Best Known Works: The Black Knight of Avalon Chronicles, Books 1 - 7
Where You Can Find Her: Sunbow Pendragon on Amazon
Top Writing Tip: Just keep writing, even if you think it isn't good enough to be published! It's good medicine, to exercise your imagination by being creative. Everyone likes a good story!
Hi Sunbow, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!
Tell us a little about yourself, what are the main life experiences that have led to this book?
I was born in the summer of 1957 in the Pacific Northwest, the middle child of five. As a result of that, I was always and continue to be somewhat inclined towards daydreaming and shyness. When I was the age of 12, I discovered the stories of Greek and Roman mythology. At 13, I discovered the tale of King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table and fell under the spell of the legend. I would retreat to the woods behind my parents' house and play at knights and ladies, all by myself of course, until one of my older siblings was sent to fetch me back to reality and household chores.
As I entered my later teens, I continued to be fascinated by the story, especially the part concerning the relationship of Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot. I picked up any fantasy novel having to do with Arthur in any way. One was The Crimson Chalice, which introduced me to the fact that Arthur may have been the offshoot of Marcus Aurelius. Certainly, the great king was raised in a world influenced by Rome. I began investigating older books written about the warlord Arthur, such as Le Morte de Arthur, and how the legend might have began and been spread. As I grew older and found other sources of information concerning the legend, I became more interested in the mysteries behind the story: the tales of Merlin and the Ladies of Avalon. I wondered if they could be in any way true at all, and began investigating that aspect. This led me to many books on modern Magick, and finally I read Marian Zimmer Bradley's book, The Mists of Avalon. Her writing captivated me.
Along my way, I kept encountering the tale of the elusive Black Knight, painted in most versions as a terrifying individual who appeared at the most opportune moments to test the Knights of Camelot. The character enchanted me with his elusive nature and I was bound and determined to find out what he was all about.
In time I married, home-birthed two children and went about raising them until one night I had a most startling dream. In this dream, I was given an overview of the time of Camelot through the eyes of the Black Knight, the champion of Cerridwen. At the time, I had only a vague knowledge of the White Goddess and so was taken aback by Her dominance in the dream. When I awoke, I knew I must write down this story and so I began with pen and paper. I read the story every night to my mate when he returned from his labours of the day; every day I wrote until my fingers were sore and numb, so powerful was the impulse. Finally, I finished the first segment of the story and began the next, and onto the next. At last, some three years later, I finished the entire story and began my revisions.
Now some twenty years later, due to financial setbacks and other obstacles, the first two books in the series have been published. There are seven yet to come. I hope it speaks to you as it did to me; however, as you read, I beg you to remember that it is only a story. I make no claims to it's being a true representation of history. It is meant merely as a source of entertainment. And also, remember that the story was inspired by a very vivid dream. Who knows where dreams come from?
When did you realise that you were Pagan?
I think I always knew I was different, but I tried all throughout my childhood to conform so as to "get along" with others.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in my early teens to combat loneliness. In my writing, I could create my own world, a world that made sense when the world I was living in didn't.
Are these novels your first published pieces or have you had work published before?
No, these seven books are the only ones I have published to date. I am working on a new series right now however
How did the topic of your books come to you?
In the most startlingly vivid dream I have ever experienced, a dream that lasted an entire night. In this dream, I was allowed to hear, touch, smell and see things, as if I was standing right there.
Tell us a bit about your story, key characters and plot.
My book is based on the Camelot legend, as you can tell by the title. It centres around the character of the Black Knight, who appears in the traditional tale as an evil character. In the dream he was presented as the Goddess' Champion, one who worked in the shadows to protect the people and test the Knights of Camelot on their virtues.
Do we see some of you in your book?
Perhaps some of my humour has been incorporated, but then I think there should be moments of humour even in the most serious of books.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and, if so, how do you overcome it?
Oh yes, every author suffers occasionally from writer's block. I take the time and get away from my desk. I get out into my gardens and get dirty. That takes my mind off of everything except what I'm doing. After a few days or so, I find that I can get back into the rhythm and that my work flows properly.
Who encourages and inspires you?
My husband! He is my biggest fan, and if he hadn't encouraged me to start writing down the dream while it was still fresh, I don't think the books would have ever been written.
Where do you go when you need to recharge?
I like to go somewhere beautiful to recharge. I prefer the beach. There's a special place I go as often as possible for two or three days, just to let my cares slip away. It's rustic and there's no Internet, so I'm off the grid except for the pay phones. It's so healing!
Are you published or self published, and what has been your experience of this process?
I am a Kindle author now, but I went with a self-publishing firm first. It was not a pleasant experience.
Do you think e-books have changed the publishing market for better or worse?
I love being a Kindle author! Without such a medium, I would still be trying to get a publisher to take my work! I still would love to have my books printed someday, when the finances are there.
How important are reviews of your work, do you read them?
I think that reviews are very important, especially as a Kindle author! Yes, I read every one of them and try to comment on them. I think people like an engaged author.
What are your future plans for writing?
I plan to just keep writing. I have so many stories to tell running around in my head. I have at least one book of short stories to write about the Black Knight, and there are other characters in the book that have life stories to tell as well. I am also now two books into a new series, the first of which I am editing right now.
Sunbow, thanks again for giving us a glimpse into your passion and your process. We wish you the best of luck with your new novels and short stories!