#SWauthors #History #Childrensauthor
Name: Victoria Zigler, or Tori for short.
Tell us a bit about yourself I’m a blind vegetarian poet and children’s author. Born and raised near the foot of the Black Mountains of South-West Wales, UK, I now live very close to the town of Hastings on the South-East coast of England, UK. I share my home with my Canadian husband, and our gang of rodents (which currently consists of 3 degus, 1 gerbil, 2 rats, and 2 chinchillas) and spend most of my time either reading or writing.
Set during the Battle of Hastings tell us a little more about your story
My Battle of Hastings story is about a young boy named Eadweard who, along with his best friend, Cerdic, thought it would be fun to join the ranks of men marching to fight in the battle, even though they officially aren’t old enough and had been forbidden to do so by their Fathers. They have dreams of being great war heroes, but soon discover the reality of war is nothing like what they imagined it to be.
It’s a children’s historical fiction story, but I’ve put an “eight years and older” warning on the book’s blurb, because some of the scenes in the story really aren’t suitable for readers younger than that, in my opinion. After all, it is a story about a battle, and I can’t show the reality of war without showing some violence and blood.
What prompted you to write this one?
I wanted to branch out and try other genres, and this year being the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings inspired me to write a story about the battle. I quickly decided that I wanted to tell the story of the events of the battle reasonably accurately – as much as can be done without a time machine, which I don’t have access to, unfortunately. But I also wanted the story to be from the point of view of someone who wasn’t some famous war hero. Part of my preference for someone who wasn’t a great war hero was because I wanted the person to be a child, and part of it was because I wanted fighting to be new to him. I wanted to tell the story of the battle, while at the same time showing that war isn’t the amazing adventure some people think it to be. I also wanted the book to be suitable for middle grade readers, which is why it needed to be a young lad who was the main character. After looking up everything I could find on the battle, and letting those thoughts simmer in my mind for a couple of months, I sat down to write the story, and “Eadweard – A Story Of 1066” is the result. To my knowledge, Eadweard and Cerdic themselves never existed. However, boys like them would have, and the battle itself was very real.
How much research was involved? I already knew some of the details of the battle, partially from doing an essay on it during the time I was homeschooled in my teens, and partially because I live not far from Hastings, and it’s almost impossible to live close to Hastings and not know one or two facts (especially when you have an interest in history, as well as random facts, so pay attention to those kinds of things). However, I still made sure to spend plenty of time researching my facts as accurately as possible. I also happen to be very close to someone who is a huge history buff, a fellow writer, and essentially a walking encyclopaedia, so I asked him if he’d be a beta reader for me. Thankfully, he agreed, so was able to help me out with anything I wasn’t sure about.
What was the most fascinating thing you learned from this experience?
I’m really not sure how to answer this one. I found the whole thing fascinating; I like history.
Who do you think is one of the most important historical figures in British history?
I think the most important person in history is whoever figured out how to create and manipulate fire, because fire is the most useful thing in the world. It doesn’t matter if you benefit from the things fire does for us directly by sitting in front of a roaring blaze, or indirectly by benefiting from the power that’s caused by a chain reaction started by burning some kind of fuel, if you’re a human being, chances are you’ll be benefiting from fire in your daily life… Especially in extremely cold weather. Although, not quite as much as you might have had Thomas Edison not figured out about electricity.
Who do you believe to be the rightful claimant – William or Harold Godwinson? Why?
I think Harold is the rightful claimant. I know William believes Harold promised him the throne, but it’s William’s word against Harold’s on that one. Besides, even if he did, Harold was given the crown by people who held enough authority that their choice to do so was accepted. As far as I’m concerned, that’s that; once he’s king, he’s king. If everyone thought that way though, the battle wouldn’t have happened, and neither would many others throughout history.
What other books have you written?
How long have you got? Haha! No, I really mean it! OK, I’ll summarize: to date, I’ve published seven poetry collections and 42 stories of various lengths (including “Eadweard – A Story Of 1066” and the story that was published in the “Wyrd Worlds II” anthology). My “Kero’s World” and “Degu Days Duo” books are semi-fictionalized stories based on the lives of my actual pets, my “Magical Chapters Trilogy” and “Zeena Dragon Fae” books are fantasy stories, my “Toby’s Tales” books are based on my own adjustments after losing my sight, “My Friends Of Fur And Feather” and “Rodent Rhymes And Pussycat Poems” are pet themed poetry collections written for and about real pets I’ve owned or known, the rest of my poetry books are random collections of poetry, all my stand alone stories are aimed at children of middle grade reading level or younger and cover a few different genres (though they’re mainly fantasy stories, fairy tales, animal stories, or some combination of the three) and my story in “Wyrd Worlds II” is a fantasy story. I have plans for plenty more in the near future.
Who are you? Tell us about yourself.
My name is Eadweard, and I’m nine years old, though I’m tall for my age, so look a little older. My Father isn’t a rich lord, but we have enough money to live comfortably, and for my Father to have two sets of armour. His new armour is much nicer than the old stuff, but the old armour is still in good enough condition that he kept it for me; he says I’ll grow in to it properly one day.
What faith do you hold? Are you devout?
I’m no priest, nor do I plan to become one. I believe in God though, of course, and say my prayers.
What is your moral code?
My Father always taught me that a warrior should be prepared to die to defend their leader and loved ones.
Would you die for your beliefs?
I don’t actually want to die. I know I should be prepared to do so, but that doesn’t mean I want it to happen. If I’m going to die though, I want it to be in a way that will bring honour to my family, and make my Father proud of me.
Would you kill for them?
I would try to. Though that’s not as easy to do as it looks. It turns out fighting with practice swords is a lot easier than fighting in a real battle.
How did you become embroiled in this battle for the crown?
Well… *Looks guilty* I wasn’t supposed to be involved. My Father said I wasn’t ready for battle, and ordered me to stay home. My best friend, Cerdic, was told the same by his Father. We disobeyed though, and found a way to join the ranks of marching men. You won’t tell our Fathers, will you?
Honestly – who do you think is the rightful claimant?
King Harold is the rightful claimant, of course. The Witon said he should be King, and they wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true, would they?
Were you afraid during the battles?
I tried to pretend I wasn’t, so the others wouldn’t think me a coward, but I was afraid throughout most of the battle. I’m pretty sure Cerdic was too. Part of my fear was fear of what my Father would do if he found out I’d disobeyed him and found a way to join the battle after all, and part of it was the actual battle itself.
Have you a family?
I’m my parents’ eldest child. I have three younger siblings. My eldest sister is only a year younger than me, and often helps our Mother to keep an eye on our younger brother and sister, who are hardly more than babies.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to have already shown my skill in battle, and gained enough notice as a great warrior that my heroic deeds are rewarded. That would make my Father proud. Then he won’t be quite so angry that I disobeyed him when he said I wasn’t ready to join a real battle.
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717
Buy links for “Eadweard – A Story Of 1066”
Also available from other sites Smashwords distributes to… Paperback coming soon!