|Author Jacky Gray|
If anyone had told me five years ago I would be spending great chunks of my time dressed as a medieval lady (complete with custom-made sword, Acorn), I’d have thought, “Yeah, and…?” I’ve been doing dress-up for decades and my favourite outfit was definitely Xena Warrior Princess.
If they told me I would be doing this in the company of Knights in Shining Armour, Vikings and Pirates, I’d have said, “Bring it!” These are definitely my kind of people. Along with Faeries, Witches and many other delightful re-enactors I’ve met while signing books at Renaissance and Spiritual Fayres all over the UK.
What an Adventure!
I watched my first live joust in Las Vegas’ Excalibur, of all places. I’ve subsequently watched many more. They run every day at Warwick Castle, and the cheers can be heard in my dad’s back garden. Little wonder I have warrior blood in me, but it wasn’t activated until I watched Kevin Hicks loose one hundred arrows into a piece of rope the size of a man’s head in five minutes. On that day, my character Archer appeared, suggesting I tell his story. As a 35-year-old, he was involved in a complex, military thriller (never released), but the more he revealed about the alternate, quasi-medieval world he’d grown up in, the more I wanted to tell that story instead.
Archer showed me his incredible life as a teenager and eighteen days (or more accurately nights) later, I had a complete teen-fantasy novel. Over the next year, he introduced me to a number of his friends, and four more books were drafted. It took a while to get them professionally edited/covers designed, with the fourth book released last November, and the next two awaiting edits. The seventh (final?) is temporarily on hold while answering the demands of readers hungry for sequels in an adult series. Hopefully, in the New Year, I’ll be able to see how the final story plays out. Really not delaying it because I don’t want it to end – that would be silly.
Meantime, three books all have swanky new covers, courtesy of the incredibly talented Rebecca Sterling I’m pretty sure these have contributed to both Archer and Slater reaching the number one slot in the Amazon Bestsellers lists for Children’s Ancient Civilisations. And for Archer being read in ten different countries and appearing on bestsellers lists in four of them in one day.
The second book, Rory, drags Archer away from his comfort zone to meet rude, stroppy teens in modern-day England, where he is subjected to way more than just poor manners and bad attitudes. But, being Archer, his courage and integrity help him prevail until he meets his worse adversary yet – the foul-mouthed Mandy.
Re-released on 11th July with added detail and a fun new scene, Rory is available at only 99cents/99p for the next two weeks. Read more about it here.