08/06/2010

INTERVIEW WITH CHARLOTTE HAWKINS, AUTHOR OF "THE TEMPEST: A GUY OF GISBORNE STORY"

Charlotte Hawkins is pen-name for Sarah Pawley. She has just published a novel with a very special protagonist, one of Robin Hood’s nemesis, Guy of Gisborne. He is the protagonist this time and gets the girl in the end. It is a romance Sarah wrote partly inspired by Richard Armitage’s Gisborne.


Sarah lives near Fort Knox, Kentucky but she grew up near Chicago. She is not married and has no children, so she spend most of her free time pursuing a writing career. She admits she is hopelessly romantic.

INTERVIEW & DOUBLE GIVEAWAY
Sarah has kindly accepted to be my guests and answer some questions about her novel, The Tempest, A Guy of Gisborne Story , and especially about its protagonist.  Reading through the interview and leaving your comment and your e-mail address, two of you will have the chance to receive a brand new copy of The Tempest directly from its author! Open worldwide. Winners will be announced on Monday 14th June.

 First of all Sarah, would you mind to explain why you chose your pen name, Charlotte Hawkins? Is there any particular reason?
Charlotte is after my favorite author, Charlotte Bronte. Hawkins is after Jim Hawkins, from Treasure Island, which is one of my favorite stories. I always thought the name Hawkins had a strong sound.

Then, your choice of Gisborne, a villain, one of Robin Hood’s nemesis, as the protagonist of your novel,"The Tempest – A Guy of Gisbone Story” which is a romance. Being one of those who have Gisborne in mind as Richard Armitage, ( I have seen other RH adaptations but Gisborne was not in them), I can imagine why one can like him … ehm ... joking! What I really appreciated was the complexity this character had in BBC series, really. I’ve written enough about that here on my blog. What was that made you decide he was your hero ?
I wrote a little about this in my author’s note of my book. Here it is:
“ One villain that is not so well known is Guy of Gisborne, though he first appeared centuries ago in the early ballads and songs. He has made occasional appearances in small rolls, and there is sometimes a Guy-like character in the Robin Hood tales…a second banana who is there to suffer on behalf of the Sheriff or Prince John, or sometimes both. (Remember “Sir Hiss” in the cartoon?) There are only a few instances where the Guy character has been given a more substantial part to play, the most recent being the brilliant portrayal given by Richard Armitage. I am certainly a great fan of his, but my interest in Guy of Gisborne goes much further back, to the 1938 classic “The Adventures of Robin Hood.”

I adore Basil Rathbone (In my opinion, no one else can be Sherlock Holmes) and it was he who first turned me towards liking the bad instead of the good. No offense to the Errol Flynn fans out there, but I always wished it was Guy who got the girl instead of Robin. There’s something about those silly green tights that just bothers me.
To make a long story short, I’ve always had a weakness for the bad guys, and for once I want to tell one of their stories in a different way. I like dark, conflicted men in a story. They’re much more interesting to me than the squeaky clean heroes we all know. So here is a story about Guy of Gisborne, one of my all-time favorite villains. Yes, there will be a Sheriff of Nottingham here, along with Marian and Robin Hood, but they will only be playing a small part. This is all about Sir Guy of Gisborne, and I hope it’s a story you’ll enjoy”.

Good! I’m sure I’ll enjoy it . What’s your favourite Robin Hood adaptation ever ?
I have to confess that the Disney cartoon is my favorite. It was my first inroduction to the Robin Hood legend, so it has a special place in my heart.

 Have you seen the latest movie starring Russel Crowe? If you did , what do you think of Ridley Scott’s version?
I thought it was too dark in tone. I thought it lacked the sparkle and sense of fun that most of the Robin Hood stories have.


Let’s go back to our Guy. I’ve read fan fiction on line in which Guy succeeds in making Marian love him…. and they lived happily ever after … your choice is different, instead. Tell us something about it.
After the first season of Robin Hood, Marian lost my vote, so to speak. I thought her manipulation of Guy was very cruel, considering how he came to her aide on several occasions. I thought he needed someone better, so I decided to give him his own love and his own happily ending.

 As for Guy and Marian, if you could have written the end of BBC Robin Hood series 2 yourself, what would your finale be?
I don’t think it was in character for Guy to murder Marian. I think it would have made more sense to make her death accidental, or to have the Sheriff commit the crime.

What do you think of series 3 instead? Unexpected twists. Don’t you think so?Yes...too many. I think the writers needed to streamline the stories in the third season. It took too many directions, in my opinion, and I lost interest before it was finished.

Let’s go back to writing. You wrote other books before The Tempest. Can you tell us something about them?
“Oh, That I Had Wings” and “Finding Grace” are two literary novels that I recently wrote and published. The stories link together, one being about a young man’s escape from poverty and ignornace, and the other being about his younger sister, who takes a similar journey. Both are romantic stories, but nothing too risque. They are mostly based on stories I’ve heard throughtout my life, drawn from people and places I’ve known.

 When did you start writing? Is it a full time activity or a part-time hobby?
I’ve been writing off and on since I was a child. I’ve always had an overactive imagination, and my father is a great storyteller, so I think it rubbed off on me. Unfortunately I don’t write full-time at the moment, but I hope to do so someday.

What kind of reader are you? What are your favourite authors / genres?
I read a little bit of everything. I used to read a lot of romance novels when I was a teenager, but these days, I’m more into non-fiction, particularly books about history. Over the last few years, however, reading has taken a backseat to writing.

