Now that the frenzy of December has passed we can get down to the frenzy of January. How relaxing that will be – NOT!!! It’s like a living in a blender here, as I have said before. But the writing must continue, a book is trying to be born!
Huw the Bard is once again trying to make his way north, despite the various obstacles in his way, and Billy Nine-fingers is coming to grips with the fact that he is no longer able to swing a sword the way he did before his injury.
There are many opportunities for humor, tears and of course, general naughtiness in this tale, so I have really enjoyed writing it. And this time, I know my characters as they will be in the future, so learning what made them the way they are in The Last Good Knight is what makes this tale so much fun for me to write.
In this tale both Huw and Billy have the innocence of youth, and the unconscious arrogance that comes along with it! At the outset of the story both men are the heir to their father’s legacies, and both are highly respected men at the top of their craft.
Billy has inherited the land and the cabin and the leadership of the Rowdies. He has learned enough from watching his dad make deals that he is able to make good bargains, and keep the Rowdies employed. But Bastard John is angry that the Rowdies have prospered under Billy’s leadership instead of disbanding and going back to rejoin with his Wolves. In a drunken rage he challenges Billy to a duel. Billy refuses to fight him, because he is drunk. Bastard John takes a swipe at him anyway and Billy’s hand is nearly bisected. Thanks to a healing-sister’s intervention, he only loses his little finger but his hand is maimed and his grip is wrong now for the sword. Now Billy has to devise a way to make use of the skills and the raw materials that he still has to keep his position as Captain of the Rowdies. Somehow, despite her opposition to the notion he must convince Bess to marry him. Humility is not Billy’s strongest feature, but he will have to learn to make it a strength.
Huw Owyn, on the other hand, is also the heir to his father’s legacy. He is highly respected and is fully trained to take over leadership of the Bard’s Guild. His father, Balen, angers the Grand Duke Anvel Grefyn, who retaliate by waiting until all the Bards are in the Guild Hall for the annual awarding of masters’ pins. The Grefyn’s henchmen burn it to the ground with everyone inside, and hang Huw’s father in the street. Huw escapes the fate of the rest of his guild because he dallied with Sinean, and missed the first hour of the ceremonies. Now, Sinean chooses to stay and fight her revolution, instead of leaving with him. Devastated at the loss of his father and abandoned by his lover, Huw has to run for his life. In a haunted village, Huw meets Lackland for the first time, rescuing the knight from certain death in a gibbet.
The adventures that Billy and Huw have over the next year are both hair-raising and side-splitting. I have to be careful when I am writing in my favorite coffee bar, because I tend to laugh hysterically at my own creations. Even if no one else ever finds it funny, I have had a great time writing it. Now I am nearing the end of the tale. Now we are about to see what led up to that evening when the door to Billy’s Revenge opened and a bard walked in, pulled out his lute and began to play the epic ballads that featured the exploits of Lackland and the Rowdies. This is the part I love the most about my job!