Saturday, 22 March 2014

Interview - The Glorious SA Meade

This. You MUST read it!
SA Meade is one of those writers who touches my soul. I don’t think I can adequately explain how her words make me feel, but there’s such quality to them, such richness, that I wish everyone would read her just so they can drown in the wonderment of her beautifully written books. She has a trait that I love—putting in little touches of everyday life about the weather, surroundings, and the noises we take for granted, like birds twittering. They add depth and make me feel as though I’m really there. A line or two in her books always stands out for me every time she has a new one out, and I sit and say, “Wow!” because they’re just that good. My current favourite is where the rain mumbles on the windowpane. Mumbles—what an absolutely perfect description. I love it and will remember it forever.

So, without further ado, I welcome this tremendously talented woman to my blog—and aren’t I lucky, she’s also one of my best friends. A funny, down-to-earth lady who I can’t imagine not emailing every day. 

Welcome, oh glorious one! What inspired you to write Tournament of Shadows? I adored it. 5 stars and then some, missus! 100 stars. One THOUSAND! Here, have a galaxy of the buggers.

Image from:

Back in 1994, I went on a holiday which followed the route of one of the old Silk Roads, from northern Pakistan into China and Central Asia. One of the stops on the tour was Bukhara. Our tour guide had a copy of Peter Hopkirk's The Great Game and, while our tiny tour bus was parked in front of the imposing walls of The Ark, she read an extract detailing the sad fate of Stoddart and Connolly. The story stuck with me and I bought a copy of the book and read it from cover to cover. There are so many great stories wrapped up in what Rudyard Kipling christened 'The Great Game' and the Russians called 'Tournament of Shadows'.

Ah, so I see where the title came from now. Jolly splendid! How much time did research swallow up? 

I can't say I kept track. I did most of the research as I went along. Some of it was a little tricky because there's not a lot of information that I could find about the Russians in that part of the world at that time. Google Earth was an invaluable tool when it came to researching the terrain.

Banditz! This haz Banditz!
Oooh, and that brings me nicely to this question. My fave scene is with the bandits. You got the setting over so very well. What was your fave scene to write?

Haaa! That was a hard scene to write. I don't 'do' action scenes easily. I think the 'epilogue' was my favourite, because it was my own answer to a curious thing that happened years after the execution. 

Well, you do action very well. I can still see your men in that scene. The heat, the fear. Yes, you’re damn good at that kind of thing. So, will you be writing another book set in a similar time and place in the future?

I'd like to (Em: Huzzah! Just what I wanted to hear!). There's so many interesting accounts from the 19th century 'Great Game' that it would be a shame not to think about doing another. 

I agree. Plus it means we get to read more of your boootiful words. Now it’s bean-spilling time. Spill the whole can, sista! What are you currently writing?

I'm working on the first book of a contemporary m/m series. It's getting there...slowly. 

Oooh, I’m lucky in that I know what these are about, and let me tell you, I can’t bloody WAIT! Thank you very much for having a natter here today, and I look forward to having you back again!

If you'd like to purchase Tournament of Shadows, it's available in ebook HERE and print HERE.

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