Day 8: Historical; Geoffrey Monmouth

Meet Geoffrey Monmouth.

“Loyal to both.”

Q & A about Geoffrey Monmouth
They say every author’s first novel is autobiographical. Does that apply to me?
No. Of course, I have drawn on many of my experiences in life.

Am I one of my characters?
No. I do, however, usually give my central character certain of my characteristics, but there are always some important differences too. It is important to be able to identify with your hero to a certain extent.
Is Geoffrey Monmouth my real name?
No. It is a pen-name. I use it because I write other types of fiction and non- fiction under my real name and I believe it best to keep historical fiction separate from other kinds of writing. Otherwise the information about myself on this site is true.

Why that name?
There was a writer in the Twelfth Century called Geoffrey of Monmouth. He was a monk living in Oxford.

How am I connected to him?
I think we have a lot in common.
He wrote a mixture of fact and fiction in his histories. So do I.
We both love some of the same things:

What else can I say about myself?
I love animals, especially horses, and nature generally.
I enjoy reading and writing mysteries, especially whodunits.
If you share my loves, I hope you will enjoy my writing.

Author Links:

Website –

Blog –

Guest Post – Where do writers get their ideas from?

*Original posting can be found here. Reposting permission given by Geoffrey Monmouth.

You may think I should have written, ‘from where do writers get their ideas?’ but there you are.

I think there are two kinds of writer: those who struggle to get ideas and those, like me, who get too many.

  • Some people get an idea for a book and work on it in a focused way until it is finished. Their problem is to find something to write about next.
  • Some famous authors seem to have written only one novel. I have heard that English Literature students, and probably students of other literature too, often like to major on such writers, as they have to study only one book.   Dickens was most annoying: he was so prolific.  What is worse for students is a writer whose style and subject matter varies from one book to another.  How are you supposed to make a study of them?
  • Other writers, especially these days, write one successful novel and then write a series of sequels.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, but in some cases the quality deteriorates with each new title.  They are still drawing on that first good idea, since they have not had any more.

The other kind of writer is one who finds inspiration everywhere. 

  • Writing historical novels, I have all of history to draw on. It is full of stories.  Not all are well known.  Some whole centuries have been neglected by novelists.  There must be lots of treasures to be unearthed.  Yet, even in the much overdone Tudor period, for example, there are many stories waiting to be told.
  • There are also lots of interesting people around. Just listen!  I have heard plenty of interesting stories, even if told by boring people.  I hope I can incorporate many of them into my books.
  • I do not plagiarise. I do not think I could if I tried.  I would always want to change things.  I do, however, get ideas from other writers, from films, from TV, in fact all around me.  I can be reading or watching something and I start imagining how else the story might have gone.  Or think up a backstory if none was given.  Or what might have happened after the end.

If I do anything you might consider clever, it is that I knit a lot of these different strands together to make a complete story.  How effective I am, you must judge for yourself.

I will welcome your feedback.

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