Probably the most obvious question to ask (given your research in into William Marshal, the early Plantagenets, and subsequently Roger Bigod) is why you do not touch upon the growing Robin Hood tales that arise from this time period? Do you feel that the Robin Hood of legend is based upon Marshal or Bigod or not based upon anyone in particular?
Elizabeth: I actually do touch upon the possibility of the Robin Hood legend in my novel Lords of the White Castle, which is about the Shropshire outlaw Fulke FitzWarin. Fulke is thought by many historians to be one of the originators of the Robin Hood legends that were later brought together from various sources. Robin Hood is very ephemeral in the late 12th century and there is no mention of him by name and deed in any primary source research material pertaining to the period covered by William Marshal and Roger Bigod – nor would I expect there to be. The Fulke FitzWarin story was actually written after William and Roger’s death, so is not of their period, which is why he isn’t in my books. If their timelines had worked out better, perhaps things would have been different!
You talk about the belief that “each person leaves behind an indelible record of themselves impressed upon sub-atomic material and that this record can be accessed if one has the ability to tune in at that particular vibrational level.” Do you have the ability to tune in or do you use solely the services of the Akashic consultant Alison King?
Elizabeth: I wish I did have the ability, but I don’t. Alison’s talent with energy work is a very precious and special one. I have no such ability. I am not gullible, but I do have an open mind and I am interested to see that quantum physics is gradually getting to grips with the science of what she does.
What is Akasha? Is this method used by many historical fiction writers? How did you come across this method?
Elizabeth: Unfortunately, I’m not an expert in Akasha; it’s something I turn to Alison (mentioned above) for. Alison does have other historical novelists who are clients, and I know several historians and archaeologists who use similar methods of their own accord. She also utilizes her skill for people interested in genealogy and learning about their ancestors. Readers can obtain a fuller explanation on my website: http://www.elizabethchadwick.com/akashic.html
Nonetheless, I have known Alison for almost 25 years and have always been aware that she is sensitive to energies. While working with clients in the field of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), she discovered that she could tune in and go back to things that had happened in their past that were still affecting them now. She realized that if she could go back 20 years, then why not 200, or 800. We were having an ordinary chat one day and she asked how my novel was coming along. I said fine, but I was having a problem finding out about a particular person because the records were scanty. She asked if I wanted her to tune in and find her. I said okay, and what came through was so astonishing, that I knew I had to investigate further. That was about 6 years ago now, and I have been using Alison’s extraordinary ability to help out with my research ever since. I get the details checked out by someone I know with qualifications in medieval history; I don’t take the details in blind faith. I also use them judiciously with other more conventional forms of research to weave the story.
Elizabeth: Yes, I am still involved in Regia Anglorum. This is an early medieval living history society with a brief to recreate life as it was in the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries. The emphasis is on being as accurate as possible. There is an American wing of Regia – RANA (Regia Anglorum North America). Some of the members are SCA members, but there is no affiliation as such
What attracted you to researching this era of history?
Elizabeth: My interest stemmed from when I first began researching historical fiction— the late Anglo Saxon, Norman and Angevin period. Henry II, Richard I and John are known as the Angevin kings, and before them it was the house of Normandy. I had fallen for a handsome knight in a TV programme who happened to live in the mid twelfth century. I began writing a sort of fan fiction about him and because I wanted it to feel as real as possible, I went to the library and began researching the period. The more I researched the more interested I became and the more I wanted to write about that time in history. But the original catalyst was a tall, dark, handsome guy in flowing robes with a sword in his hand!
What are your three favorite books of all time?
Elizabeth: This is a tough one! I don’t think anyone can choose their three favorite books. How do you narrow it down? Plus tastes change over time. I have books on my keeper shelves that are there because I loved them when I was 15, but not all of them have stood the test of time. I can tell you three books that are favorites though, among many favorites.
1. Hanta Yo by Ruth Beebee Hill
2. Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
3. Alinor by Roberta Gellis
What are you working on next?
Elizabeth: A novel titled Lady of the English. It’s about two linked but very different women in English history; one an empress and one a queen. Matilda is the daughter of King Henry I and an empress by marriage to her German royal husband. When her husband dies, she returns to England, is forced into marriage with a 14 year old boy, and then has to fight for her right to inherit the crown. Adeliza is queen of England and Matilda’s stepmother, although she is in fact younger than her. When King Henry I dies, Adeliza remarries a baron on the opposing side to Matilda in the conflict for the English throne. She loves her husband and she loves Matilda and wants to be loyal to both. But how can she be? That is her dilemma. It’s about women striving to make their voices heard in a world ruled by men.
For more information, please visit Elizabeth Chadwick’s website.
I have 2 copies of For the King’s Favor to give away!
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