The World of Christian Cameron

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A Word From Our Sponsor

Monday, September 17th, 2012

I’d like to thank all of you who are buying my books.

No, seriously! The sales the last two weeks have been—wonderful. I really appreciate it, and I hope they satisfy, and I really hope that you tell all your historically-minded friends and they buy even more!

I thought that I would use this space to tell you what’s coming, and when, as there are so many books in the pipeline. First, the Tom Swan series is available in the US and UK, and virtually everywhere else. there will be one novella a month until people stop buying them. They seem to have launched rather well. The Tom Swan books are set in mid-15th c. Italy and Greece and have a maximum of swordplay and roguery, and are a little different from my past writing. A little more Georg McDonald Fraser, if you like.

In October, God of War becomes available in paperback.

In January, Destroyer of Cities, (Tyrant 5) becomes available in the UK and Europe. Yes, it is about the Siege of Rhodes. I hope you like it!

In May, ‘Ill-Made Knight'(Chivalry 1) becomes available in the UK. This series is set in England, France, and Italy in the period from Poitiers to Azincourt, and follows a single man-at-arms from childhood to the end of his martial career—which will include serving with John Hawkwood in Italy, with the Green Count against the Turks…

In August 2013, Long War 4 will appear, about Thermopylae and Artemesium.

If Tom Swan continues to do well, I’ll use the E-format to fill in some back story for Tyrant (with Philokles and Diodorus) and for Long War, showing everal encounters from the Persian side…

Finally, I have a couple of side projects, including a graphic novel set in Neal Stevenson’s Mongoliad multi-verse, and a ‘secret’ project which will be out later this year…

Honestly, friends, I can’t write any faster. Read well!

Ah, and while we’re on the subject of reading well… a couple of heartfelt plugs. Matt Heppe’s ‘Eternal Knight’ is a fantasy story with excellent characters, strongly drawn fight scenes, lots of good archery… I loved it. And Mike Puttre’s ‘Outre Mer’ was, I thought, the best piece of Space Opera I read this year. Gritty, with real complexity to its politics and struggles that make the plot sing along. And finally, Peter Fuller’s ‘Valley of the White Giants’ (on Lulu) is great fun. Peter’s thorough knowledge of both the wilderness and the world of the Vikings made me love this. Peter is a master armourer, and his books shows the kind of patient craftsmanship that I value.

And as a final plug, if you love Chivalry and you haven’t read Richard Kaeuper’s ‘Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe.’ you should.

Enter Alexander

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Who was Alexander? Why write a book about him? Why is history interesting?

History is interesting — and important, even vital — for the same reason that your personal history is vital to you. Every one of us is the sum total of all our successes and failures — every good and bad decision we’ve ever made, piled atop those our parents made. And we talk about ourselves and our experiences, constantly. Just look at Facebook!

History — the study of history — is to a nation and a people, what life experience is to an individual. Failure to understand that history will inevitably lead us to make the same miscalculations that we make when confronted with another person’s personal issues and traumas. It is impossible to understand Nazi Germany without understanding the 30 Year’s War of the seventeenth century and Bismarck in the nineteenth — and a host of other causes. It is impossible to understand the world we live in now — and especially the troublesome world of terrorism and violence — without knowing the history behind it. So called “political science” has very little to offer without the rich compendium of truths and half-truths of the raw data of history — mostly because there’s very little science to human politics and a great deal of raw emotion and suffering.

Enter Alexander. Alexander is one of the most important figures of history—at least in the west. He really lived. He really conquered a great deal of the world. He really changed history. By doing so, he created himself as a god and affected everything from Pop culture icons to religion — affects which not only linger but resound to this very day. When early Christians wanted icons of the risen Saviour, they copied pictures of Alexander. When, about the same time, Julius Caesar looked for a hero to emulate in a much more vainglorious and worldly way — he chose Alexander. Our notions of what masculine beauty is — our notions of what fame is — our very notions of what conquest, and victory in war are — all owe something to Alexander.

What is it about Greece?

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Ten years ago this May, my wife and I were married at Fort York. We took our honeymoon on the Greek island of Lesvos (home of the word “Lesbian”) off the coast of what is now Turkey. I had taken Classics in University (a long time ago) and I knew a thing or two about Greek history. Or so I thought.

What is it about Greece? Looking at the Parthenon from the rooftop bar of the Attalos Hotel — lit with spotlights on a soft spring night — was beyond romantic. It was ethereal, graceful, the very soul of ancient wisdom, and also of history and democracy, two things in which I believe very strongly. Then, over the next three weeks, we wandered around Lesvos and saw marvel after marvel — a castle built on Bronze Age Foundations that rises, era by era, through Classical Greece and Rome and into Byzantine, Frankish, and Turkish occupation — a military monument to the passage of empires; the Archaic city of Mythymna, casually abandoned out the back of our hotel for our exploration; the Archaic city of Eressos, and Sappho’s citadel, a short hike away; a Bronze Age pier, built with giant stones the size of sheds, laid together perfectly and still functioning as a sea wall, four thousand years later.

There’s no end of it. I sat in waterfront cafes with my wife, and decided (like many thousands of philhellenes before me) that someone should write about all of this. But I decided that, instead of writing a modern novel, like James Chatto’s Greek for Love (which we read in situ) I’d write something I’d always fancied — an historical novel.

In fact, I wrote six novels before I got to write one about Lesvos and Chios — the Tyrant series. Although Lesvos creeps into many of them, they are, in the main, about the fascination intersection of Greek and Nomadic cultures around the Black Sea. The publishing industry has its own rhythms that can influence, or even dictate, the course of an author’s work. And at the end of the Tyrant series, as I’d started back in time to the Archaic, I was asked to write a book on Alexander.


Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

We all know that things on the internet are wrong. Since I know that’s no surprise to any of you, here’s what I ask, in the name of history. Before you post a quote—check it. It takes about 15 seconds to use google or any other browser. That’s how long it took me to 1) find that the Washington mis-quote on arms was bogus, 2) disprove the Pelossi office assertion on budgets, and 3) skewer the latest anti-Obama distortion. Politicians and their offices lie. We don’t have to help them. If we’re going to shout our political views in an election year, let’s at least get the historical facts as close to correct as can be managed.

I think what annoys me the most if people who WILLFULLY distort history. it is not enough to mis-quote a famous person—let’s be offended when called on it! George Washington didn’t say that Americans needed privately owned arms to defend their liberties, because he didn’t believe anything of the kind. He was willing to use Federal troops to break the Whiskey Rebellion, and he forbade his commanders to retreat into the back country in the winter of 1776 lest the ‘little people’ gain too much control of the revolution. He was a great man—and he was an arrogant aristocrat.

Thomas Paine, now—he probably said anything you need him to have said—about anything.