I’ve also begun, perhaps, a dozen other novels as well ~ every one set in the Swashbuckling genre ~ and each at different time periods. Samples of these writings can be read at my author website: www.tedanthonyroberts.webs.com
My next published novel will be a pirate story, called: ‘Captain Skull.’ Samples of which can also be found at my website.
2) What got you started writing or inspired you?
Honstly, more than anything, I have to say that my biggest inspiration, and of which lead me to the Swashbuckling road, was Alexandre Dumas’ ‘The Three Musketeers.’ This is why my first novel is a bit of a dedication to whom I believe is THE master of literary pen stroke! If I could only attain to what he has achieved in penmanship, then I could lay my quill aside in retired satisfaction!
Also, I have to remove my plumed hat, and take a low bow to my other inspirations as well …. And here are a few (of both Swashbuckling Authors and Swashbuckling Actors of the silver screen): Rafael Sabatini (‘The Sea Hawk;’ ‘The Black Swan;’ ‘Captain Blood;’ and, amongst others, ‘Scaramouche!’); Robert Louis Stevenson (‘Kidnapped;’ ‘Treasure Island;’ and ‘The Master of Ballantrae.’); Daniel DeFoe (‘Memoirs of a Cavalier’; and ‘Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue.’); Sir Walter Scott (‘Ivanhoe;’ and ‘The Talisman.’); Errol Flynn (‘Captain Blood;’ ‘The Sea Hawk;’ ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood;’ ‘Don Juan;’ and ‘The Master of Ballantrae;’); Tyrone Power (‘The Mark of Zorro;’ and ‘The Black Swan.’); and Louis Hayward (‘The Man in the Iron Mask.’). Other inspirations that helped shape my craft were Douglas Fairbanks, Sr and Jr; Booth Tarkington; Harold MacGrath; Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras; Robert Taylor; George Sanders; Howard Pyle; and Cyrano de Bergerac!
3) Have Renaissance Festivals/Faires made any impression on you to put some of the characters you find there in your books?
To me, the Renaissance Festival is a living Swashbuckling book! I have been very pleased to what I have found and seen at the faire! If it hasn’t affected me directly, I know that what goes on in entertainment there has been inspired to them by the same kin as to what has affected myself and my work! We’re working on the same team!
4) Explain your card games and how they work.
Back when I first wrote the roughdraft of my Musketeer novel, in about 1987, I was also inspired to create a card-game that would have the same Swashbuckling ‘feel’ to it. So, inspired by history, my story and, especially, by Dumas’ ‘Three Musketeers’ novel, I created a fifty-two card, one deck card game, based upon Musketeer style battle. As the years passed, so my game got upgraded, expanded, and highly improved! Finally, after years of tweeking and perfecting, I decided to go ahead and present the game to the world at large, in an eight deck, collectible card-game, that has room to grow and expand even larger!
Calling the game: ‘Musketeers, Cavaliers, and Court Intrigue,’ I also decided to give the game a “blanket” name of: “Of Swords & Nations,” for the simple fact that I hope to add other types of decks into that universe …. What do I mean? Simply this, that if this eight deck game is based upon Musketeer history, I can also add other decks based upon other types of history as well, such as ‘Pirates;’ ‘Knights;’ and even ‘Robin Hood!’ But, for the moment, my decks remain in the Musketeer world that Alexandre Dumas brought alive in ‘The Three Musketeers.’
When I first created the game in the late 1980’s, it centered only around field battle; but as the years passed, I decided that battling on a field was just too simple, and decided to lace the game with court intrigues; assassinations; and political battles as well! Giving the game this type of scope, it has turned into a grand adventure that can take upon many twists and turns that will turn out the same!
