Mary Anne Yarde | New Release | The Du Lac Curse

I have been looking forward to chatting with Mary Anne Yarde for ages, for her books fascinate me. She weaves legend and fact together and creates mystical magical worlds for her characters. I am eager to find out her inspiration!

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
I have been on a few. I am a huge Thomas Hardy fan, so I have travelled all over Hardy’s Wessex. I have also visited his home and sat in the study where he wrote Tess of the D’Urbervilles. It was all very exciting, although I don’t think my children understood why I was so enthralled!
Being a huge fan of Arthurian fiction, I have visited many sites associated with both the legends and the books — they are also the inspiration for my Arthurian series.
I love Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander — which meant we had to go to Scotland to visit the television locations. I guess that is not quite a literary pilgrimage, but it was good fun!

What is the first book that made you cry?
I can remember very clearly the first book that made me cry. I must have been about seven, and I was pony-mad (still am, but I moved on to horses). My mum gave me a very, very old copy of Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. I don’t think she intended for me to read it there and then, it was to be put on my bookshelf for when I was older. A couple of days later she found me in my bedroom, crying. I was inconsolable because Ginger had died! I have never gotten over the death of that horse!
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I think I have five. Two of which will never see the light of day — ever!
What kind of research did you do, and how long did it take you?
As with most historical fiction authors, I spend more time researching the era my books are set in than I do writing. I love historical fact books, and I have many, many books on the Early Medieval period. I like to be able to lay them all out on my desk and cross-reference them. I am a terrible person — I do make notes in the margins, and I scribble all around the text and underline key sentences. I even bend the pages down if I find something particularly fascinating.
The Internet is also a great resource, although I always make sure that the information I am reading is from a reliable source. I go to talks by historians. I watch documentaries, and of course, I visit some of the places where my books are set — any excuse to visit Cornwall!
To bring an era to life, you have to know it really well, and I am continually researching. I am always looking things up. I am always learning something new.
When you did your research, did it change your plot or your characters significantly?
The Early Medieval era or The Dark Ages as it is more commonly known, is a challenging period to research as it is the age of the lost manuscripts. The manuscripts were lost due to various reasons. Firstly, the Viking raiders destroyed many written primary sources. Henry VIII did not help matters when he ordered The Dissolution of the Monasteries. More were lost due to the English Civil War and indeed, The French Revolution, and of course the tragic Cotton Library Fire in 1731. So, researching this era can certainly be challenging, although of course, not impossible. The one thing we do have is Geoffrey of Monmouth’s, The History of The Kings of Briton, (first published in c.1136).
Monmouth’s book was for many, many years considered factually correct. Of course, now historians consider it a mere fable, there is no historical accuracy to it at all. Monmouth, in fact, borrowed heavily from folklore. The history of oral storytelling in Britain really fascinates me. Folklore is its own particular brand of history, and it is often overlooked by historians, which I think is a shame. You can tell a lot about an era by the stories that were told.
The Du Lac Chronicles is an Arthurian tale, and it is based upon the life of Budic II of Brittany. I discovered Budic, purely by accident many years ago when I was researching the origins of the legend of Arthur’s most infamous knight, Lancelot du Lac. Budic’s story fascinated me. There is not a great deal of detail to it, but I found out all I could about him, and there were tiny gems of information which I thought, hang on, I could weave this into a story, and that is what I did. Along the way, I encountered other historical figures, such as Cerdic of Wessex.
Another character that I stumbled upon when I was researching for The Du Lac Devil: Book 2 of The Du Lac Chronicles was Saint Sampson of Dol. I had never heard of this Saint of Brittany before. I became compelled to find out more about him, and I discovered his life’s work overlapped events that happen in my book, so it seemed as if finding him was somehow predestined. Saint Sampson has influenced the narrative of the story from the moments he makes his first appearance in Book 2. Through him, I have explored the influence of the Christian Church in Britain during this time.

And a Quick Q&A:
Tea or Coffee
Herbal Tea
Dark or Milk Chocolate
As long as it is vegan, I will eat it.
When were you the happiest?
Why the past tense??! I had a piece of chocolate 20 minutes ago. I was pretty happy then!
Favourite Children’s Book
My children’s favourite book when they were toddlers was Smidge by Beth Shoshan, so it is therefore, my favourite children’s book as well. Smidge likes to eat a lot, particularly sweets, and it always made my children laugh. We actually went through three copies of this book as it was read so many times, and for some reason, chewed!
Favourite Adult Novel
A favourite all-time adult novel? That is a difficult question. I think it would probably be The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans. What can I say — I like books about horses that make me cry!
The Du Lac Curse: Book 5 of The Du Lac Chronicles
God against Gods. King against King. Brother against Brother.
Mordred Pendragon had once said that the sons of Lancelot would eventually destroy each other, it seemed he was right all along.
Garren du Lac knew what the burning pyres meant in his brother’s kingdom — invasion. But who would dare to challenge King Alden of Cerniw for his throne? Only one man was daring enough, arrogant enough, to attempt such a feat — Budic du Lac, their eldest half-brother.
While Merton du Lac struggles to come to terms with the magnitude of Budic’s crime, there is another threat, one that is as ancient as it is powerful. But with the death toll rising and his men deserting who will take up the banner and fight in his name?
Amazon UK
Amazon US

About Mary Anne Yarde
Mary Anne Yarde is the multi award-winning author of the International Bestselling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Britain and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, The Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.
Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury — the fabled Isle of Avalon — was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.
Connect with Mary Anne: