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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Guest Blog: Vijaya Schartz: Kick Butt Medieval Heroines

It’s not a secret, I love writing strong women, and I do not make exceptions for historical series. Strong heroines are a must in a society, especially one where women are not recognized as having a soul. Reviewers call THE CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE series “edgy medieval.” Yep, lots of edges there, Magic swords, daggers, arrows, lances... you get the picture.

Contrary to common belief, there were many strong women in the Middle Ages, despite the fact that they were considered inferior by the Church… and by men in general. A few of these queens and princesses are remembered to this day. Eleanor of Aquitaine comes to mind, and she was, according to legend and sparse records, descended from the Immortal Celtic Ladies featured in the Curse of the Lost Isle series. So was Richard the Lionheart.

And I’m not just talking about knights wielding swords, but ladies as well. While respecting history is important, it is just as important for the reader to identify with the characters of the time. So my medieval heroines are particularly strong-willed, resilient, and knowledgeable. Since they are immortal, after a few centuries they eventually acquire wisdom as well.

But these novel plots are far from random. I did intensive research over the past fifteen years, since the first idea for this series sparked in my mind. It was on the plane trip back from a French vacation. Born and raised in France, I still have family there. More trips to Europe ensued to research the archives of many locales mentioning legends involving the cursed Ladies of the Lost Isle. There will be several books following the four already published:

PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE- Book 1 (Free today in kindle) 
LADY OF LUXEMBOURG - Book 4 (Jan. 2013)

The entire series is based upon authentic post Arthurian legends. They are set in the original locations, involve true historical figures, feature many historical events. Sigefroi of Ardennes, a son of Lorraine, did found Luxembourg in 963, and although my novels incorporate the legend as fact, his story is as accurate as it comes, even filling the blanks and question marks left by official historians. I hope I did Sigefroi justice, and the good people of Luxembourg will recognize and cheer their beloved national hero.

Hope you enjoy him as well.
You can find out more about me and my books at: 

Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything and could never refuse a challenge. She likes action and exotic settings, in life and on the page. She traveled the world and claims to also travel through time, as she writes without boundaries about the future and the far away past. Her books collected many five star reviews and literary awards. She makes you believe you actually lived these extraordinary adventures among her characters. Reviewers compared her stories to Indiana Jones with sizzling romance. So, go ahead, dare to experience the magic, and she will keep you entranced, turning the pages until the last line.

BLURB: Curse of the Lost Isle series:

From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse. For centuries, imbued with hereditary gifts, they hide their deadly secret... but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake.


"Schartz is an accomplished writer, whose pacing, conflicts, and goals are always complex and whose good characters are always likeable, and whose villains are evil incarnate. You have to like her villains as much as the good guys! Mattacks is a magnificent example of this!" - 5 stars - Manic Readers


Cara Marsi said...

Great interview. I love that you write strong heroines. Those are the types women I like to read about. Also love the cover of your book. I have one of your books in my Kindle. Good luck to you.

Sandy said...

How interesting and exciting to study the history of the celtic women in France. Thanks for a wonderful interview.

jean hart stewart said...

A great interview, and love the idea of strong women anytime. Wouldn't read a book about a wimp. I know the history of the Celts pretty well in England, and will be glad to know about those on the continent. It was a far-spread culture.

Vijaya Schartz said...

Thank you so much, Cara, Sandy, and Jean, for commenting today. i couldn't read about a wimpy heroine either. It's often the belief that medieval women were submissive, but there were many strong women then as now. Joan of Arc comes to mind.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Vijaya,
Great post. I didn't know you had a French connection.
I am sure there would have been plenty of strong women throughout the ages. Joan of Arc is a prime example.



Caroline Clemmons said...

Vijaya, all this time I didn't realize your heroines were based on legends. What a great idea. Wishing you continued good luck with your books.

Katalina Leon said...

Vijaya you are so original and diverse in story content. I think you're amazing.

Vijaya Schartz said...

Yes, Margaret, I love Joan of Arc. Thanks for the cheers.

Caroline, I came by these legends while traveling throughout France and started researching. That was a few years ago. Now the series is born.

Thanks, Katalina, for your kind comment.

Ann Herrick said...

Wonderful interview! Vijaya, you are a legend-ary writer! :)

Vijaya Schartz said...

Thank you, Ann. I'm blushing.
Have a wonderful day.

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