20 May 2012

An Alternative Knights Tale: Interview with Liane Moonraven

The Broken Sword is a new look at the ancient legend of Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table written by Liane Moonraven. This  is an alternative version that, while inspired by the 2004 film, "King Arthur," puts quite a different spin on Antoine Fuqua’s retelling as well. As someone who adores history and research, I had a problem with the film being wildly inaccurate to begin with, but for some reason that didn't bother me as much while reading The Broken Sword. Maybe because in her foreword, the author is adamant that she is not a historian and the story is not meant to be a research project.  Or maybe the quite steamy erotic elements distracted me from the historical details? (ahem...)  No matter; once my brain grasped the Alternative Version concept, I jumped right in. Ms. Moonraven delves into the characters of the other Knights (as inspired by the film) through humorous and damned hot erotic scenes, but she also builds the tension and suspense nicely to the end.  The story:
Arthur is happily married, devoted to Lady Carlota Castus, whose former love disappeared and was presumed dead--until she learns years later he was conscripted by the Roman Empire as a Sarmatian Knight. The same Sarmation Knights who are under Arthur's command in Britain. Ooh, awkward... especially when Mathias realizes just who is Arthur's new wife. Betrayal to Arthur is definitely n the works--but by whom? 
The Broken Sword is available now in ebook and print format from Amazon; on Barnes & Noble for Nook, and on Smashwords.

Now for our interview:

Welcome, Liane, and thanks for granting this interview. Your novel, The Broken Sword, is a new take on the King Arthur legend--and a rather erotic one at that.  How did you choose to go in this direction? 
I have no idea--HA! A few years ago I was a role play writer for an online King Arthur group. I had created the character Lady Castus while writing with them. I got the idea for The Broken Sword after visiting Medieval Times on my birthday for the first time. We sat in the Blue Knight’s section on the front row and he was quite the showman. He tossed me the carnation and I was absolutely giddy. After the show, I met him. His name is Matt and he inspired the character, Mathias.

“Liane Moonraven is a beautiful pen name. Tell us about its origin and meaning.
Thank you, Jude. Each word of my pseudonym means something to me. Liane is my birth middle name; I find my strength by watching the moon and not only is the raven the most beautiful bird in the sky, but one of my favorite authors is Edgar Allen Poe and of course, he penned "The Raven." The name has extreme personal power for me and has been received very well.

You were obviously inspired by the 2004 film “King Arthur” for this story. What in particular about director Antoine Fuqua’s vision grabbed your imagination and compelled you to write The Broken Sword?  
What a great question! *laughs* I’d never heard of the movie until my husband brought it home one night. When I first saw the knights, I said to him “are you kidding me? THOSE are the knights??” Usually the Knights of the Round Table are shown as clean, honorable knights in shining armor ("First Knight" immediately comes to mind. Ew. Lol.)The shock of seeing them as they probably were – scrungy, dirty, with matted heads, really resonated with me. Also the level of violence in the movie during the battle scenes moved me particularly the death of a few characters which were so emotional. It was unlike any medieval movie I had seen before and I was sucked into it. Not to mention that Clive Owen, Ioan Gruffudd, Mads Mikkelson, Joel Edgerton, Ray Stevenson and Ray Winstone were pure eye candy for 126 minutes!

Hey, no Guinevere?  Not at all. *laughs* What’s up with that? (Not that I’m complaining…) Even though I love the King Arthur movies, I have disliked Guinevere because she betrayed Arthur. I also believe their whole marriage was political and not brought on by love. And even though Lancelot is quite the ladies’ man, I never bought the idea he would betray Arthur. Therefore, I wanted Arthur to have a true, deep and passionate love with a woman who adored him and whom he adored. I just never got the warm and fuzzies with Guin.

You make a point in your “Author’s Two Cents” to state that you do not claim to be a historian. How do you respond to readers who may take period authenticity rather seriously?  
I have to respect them. I recently got dinged pretty hard for that despite the disclaimer. Heck, she even dinged the disclaimer. HA! There are so many, many versions of this story about a man that we’re not even sure existed, so I’m hoping that readers will be able to absorb and appreciate the story for what it truly is – a work of fiction.

Tell us about your next project and what challenges you most when you sit down to write.
 I’m currently finishing up the sequel to The Broken Sword which is called, Shields of Blood. While TBS focused on characterization, Shields is about gritty plot. I also have a couple of short stories I’m working on as well as a horror based on a descendant of Tituba. She was really the reason for spawning the Salem Witch Trials.
Dost thou have a website and links you’d like us to explore?  
Yes, please! 
Twitter @lianemoonraven


  1. Great interview and I can honestly say that I was absolutely honored to be privvy enough to read one of the first copies of The Broken Sword, in its entirety. I was as impressed then as I remain now. Ms. Moonraven is an excellent authoress and I am thirsting for more!

  2. Thanks Trinity! I thought this was an exciting tale on many levels. Don't forget to tell your friends about it!