FitzWarin couldn't help himself, and now the vindictive John has insured that Fulke will never become lord of the castle he loves.

Instead of accepting his fate, Fulke rebels. He begins an affair with Maude Walter, the wealthy widow desired by John himself. Negotiating a maze of deceit, treachery, and shifting alliances, Fulke's route to success is blocked at every turn. And when the turmoil of the Magna Carta rebellion combines with a shocking tragedy, everything Fulke has fought for is thrown into the path of destruction.

"A star back in Britain, Elizabeth Chadwick is finally getting the attention she deserves here."—USA Today

"The best writer of medieval fiction currently around."—Richard Lee, founder and publisher, Historical Novel Society

To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about Renaissance Fairs ... if you had a fairy godmother to make you any costume, what would it be?   

2.  Sourcebooks' giveaway is open to US and Canadian readers only.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 7, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 8.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

To learn more about Elizabeth and her books, check out her website at   You can also check out my pictures from the Maryland Renaissance Festival on my travel blog, ALOHA ON MY MIND, at this link and link.


  1. I think I would like to go as a Knight in Shining Armour!!!! LOL

  2. Any type of princess costumes would be good. I love dresses....

  3. Any of the gowns from that time would be lovely!

  4. Some type of steampunk outfit would be fun.

  5. I would love one of the typical gowns.

  6. One of the beautiful medieval gowns.

  7. I would love to dress as the lady of the castle, in a fine and beautiful gown.

  8. I would definitely go for a costume from the Tudor period. I'd want something like Anne Boleyn used to wear.

  9. I love the idea!! I'm in love the the Tudor period... the clothes also look like they are in tune with the weather... Well, a little pearl beading would be nice.. or a lot of it!!

  10. I wouldn't like to dress as a lady of the castle. I'd like to dress in a barmaid's outfit...and hope to catch the glance of a knight stopping in for a tankard of ale. :-) I've never been to a Rennaisance Fair, but now I believe I'll make it a point to go when one is in the area. I think there's one every year in California near Highway 101 somewhere. I'll look online. This story sounds delightful and I'm so glad to be introduced to Elizabeth Chadwick.

  11. Never been to one, as the traffic jams are not to be believed. You must have such patience, Kim. Given Maryland humidity, I'd like something cool.

  12. I have never been to one, either. I would love to have a beautiful dress from that period.

  13. I was so excited to see this interview! Her writing speaks to my soul.

    Medieval dress is the way I would go. I wouldn't have to be quality, just a pretty true to era dress would please me.

  14. I've not ever been to a Renaissance Fair, though I think it'd be fun. I think I'd like to dress as Robin Hood!

  15. I would love to wear one of the dresses my daughter used to make for the times she went to a Renn Fest - perhaps one of the serving wenches outfits!

  16. I've never been to one even though I wanted to go a few times. But I'll get there,. I'd love to wear a Barmaid's dress. :) No royalty here. I also would love to read Elizabeth's The Outlaw Knight.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  17. i would love the most gorgeous gown in the Kingdom, but then it can also be modified quickly to run around & enjoy the festivities!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com