 I’m fond of period drama and films. What about you? Have you got any favourite ones?
I love period films. One of my most loved is “Sense and Sensibility” with Emma Thompson. I know it didn’t follow the book very closely, but I still adore it. And of course, I love “North and South.” Ever since I first saw John Thornton, my life has never been the same.


 I think I know what you mean. But I must stick to my seriousness, I'm the interviewer and not be distracted by any of the JT syndrome effects now! Are you working on a new book?
Yes, I’m working on a sequel to “The Tempest.” It’s about one of Guy’s daughters, who falls for a Robin Hood kind of rouge. I started it several months ago, but my muse left me. LOL. Over the last few weeks, I’ve started working on it again, so hopefully I’ll get in finished by later this year. We’ll see what happens.

Good luck then with your new novel
and thank you very much indeed for being my guest, Sarah!
I can't wait to read Guy's romance! My copy is in the mail, isn't it?

For 2 of you readers of Fly High , instead, there's the chance to win a copy of this novel.
Leave your comment and e-mail address. The giveaway is open worldwide. Winners will be announced next Monday 14th June.

24 comments:

Ana T. said...

Enter me please ;-)

Ana T. said...

Forgot my email sorry, it ana.teixeira1972 at gmail dot com

Marianna said...

Maria Grazia, hi! Love your interview!
I'd love to be added to the givaway: marybozzoli@libero.it

Avalon said...

Good interview. I liked this book very much and wish all good luck, I am sure the winner will be pleased....and fascinated, especially if they are an RA fan imagining him in each scene.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Ana & Marianna
Thanks, Ana, for being so kind and quick!
And, so glad to hear from you, Marianna, you're welcome , of course!

iz4spunk said...

nice interview, this book sounds lovely. A perfect summer read!
whomels@gmail.com

Nancy said...

Great review I would love to read The Tempest, A Guy of Gisborne Story it sounds like an interesting read.

nancysoffice at gmail dot com

Felicia said...

OMG!!! I need this novel! I love Guy of Gisborne (especially the RA GoG). And yes, I have my very own Little Guy (action figure). Please enter me in this drawing.


felicialso@gmail.com


Thanks,
Felicia

Nat at RA FanBlog said...

Great interview, MG. My copy of this book is also in the mail, so maybe we (and all the others who will be receiving a copy~ Sarah is very generous) will be reading it at the same time and can chat about it. Can't wait! :)

Sarah, I enjoyed finding out more about you. Good luck with your current writing projects!

lunarossa said...

What an interesting idea to create a new story around Guy and Richard of course! MG, I don't know where you find all these interesting ladies you interview, but thanks for that.
PS My favourote Robin Hood is the Disnesy one too!
Ciao. A.
[agramolasands at hotmail dot com]

mesmered said...

Guy of Gisborne in the TV series had the kind of convoluted characters about which I love to write and read. Depth, dimension and drama: that's what its all about.
So pleased that you, Sarah, had the idea to give Guy a chance. I agree with you about Basil Rathbone by the way.

pruebatten@netspace.net.
www.pruebatten.com

buddyt said...

I think the idea of delving into the character of someone seen as a villain is an interesting one and could make for a good read.

However I would have to read the book myself to see whether I think the author has managed that trick !

(Hint, send the book)

Thanks for the giveaway and for opening it up to worldwide entries.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

adibah said...

Brilliant interview! Interesting how one could make a hero out of a villain. I would love to be considered for the giveaway! :)
diba_hadi15@yahoo.com

Theresa N. said...

Sounds like a wonderful story I always did like bad boys. :)
Theresa N
weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com

WhiteLady3 said...

Lovely interview! And the book seems intersting, count me in!

carla_enke@hotmail.com

Sarah P. said...

Good Luck, ladies!

And I should probably mention...this is an intense read with adult themes. It's a romance novel, and it's not PG rated. I hope you enjoy it!

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Sarah P.
Thanks for clarifying, Sarah!

Aik said...

I'd love to read this book!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Luthien84 said...

Lovely interview as usual, MG. Please enter me for this giveaway.

evangelineace2020(at)yahoo(dot)com

Krist said...

Nice interview again. I still have Disney's RH on a VHS and watch it from time to time with my little cousins. I always liked how the part when Lady Cluck runs against the rhinos looks like a video game.

kristina(dot)jemec(at)gmail(dot)com

suzan said...

Sarah: I tried this commenting this before and had a serious malfunction so I'm hoping it's not stored here and repeating. I think your novels sound fascinating. I watched part of the BBC series but ended up not liking the route it was taking. I do enjoy the premise that Guy of Gisborne deserved a better wife. After all the series did show his tender side as well and he had several admirable qualities. I do like RA but I think his character portrayal of Mr. Thornton and Guy are exquisite. The ending of North and South is my all time favorite romantic ending, the movie being better than the book which is rare in my mind. Please enter me be in the drawing for your creative work. And please keep up the good work. And thank you Flyhigh for this opportunity.

Amanda said...

I don't know if I'm too late for the giveaway, but I love that you have this post and this book. I recently just watched the Robin Hood series and fell for Armitage as Guy of Gisborne. I totally thought they could have used a better Marian though. I'll have to definitely check this book out, thanks!

diveknit said...

very nice interview, the book sounds lovely and very intriguing. I might be too late by now, but I haven't seen a winner announced, so I will give it a shot!

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@diveknit
I'm afraid, you are too late. The names of the two winners were announced on the 14th of June as I said at the end of this post. But you'll have other chances to win it, if you want. Charlotte/Sarah is going to givaway other copies on her own blog soon. Check it regularly!
http://fromthequilltip.blogspot.com/