Today on The Tattooed Book Geek I am pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for The 13th Witch (The King’s Watch #1) by Mark Hayden with a guest post courtesy of the author himself.
My thanks to Anne Cater for the tour invite, Mark Hayden and Paw Press.
The 13th Witch (The King’s Watch #1).
- Paperback: 200 pages
- Publisher: Paw Press (25 Aug. 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1999821211
- ISBN-13: 978-1999821210
- Amazon UK
Did you know that the gods can use mobile phones?
They can, and Odin has a message for Conrad
Conrad Clarke, former RAF pilot and alleged gangster gets a text – and a visit – from The Allfather.
Odin has a challenge for Conrad: sign up to protect England from wild magick and get a commission in the King’s Watch.
All he has to do is find a missing witch. Simple.
Conrad never could resist a challenge. Before you can say “Ragnarok”, he’s plunged into a world of gods, mages, witches, dwarves and one very aggressive giant mole.
But the witch doesn’t want to be found, and powerful mages will kill to keep her hidden.
Going back isn’t an option. Going forward looks a lot like death.
Armed with nothing but a sense of humour and a willingness to cheat, Conrad has to find the Witch and save his life.
Treat yourself to a copy now and experience a whole new universe of magick. And moles…
Guest Post: Holding out for a Hero.
What do Hercule Poirot and Tyrion Lannister have in common?
On the face of it, nothing. One is a fastidious, religious, asexual Belgian and the other is a randy, duplicitous, patricidal dwarf. What could it be?
That’s right. They’re both men, and they’re both heroes…
And before you say anything about female heroes, that’s a subject for another post. I have written a book where the heroics were shared out on an equal opportunity basis, but for King’s Watch, I knew the hero was going to be a man.
It’s a truism because it’s true, but male and female readers have different responses to heroes (I’m sure you can work it out). If your readers are going to relate to your book, both men and women need something to admire in your hero. They don’t have to love everything about him, but there has to be something that sets your hero apart.
But is that enough?
You can admire Poirot’s little grey cells, and you can admire his utter dedication to justice for murder victims, but neither of those makes him … epic. For epic, you need a bit of danger.
A truly great hero (and Tyrion is a greater hero than Poirot) needs something to make him just a little dangerous.
Enter the Hero…
Conrad Clarke is/was an RAF officer. From that came his first quality: he’s never lost anyone in his command.
He’s also from a long established country family, and from that came the family motto: A Clarke’s Word is Binding. When Conrad gives his word, he never breaks it.
Some of the consequences of this are obvious – he puts himself in harm’s way to protect his team and won’t lead them on a suicide mission. Other consequences are more subtle. For Conrad, a promise is absolute. It doesn’t matter to whom he’s made it, the important thing is that he has to keep it. Sometimes he has to make a promise that others would rather he didn’t keep, and that pushes his story into more dangerous and, I hope, more interesting territory.
And the danger? What else gives Conrad that little bit of danger?
At one point, someone betrays the Watch with near-fatal consequences. Conrad isn’t going to stand for that, obviously, but when he confronts the traitor, she begs for forgiveness.
‘I don’t do forgiveness,’ said Conrad. ‘I’m not a Christian. Try asking for mercy…’
From that comes the streak of ruthlessness that makes Conrad dangerous enough to be a real hero while keeping the qualities that make him admirable.
Judge for yourself in The 13th Witch, First Book of the King’s Watch. Conrad gets a leg-up into the world of magick and encounters situations where all he has to offer is his personal brand of integrity, his determination and his sense of humour.
Let me know what you think.
About Mark Hayden.
Mark Hayden is the pen name of Adrian Attwood. He lives in Westmorland with his wife, Anne.
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