Princes and Kings
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Princes & Kings
A Rose in a Thorn Bush
by Sydney Williams
In the year 1240 AD, the land of Gwynedd Wales found themselves without a leader when their king, Llywelyn the Great, died at a ripe old age. The natural successor to the king was his son Dafydd, who took on the job of ruler after his death. Soon after taking on the job he was forced to sign a treaty with the king of England and send his brother Gruffudd and his nephew Owain to England to be imprisoned in the Tower of London in exchange for keeping his land and title. His other nephew, Llywelyn, became the new head warrior after his father's imprisonment, travelling the country and patrolling the borders to the north and the south. After four years imprisonment in the Tower of London, Gruffudd died while attempting to escape from his tower cell, and his son Owain was released by the king himself. He wanted Owain to help him start a civil war in Gwynedd. Meanwhile, after finding out about his brother's death from a letter sent by his nephew Owain, Dafydd declared war on England, prompting Owain to escape Winchester Castle, where he had been recovering from his time in prison to find his brother Llywelyn and help him in the war between England and Gwynedd. During the course of the war, Dafydd was killed in battle, leaving the Welsh army without a leader. Being the brave and noble man that he was, Llywelyn called the men to him and, with his leadership, they managed to send the English packing. With the new weight of responsibility thrust upon his shoulders, Llywelyn rode home at the head of the army to find that his world had changed. Now not only was his father gone but his mother as well, and the land of Gwynedd was once again without a leader. It became clear that the best man for the job was Llywelyn himself, and he decided that there was nothing else to do but become the new ruler. He would do anything to keep his people safe, even if that meant taking on a responsibility that he felt he was too young for. He would never abandon his people for anything and let the English take everything from him.
Chapter 2: Sanctuary in Flight
The town of Aberfraw Castle in the Valley of Clwyd Snowdonia, Gwynedd, Wales in the year 1240 AD
Feeling the need for a hot bath, and a good meal, he started walking down the hallway towards his room. It had been a hard day, but he didn’t plan to stay at home for long. In the morning, he decided he would head into the Welsh countryside to get away and clear his head. Whenever he was troubled, he would take his horse, Arling, and ride off, he didn’t care where, sometimes for weeks at a time until he felt clear enough in both body and mind to return home once more. He had always found the fresh air a balm to his nerves when he was upset over something that had been said or done that he had no control over. He had learned a long time ago that when he was feeling like blowing up it was better just to leave and go away for a while until he felt like himself again. Owain talked about him being reasonable and diplomatic, but in reality he was just as angry and confused as his brother most of the time. He just chose to take himself away and work through his feelings rather than let them burst out of him in anger at random.
He smiled at the thought of his horse. Arling was his pride and joy. He had raised her from a small filly and had trained her himself. Now she was one of the best warhorses in the land, never shying away from danger, and Llywelyn trusted her to carry him through any battle. She was always a brave companion wherever he went, and he always grateful to have her by his side.
Reaching his bedroom door, Llywelyn opened it and went inside. Sitting by the fire was his man-servant Olan, busy cleaning one of his many surcoats. A smallish man, Olan made up for his lack of height with a muscular body. His short black hair, and deep-set lake blue eyes, seemed to see everything, giving him an-other-worldly appearance. This ability to see through any situation had come in handy more than once over the years. He looked up when the door opened and saw Llywelyn standing there dripping wet from the rain. Upon seeing him, Olan put down the surcoat and stood up, giving him a small bow. Llywelyn smiled at him.“Very funny Olan,” he said. Olan smiled back.
About The Author
Sydney has a big imagination and has been writing and performing from a young age. After going blind from Leukemia at the age of three, she found release from the medical part of her life through her music and her writing. In high school she excelled in English and history and after she left school she continued to write and to create her music. She formed her band, The Undercurrents with her best friend and drummer, Alex Nacci at the age of 22 and has been playing music with the band ever since.
Her book, Princes and Kings, is her first professional novel and it is book one of the historical fiction series she is writing titled, A Rose in A Thorn Bush about the last king of Wales. She was introduced to her main character in high school and with the encouragement of her Business Abilities coach she finely decided to write his story. Splitting the story into three books. Sydney has always enjoyed reading historical fiction and has found it an interesting genre to write in. After her series is finished she plans to continue writing about different historical British characters for as long as she can. Being Welsh on her father's side and Scottish and English on her mother's Britain is a place that interests her greatly and she has enjoyed writing about one of its characters. Giving her a chance to explore her heritage in a fun and exciting way and she looks forward to sharing her passion for the genre and the history of the British Isles with the world.
Q&A With The Author
When did you first consider yourself to be a writer?
I think the first time I really considered myself to be a writer was when I wrote my book, Princes and Kings. When I published it and saw it begin to generate sales I truly felt like an author.
What advice do you have for a new writer?
For any aspiring writer, write from the heart. The saying, “write what you know,” is true. If you write what you are passionate about it will come out in your writing.
What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
I have always had a big imagination, so writing characters and their stories has always come fairly easy for me. I also find writing dialog to be fun and easy because as a blind person, the more dialog the better both in a book as well as in a film or a TV show.
What is your favourite part of this story?
I like so many parts of the story. But I think if I had to pick one, it would be the scene with the character, Owain, my main character’s older brother and their father, Gruffudd. When Gruffudd tries to escape their cell in The Tower of London and dies in the process. Writing the dialog for that scene was challenging in a good way and writing the emotions that Owain felt while he sat over his father’s body was some of the most interesting writing I did for this book.
Which character was the most fun to write about? Why?
I loved writing about so many characters in this book. The main character, Llywelyn was very interesting and fun to write about, but I also enjoyed writing about his older brother Owain. He was hot headed and tended to speak out when it would be better to keep quiet; where Llywelyn was much more diplomatic and level headed. It was what made him such a good leader.
Which character was the hardest to write about? Why?
Rhodri, Llywelyn’s youngest brother was difficult to write about because there wasn’t much about him in the notes I was working with. That being said, there wasn’t much more about his second youngest brother, Dafydd either. So I would have to say they were both the hardest characters to write because I had to use my imagination mostly to create them.
CONNECT WITH SYDNEY
Sydney Williams will be awarding $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.