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The Comedy That Inspires Me

Grahame Fleming Author Interview

The Blood of the Bear is a humorous telling of the classic story of King Arthur and adds in more information than the original telling. What was the inspiration for writing a humorous version of this story?

I love reading books that make me laugh out loud. I love watching comedy on TV or in film. It’s always been very natural for me to want to make others laugh too. I think the humour of The Blood of the Bear exists on a few different levels. First, the lead character of Artos exists in a fairly impoverished world. I think when people grow up in a community where daily life is hard and full of toil, then a natural humour develops to help them cope with their situation. Second, I included some scenes and situations in the book that are just for fun. I’m thinking particularly of the chapter dedicated to a crime scene investigation, which I laughed at while writing, so I hope readers of the book enjoy it too. Third, I tried to create a style of humour that is heavily influenced by the comedy that inspires me; the books of Tom Sharpe, Spike Milligan, and the work of the team that were Monty Python (including the Holy Grail film). I hope if you like any of the above then you’ll also like The Blood of the Bear.

What was your favorite scene in this story?

I think it’s hard to pick one out, but there’s a small scene which is simply a conversation between the Merlin and the leader of the Rheged tribe, Urien. When I wrote it, I was pleased with the tone and the mood and as a result it probably has remained closer to its original draft rather than other scenes.

What is one thing that you hope the reader takes away from The Blood of the Bear?

I simply hope they enjoy the story and that it lightens their day. I hope they grow to love the characters enough to want to join them in future adventures.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available

No big shocks here! The Blood of the Bear volume 2 is being drafted now. I’m aiming to launch it by March 2023, a year after the original book. The story moves further south to an area stretching between Wales and the North Yorkshire Moors, and it will involve dragons!

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

An irreverant tale of an Arthurian magnificent seven setting out on their first adventures.

Swords, magic, murder, old gods versus new, some petty theft, and an unhealthy over-consumption of mead all play their part in this historical tale of a band of heroes caught up in ‘The Prophecy’.
It’s the late 5th century and the Roman legions have packed up and went home from Britannia, mainly because of the horrible weather. The land is divided amongst petty kings who wage war on their neighbours, write nothing down, and murder their relatives regularly, all in an effort to keep the dark ages as dark as possible.
Into this time of myth and legend comes Artos, a young shepherd and levy man whose life is going rapidly downhill. Almost killed in battle, encountering a banshee, and catastrophically failing in his duties to his tyrannical lord, Duncan MacForres, means that it’s finally time to (hastily) leave home for a better future, hopefully under the big city torches of Camulodunum.
Faked deaths, faked rebirths, and prophetic visions of the sword, Excalibur, help to reveal that Artos may be destined for more success than even he has imagined. On the advice of the local witch, he sets out on a quest to find the reclusive Merlin before embarking on a medieval, horse powered road trip.
If you like your witches to be essentially good with a dark sense of humour, your water nymphs to be feisty and full of their own self-importance, and your horses magically enchanted with just a touch of stubborn, then welcome to an alternative telling of the classic story of King Arthur, before he was king, and even before he was Arthur.
Will Artos get the mystical sword?
Who is Lancelot’s mother?
And why did Morganna get such a bad press from the fake news of monastic media?

The Blood of the Bear answers all these questions and more.

The Blood of the Bear

The Blood of the Bear, by Grahame Fleming, is the story of Artos, who will one day become Arthur. This novel brings a new take on Arthurian legend but still brings the familiar characters to ground the reader in this tale. It’s a tale of witches, honor, prophecy fulfillment, and coming of age. This novel is meant to be a humorous version of the story of King Arthur and readers will find this take refreshing and unique.

I am a fan of King Arthur and Arthurian legend. Fleming brought a new view to a subject I love while retaining some familiarity with the legend. In Fleming’s tale, we follow Artos as he begins his journey to become Arthur, the legendary King of Britannia. We also meet Merlin, Morganna, and Lancelot. There are also new characters for us to love and hate.

There are places where Fleming tells instead of shows us what’s going on. Just drop me into the action and let me see the story. Another thing that distracted me was when Fleming dropped from third person to second person. It pulled me out of the story. Some of the dialogue didn’t feel natural to me. However, the storyline and action scenes were well written.

I enjoyed reading this rendition of the Arthurian legend. One part that stands out is that a good portion of the story is dedicated to Duncan MacForres; it is not just about Artos. I would have loved to have seen more about Artos’s growth through the story, but having a diverse character base can make that more challenging.

The Blood of the Bear is only the beginning of Artos’s story; there is still much for him to learn before he becomes king. While this story wrapped up its story goal well, it left much room for more to happen in future books. I’m interested in reading the next book.

Pages: 513 | ASIN : B09HNX63YW

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