The Comrades of Honor Series:
Historical-Fiction portraying courage and honor
in the Middle Ages
When Rebekah asked me to do a guest post, I must admit I was delighted with the prospect. She asked me how I got started with writing and my medieval trilogy, The Comrades of Honor Series. The answer is a journey, one that spans nearly ten years!
My interest in writing started when I was about ten or eleven, although I didn’t become serious about it until I was thirteen. I didn’t start off writing medieval fiction, but Civil War era fiction. It didn’t take long before my interests grew inclined towards chivalrous knighthood!
I started some research and came to develop an interest in squires. They seemed my type–the dashing, hard working lads who made their knights look good and served them faithfully. To my surprise, I couldn’t find a book about them! (Unless you consider one particular series, which is entirely fantastical and unhistorical.) It didn’t make sense.
How could you not have a book about the very backbone of knighthood?
Worse still, I quickly came to discover that there are very few historical-fiction books out there which portray the Middle Ages as it was. They always seemed full of fantasy, overly-romantic ideas about chivalry, gory violence, or the errors media has placed on the medieval days. So, about the age of thirteen, I set out to write my own book on the subject. To Birmingham Castle was born!
Years of editing, research, rewriting, and a lot of learning followed. I studied the classics and the Middle Ages, hoping to someday, somehow create a book like that of H. R. Haggard or Florence Kingsley.
Then, one day, reality snapped.
I wasn’t getting my story out there. Oh, my dream was to be a published author, but I wasn’t making it happen. God gave me a story and I wasn’t sharing it!
Skipping over the separate adventure of how I found my publisher, my publishing consultant Mark expressed what I was already feeling. He spoke about how my manuscript was important, how I needed to get into the hands of readers.
That was a year and a half ago.
Today, praise God, I have two published books and an additional published novella (exclusively on Kindle). The books are the first two installments in The Comrades of Honor Series. The novella, God of Her Fathers, is a historical-fiction novella about the old west.
The first two installments of my series are To Birmingham Castle: A Tale of Friendship and Adventure and In Search of Adventure: A Tale of Courage and Devotion. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but let’s just say the books are full of adventure, peril, honorable knights, beautiful ladies, devoted squires, cute little pages, and just enough enemies to keep you guessing! The third and final book should, Lord willing, come out in 2014.
I don’t believe in sacrificing morals to create a fast-paced story. But neither do I believe in creating a boring, preachy book either! I wove godly principles, facts, and hair-raising escapades together, hoping to give you a fun adventure while still getting a historical taste of the Middle Ages.
I’ve gotten a number of positive reviews, but there are several quotes in particular that I feel details my desires for my series.
About To Birmingham Castle: This was truly an exciting and well-crafted story. It reads like a classic. The language was beautiful – impeccable dialogue of the “thou wilt” variety, but very easy to understand. I took my time reading it and basked in the medieval English world of Robert, Strephon and Brandon, each a wonderful companion to have along. I was sorry when it ended – this is the kind of book that could on and on and not get wearisome. The characters were very real – they were committed to doing the right thing but did make mistakes, so they were easy to relate to. There were so many inspiring and heroic parts! It portrays the true, heart-touching meaning of chivalry: men who defend the defenseless from the dangerous world around them, who display sacrificial love like Christ did. This would be a great read for all ages; boys especially would get a whole lot out of the description of knighthood. I wish my brother and I had had this book when we were studying medieval times in our school years!
Similar reviews have been made about In Search of Adventure.
All I can say is: God has been good. I’ve gotten some attention across the US and a wee bit more in England, and I’ve been compared to classical authors like George Alfred Henty and Howard Pyle. It’s all through Him.
Like many others, I hope you too will be inspired to check into The Comrades of Honor Series. Experience the Middle Ages. Live the adventure.
For Birmingham Castle!
You can visit my website at www.thecomradesofhonorseries.weebbly.com and my blog at www.aliciaannewillis.blogspot.com. At either site, feel free to contact me and/or sign up for my monthly newsletter, Little Corners. I look forward to hearing from you!
From the publisher:
Alicia A. Willis is a home-school graduate and avid historian. From an early age, she has had the desire to write family-friendly, accurate books about the past. She has authored two historical novels and anticipates the Lord leading her on to many more writing projects in the future. When not writing or doing endless historical research, she enjoys being a church pianist and teaching music. She and her family live in New Mexico.
Note from Rebekah: I hope you all enjoyed our guest today! Christmas is coming soon in December, so these exciting books could be a great gift for someone you love (or even yourself 😉 )!