The game is unique in that it can either act as a single deck for a simple family night play; or, the player can obtain multiple decks, and ‘build’ that ultimate deck for themselves that’s unbeatable! I battled the idea if I should bring out a starter deck, and then have expansion packs to add on like all other collectible card games, but then decided to go another route ~ one which would be more affordable for the serious collector, and that is to have whole decks to purchase that represents each ‘faction’ the game encounters. In other words, you can choose to either be a French Royalist (for Louis XIII of France); a French Cardinalist (for Cardinal Richelieu, who was in competition with Louis); for Queen Anne of France (who was in political intrigue against both Louis and Richelieu); for Prince de Conde (brother of Louis, who was in competition with everyone, and would turn on his own country if the need arose); or you can become an English Royalist or Puritan. Details of ‘game setting,’ and of which faction you would like to become, is listed in detail at the official webpage for the game:
5) Do you use mostly historical characters from your books? How much research have you done in order to find out what they were like or do you make the books somewhat fictional?
I’ve been studying history for over twenty years and use that knowledge to write my novels with. I want the story to be enriched by the history of our world, but I don’t let it bog down the story, or burden it. I try to be as free-flowing as I can without endangering or damaging history, but make the story read like a movie plot, and give history to my readers as a side note – except in the case of my introduction to Donaree, which I felt it necessary to give a rich history and detail of the Musketeers, since most of the world thinks it’s only a candybar! Hopefully, the new Musketeer movie that is about to come out will help remedy that problem as well.
However, I will say that some of my characters are fictional, and some are historical; but I’m under sworn secrecy from Donaree not to tell anybody which is which!
6) What would you say to a person trying to write/get out there/publish their own book or story?
There was a comedy sci-fi movie that came out within the past ten years who had the motto of “Never give up, never surrender!” That is, if I’m quoting that correctly (it’s been a while since I’ve seen it). But even so, that motto, whether quoted correctly or not, should be observed by any inspired author. I remember reading a quote from the creator of
7) What other ways are you marketing yourself - website/blog/fan page, etc...
Right now, I have several websites up that I use as a vehicle to promote my book and my game.
First, I have ‘The Swashbuckling Press’
Which showcases history is a better light ~ the lens of adventure! Here I have articles on Musketeers; Pirates; Knights; Fantasy; and much, much more. This website supports several purposes of mine: 1) to have the greatest amount of information on Swashbuckling history, through literature and film; 2) to showcase my novel and card game; and 3) to showcase my Swashbuckling Store, which is powered by Amazon.com, and features products of a Swashbuckling nature, such as film, books, period clothing, weaponry and even jewelry!
Ted Anthony Roberts, Swashbuckling Author
Here I house upcoming novel ideas with writing samples of the first few chapters of several story ideas. Not only do I have the Introduction and first three chapters of Donaree the Musketeer, but I also have stories covering Pirates; the French Revolution; and of other Swashbuckling times as well.
Swashbuckling Author FACEBOOK page
Not only do I have a facebook page which promotes my writings, but I have some sub-facebook pages, which are connected with this main page, that promotes my novel, my card game, and even The Swashbuckling Press.
8) Have you started writing another book series yet and if so, when will it be out?
I’ve begun over a dozen novels, some of which are displayed on my Author website, but my next novel will be ‘Captain Skull,’ which is based on Pirates! As of right now, however, I’m not sure when the book will be published. The first few chapters are available to read.
9) Why this particular period of time (Renaissance/Medieval) so important in bringing out in your books/card games? Do you find the genre that expansive?
The world of Swashbuckling is VERY expansive; and one of which that needs to be worked in more often. I’m very happy that
I love history so much, that not only Medieval and Renaissance periods fascinate me, but all history as well! And just as long as there have been kings in need of protection, there has been brave Swashbucklers there to protect them with their willing swords, spears, maces, and grand wit! This is a fascination that leads all the way to my third year in school when I first remember seeing the movie ‘The Three Musketeers’ with Gene Kelly ~ that’s what did it! Those grand costumes, that grand swordplay, those wonderful characters, all combined together into a world that I could not resist, and which eventually ended up on the tip of my literary pen!
10) [Post any blurb/last thing you would like to mention/say/have on the fan page or blog]
Let’s pull together to keep the world of Swashbuckling history alive!