Courage and Heroism

Neil Jopson

Author: Neil Jopson

In The Siege of Laronto there are a lot of great courageous characters. What was your inspiration for creating the main characters in this story?

I used a collection of different historical characters as my starting point, and then added my interpretation of them. Mathilda was a mixture of Elizabeth I and Boudica, as well as a couple of strong females whom I know! If I’m honest, I have had a lot more ideas for her character development, which I hope to follow through in the sequels.

The knights and baron were based on a collection of knights who were gallivanting around during the middle ages, particularly influenced by the Crusades. The king of Valecia, as well as the archbishop and merchants were influenced by the age of Spanish exploration and the Conquistadors. I hope that a sense of greed and intrigue came through in those passages. Wirlwin is more of a Marco Polo character, as will become clear in the next book, which follows the events of his next mission.

Juan was probably my favourite character. He took the role of the ordinary person in history, one who is as every bit as courageous as the ‘great’ men and women, but is often forgotten in the retelling of the story. It was a very deliberate decision to make him a member of the original inhabitants of the island.

Why did you want this story to circle around the siege of this one city? How did it play into the development of the characters?

Laronto itself was based on Lanzarote (you can see where the name came from!) in the Canary islands; a volcanic island with a history of eruptions. The sieges of Rhodes and Malta were used as templates for the action. I hoped to create an intense atmosphere, where not only the lives of the protagonists were threatened, but also their entire way of life. Hence the desperate decision to send Wirlwin to Valecia.

 The Siege of Laronto, I felt, was about death, honor, and war. What is one thing that you hope readers take away from the story?

In the age of the anti-hero, I would like to think that I have shown to some extent that courage and heroism do not spring fully formed from an individual; but are created by our reaction to events as they occur. There is also an attempt to show how honour is a subject thing, and it can be gained, lost, and regained by individuals.

What authors or stories served as your inspiration in creating The Siege of Laronto?

The most influential author on me for this book was probably Louis de Wohl. He’s somewhat out of fashion at the moment, but his potrayal of action and the idea of ‘chivalry’ did have some influence on the approach I took.

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The Siege of LarontoThe mighty Slavodorian army stands ready to wipe the small barony of Laronto from the face of the earth. Baron Trosh and his daughter Mathilda attempt to rally their forces before the invasion, even though they know it to be hopeless. Can Wirlwin bring help through his secret mission to the King of Valecia, or will traitors and jealousy doom Laronto from within before the fighting even starts? Meet knights and Barons, heroic peasants and treacherous servants as they fight to survive in the onslaught of the Storm of the Nations.

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About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is a book review website which consists of mostly fiction books, but we do enjoy non fiction works that we're excited about. All reviews are the reviewer’s honest opinion. We love books and read constantly (seriously, it’s an addiction). We're always open to book review requests and have aspirations of one day being sucked into the Twilight Zone episode with Burgess Meredith where all he wants to do is read, but can’t until the world ends; you know what I mean?

Posted on January 14, 2016, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.


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