I suppose it’s arguable that everything I’ve ever read about the era in which the Second Son Chronicles are set has, in some way, influenced the creation of the narratives. After all, there’s a certain amount of osmosis that happens with every book we enjoy. But within that broad-brush landscape, some highlights do stand out (in no particular order).
Alison Weir’s non-fiction has been a rich source of details about life in Medieval and Renaissance times. Regardless of the specific subject, her books describe in great depth what daily life was like during these periods – it’s an immersive experience, and the osmosis factor helped me to create the world of the Chronicles.
I also found inspiration in Ken Follett’s Kingsbridge series, particularly The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. Follett’s detailed depiction of the building of the great Gothic cathedrals got me thinking about architecture, engineering, and building from Roman times through the Renaissance and led to the inclusion of some building projects in my own books. His narrative of the inventive ways that those outside mainstream medicine of the day began to understand the nature of the spread of infection and the importance of hygiene and other methods for containing it helped inspire my own exploration of how people dealt with disease over six hundred years ago.
Whether it’s in the shield wall with Uhtred of Bebbanburg or in the fields of Agincourt with Henry V, Bernard Cornwell doesn’t shy away from the gritty and brutal realism of the battlefields of long ago. My battle scenes pale by comparison to Cornwell’s ability to bring the sights and sounds and stench and fear and blood-lust of medieval war to life. But I happily acknowledge my debt to him for showing how to make my battles more realistic than they might otherwise have been.
While the time period is much earlier than that of my stories, Jack Whyte’s re-imagining of the Arthurian legends in his Camulod Chronicles influenced a number of decisions I made for my own series. Whyte postulates a world that might have existed in post-Roman Britain and an entirely realistic history that could, in the absence of any surviving written record, have been the basis for the legends. So what does this have to do with the Second Son Chronicles?
My stories are set at the dawn of the Renaissance, a time when so much is well-known about the characters and events of northern Europe. Asking readers to accept that an entirely different set of royalty, nobility, and events could have existed seemed like too great a suspension of disbelief. But if Whyte could create an entirely imagined history, why couldn’t I create an imagined setting for my own narrative? If readers notice some similarities to northern Europe, then perhaps that only adds to the flavor of the world where my characters play out their lives.
I hope you enjoy reading the Second Son Chronicles as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing the stories to life.
At the dawn of the Renaissance, Alfred – the eponymous second son – must discover the special destiny foreseen for him by his grandfather. Now, the unthinkable has happened: Alfred’s brother is king. And it isn’t long before everyone’s worst fears are realized. Traditional allegiances are shattered under a style of rule unknown since the grand bargain that formed the kingdom was struck over two hundred years ago. These will be the most dangerous years of Alfred’s life, forcing him to re-examine his duty to personal honor and to the kingdom, while the threats posed by his brother constantly remind him of his father’s final words of advice. What choices will he have to make to try to protect the things he holds most dear?
Print Length: 234 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Pestilence is available to purchase as a print copy and as an e-book at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Be sure to add this to your GoodReads reading list too!
About the Author, Pamela Taylor
Pamela Taylor brings her love of history to the art of storytelling in the Second Son Chronicles. An avid reader of historical fact and fiction, she finds the past offers rich sources for character, ambiance, and plot that allow readers to escape into a world totally unlike their daily lives. She shares her home with two Corgis who frequently reminder her that a dog walk is the best way to find inspiration for that next chapter.
You can follow her online at:
Author Website: https://pamela-taylor.com
Series Website: https://www.SecondSonChronicles.com
— Blog Tour Dates
June 22nd @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Join us as we celebrate the launch of Pamela Taylor’s blog tour for her book Pestilence. You can read an interview with the author and enter to win the first three books in her series “The Second Son Chronicles.”
June 23rd @ Lisa Haselton’s Review and Interviews
Stop by Lisa’s blog today where she interviews author Pamela Taylor about her book Pestilence.
June 24th @ Rebecca Whitman’s Blog
Visit Rebecca’s blog today and you can read Pamela Taylor’s guest post discussing the allegory (themes) embedded in the narrative of Pestilence specifically and the Chronicles generally.
June 25th @ A.J. Sefton’s Blog
Visit A.J. Sefton’s blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.
June 26th @ Jill Sheet’s Blog
Visit Jill’s blog today and read Pamela Taylor’s guest post about getting historical details accurate.
June 27th @ Storeybook Reviews
Join Leslie today as she shares Pamela Taylor’s guest post about her life with corgis.
June 28th @ Reading is My Remedy
Visit Chelsie’s blog today and you can read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.
June 29th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Visit Anthony’s blog today and you can read Pamela Taylor’s guest post about the authors and books that inspired the creation of the Chronicles.
June 30th @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf
Visit Veronica’s blog today and you can read a guest post by Pamela Taylor about the trap of linguistic anachronism – getting the language and word usage right for historical narratives.
July 1st @ Rebecca Whitman’s Blog
Visit Rebecca’s blog again and you can read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.
July 2nd @ 12 Books
Visit Louise’s blog today and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.
July 3rd @ What is that Book About?
Visit Michelle’s blog today and you can check out a spotlight of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.
July 5th @ The New England Book Critic
Visit Vickie’s blog today and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.
July 6th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Visit Anthony’s blog today and read his review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.
July 7th @ Fiona Ingram’s Blog
Join Fiona Ingram today when she shares Pamela Taylor’s guest post about data encryption in ancient times.
July 8th @ Bev A. Baird
Visit Bev’s blog today and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.
July 9th @ To Write or Not to Write
Visit Sreevarsha’s blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.
July 10th @ Thoughts in Progress
Visit Mason Canyon’s blog today and you can read a guest post by Pamela Taylor about deriving details for your setting from historical maps.
July 11th @ Books & Plants
Visit Ashley’s blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.
July 11th @ A Darn Good Read
Join Yvonne as she reviews Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.
July 14th @ Knotty Needle
Visit Judy’s blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.
July 15th @ World of My Imagination
Visit Nicole’s blog and read Pamela Taylor’s guest post about period-appropriate names for characters.
July 17th @ Books & Plants
Visit Ashley’s blog and read Pamela Taylor’s guest post about ways to do historical research.
July 18th @ Bookworm Blog
Stop by Anjanette’s blog today where you can read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence. Plus you can read an interview with the author!
July 20th @ Coffee with Lacey
Visit Lacey’s blog where you can read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.
July 24th @ Medievalists
Stop by Medievalists where you can check out a spotlight of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.
July 25th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion
Stop by Linda’s blog today and read her extensive interview with author Pamela Taylor about her book Pestilence.
July 25th @ Reading in the Wildwood
Join Megan today and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.