Saturday, June 7, 2014

Meet My Main Character by Scott Amis

Welcome, friends, to meet the main character of Scott Amis' book To Shine with Honor. I have enjoyed hosting several main characters here now, including two of my own, Dante and Evangeline. It is a fun blog hop, and I hope you enjoy reading about these (dare I say imaginary) persons.

I'd like to introduce Joseph Scott Amis who retired from thirty years as an architect (and when I said he needed help from a designer, he responded that he was also licensed in that field!) to turn his lifelong interest in medieval history and historical fiction into a literary career. He is currently working on To Shine with Honor, a three-volume tale of the First Crusade.

And now to introduce his character. 

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Galien de Coudre. He is a fictional person, acting within the context of historical events.

2) When and where is the story set?

1086 – 1118, before, during, and after the First Crusade. Settings: Southeastern and northern France, the Middle East, and the Crusader States, formed from the Middle Eastern territories taken from the Seljuk Turks by the First Crusaders.

3) What should we know about him/her? 

Galien is the third son in a French family of minor nobility. As customary for the time and place, his father pledged his third son to the Church at his birth, and made provision that he learn to read and write in French and Latin prior to entering training for the priesthood at fourteen. His disposition is largely scholarly and retiring, but he also shares the martial blood and knightly heritage of his family and has been trained in sword and horsemanship by his father Henri de Coudre, a knight of distinguished reputation. At the opening of the story and age fourteen, Galien is well-educated as well as a capable sword and horseman, abilities rarely found in one person in the eleventh century.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life? 

The initial conflict is a bitter animosity between Galien and his eldest brother Thierré de Coudre. This is resolved in Volume I, Part I, a short twenty pages. In Part II, which begins five years later, in 1091, Galien and Thierré have long ago put aside their mutual hatred and developed the strongest of brotherly bonds.

In 1091, at the start of Part II, Galien is nineteen years old, compelled to remain at home to help his sister manage the family’s lands and kept from study for the priesthood due to the death of his mother and a crippling battle injury sustained by his father. The main conflict comes when Galien and the de Coudre family’s châtelaine Lisette fall hopelessly in love, but a marriage between a nobleman and a commoner is not acceptable by custom and opposed by Galien’s father. At the end of two years of surprising events, Galien and Lisette finally marry but after three years of happiness, she is murdered by a man with an old grievance against her family. This tragedy profoundly ‘messes up’ Galien’s life, and begins the series of consequences that will send him off to the Middle East as a knight in the armies of the First Crusade.  

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

At the opening of the story, Galien wants a quiet life of scholarship and writing, and doesn’t question his destiny in the priesthood. Later, to marry Lisette, and after her death, he reacts to events as they occur, with no strong vision for his future. In Volume III, toward the end of the story, he has found the life that he wanted when young, but circumstances again compel him to leave it behind and go back to war.   

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

To Shine With Honor is the present title; The Story and Travels of Galien de Coudre in the Time of the First Crusade the subtitle. More information can be found on my Facebook page, Jsa Literary; the link to a dramatic video presentation of a scene from To Shine With Honor by Facebook page Real Crusades History is on my Linkedin profile page.

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

Completion of Volumes I and II expected for Fall of 2014; Volume III to be written from manuscript in 2015. Date of eventual publication unknown, as is the means of publication.

To find more information about Scott and his work visit:

Influential authors:
Thomas Asbridge, historian, author of The First Crusade and The Crusades
Evan S. Connell, writer, author of Deus Lo Volt
Ken Follett, writer, author of The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End
Edward Rutherford, writer, author of Sarum
Zoe Oldenbourg, writer and historian, author of The World is Not Enough and The Crusades

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