Today I am interviewing Rachel Atwood, author of the new fantasy novel, Walk the Wild with Me.
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DJ: For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Rachel Atwood: I fell in love with history as a small child. At first it was the costumes and horses; knights in shining armor, enchanted me. Then I saw the old Disney cartoon “The Sword in the Stone,” and I became enchanted with the whole Arthurian adventure. Somewhere in there I was introduced to the highly romanticized adventures of Robin Hood and his Merry Men with Richard Greene on TV. I’ve written straight historical works, (Magna Bloody Carta: A Turning Point in Democracy, under my legal name Phyllis Irene Radford) but I much prefer writing history with enchantments. Currently I live in the foothills of Mt. Hood in Oregon with protected wetland forest ten feet outside my office window. It is not hard for me to imagine myself on the edge of Sherwood Forest looking in on the adventures I write.
When I’m not writing I enjoy line dancing. Having grown up in a ballet studio, I cannot, not dance, so if we are at the same SF/F convention you might find me dancing in a local fountain. In another lifetime I was a seamstress and a lacemaker. Who knows what hobby I’ll fall into next. It’s all fodder for the fiction mill.
DJ: What is Walk the Wild with Me about?
Rachel: 1208-1215 A.D. the Church in Rome divorced King John of England, and King John divorced the Church. There was no one tell people that the fae Wild Folk of the forest did not exist, so they are free to come out and play. Our hero, Nicholas is an orphan who knows no other life than in an abbey. He frequently gets into trouble because when helping illuminate manuscripts he can’t help adding weird faces into the flowing illustrations. Then, with the help of a pagan goddess enshrined in an ancient cup, he stumbles into the woods one day and discovers another whole aspect of life. He makes friends with the wild folk and has adventures while exploring.
DJ: What were some of your influences for Walk the Wild with Me?
Rachel: I’ve studied British Folklore forever. The Green Man, dryads, sylphs, water sprites, and even trolls feel like my neighbors. I’ve also sung some Gregorian Chants in church choirs. Why shouldn’t I combine the two? Continue reading