LEC Book Reviews have interviewed Rowena Cory Daniells, author of the King Rolen's Kin Trilogy.
The interview is here.
LBR: What real-world inspiration is there for the characters in The King’s Bastard or any of the book’s elements?
RCD: Everything has real world inspiration - it is just not that easy to see. Some things stay with you. When I was about 10 my family went to play tennis at a set of courts in the back blocks of the Gold Coast. Behind the courts was a stretch of land backing onto a creek.
As the eldest I was used to organising the games and I always saw myself as a sort of hero character so we'd play these long involved games with my younger siblings as my army, following orders, fighting great battles against enemy foes...
While running down one high white sand hill we left my little sister behind. I turned around to find she'd run through the deepest part of the hollow and the sand, which appeared to be solid, had given way. She was knee deep in some sort of sticky sand-clay mix and couldn't get out. Having seen plenty of Tarzan movies, I immediately thought of quicksand.
A real emergency! I told my brothers to stay back, afraid that they'd get trapped too, and edged forward. The sand's surface broke up under my feet. It was cold and smooth and wet, and I didn't know what was under there. My eight year-old brother took my arm to pull me out and we managed to grab our little sister's arm and hauled her out of the sticky sand-clay which did not give her up easily...
In King Rolen's Kin power seeps up from the land's heart, infecting people and animals. Only those trained to contain this power go near Affinity Seeps. Now you see how a childhood adventure can be the inspiration for something in a story many years later.
These days I don't order my younger brothers and sister around to play out my great battles, I have a cast of characters and they play out the battles in my books....