Thursday, 2 August 2007

New Book- Templar Prize

Just to let you know that my new Black Lace novel Templar Prize is out in the UK in September, while in the US it isn't released until November. The story is set around the time of the Second Crusade which was led by the famous Richard the Lionheart. Jerusalem was in the hands of the Saracens, led by Saladin and Richard had vowed to reclaim it for the Christians again. The story concerns two former lovers Stephen and Edwina who are reunited after being parted when Edwina was forced into an unwanted marriage by her family. You can read the outline of the book and a few tasty excerpts on my website.

The story came about for a number of reasons. I love medieval history and had been reading a book by James Reston Jr called Warriors of God, which was the story or Richard the Lionheart. Also some time previously I had been to see the movie Kingdom of Heaven directed by Ridley Scott. I loved the visuals of the movie and the story, but the plot didn't seem to hang together somehow and I came away from the theatre thinking that something, that I couldn't put my finger on, was missing. For a start there was little explanation at the beginning of the movie as to why the main character Balian (played by the gorgeous Orlando Bloom) was so morose. Also, although he was only a blacksmith, he suddenly magically acquired sword fighting skills. And his romance with Sibylla was glossed over somewhat even though it seemed pertinent to the plot.

It was only later, while I was writing Templar Prize, that I got to see the director's cut of the movie. I knew, as many reviewers then pointed out, that this was the cut that SHOULD have been released in the cinema, it had a depth and breadth that had been missing from the short cut. The added 45 minutes turned it from an okay movie into a great movie. I viewed Orlando's performance again and realised how unfair the critics had been to him when they had criticised his portrayal of Balian. In this cut he'd got it just right. He was a regular guy, living through the tragedy of losing his wife when fate caught him up in its cruel grip and forced him to follow the father he'd never known to the Holy Land. There he became not only a great warrior but a hero of the Christians as well, If you've not seen the director's cut it is definitely worth watching it.

All of this contributed in some way to the creation of Templar Prize and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

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