My guest today is Calgary author Simon Rose, who has published eighteen novels for
children and young adults, eight guides for writers, more than a hundred nonfiction
books, and many articles on a wide variety of topics. Today, we’re looking at his latest
release, Royal Blood, the second novel in the Stone of the Seer series.
So remind us about the Stone of the Seer series. What’s it all about?
The Stone of the Seer is an exciting historical fantasy series for young adults, primarily
set during the English Civil War in the mid-seventeenth century. The Stone of the Seer, is
the first book in the series. At Habingdon House, Lady Elizabeth Usborne, Kate, and
Tom discover a magical black stone, mysterious ancient manuscripts, and the tempus
inpectoris, an incredible time viewing device. They are also in grave danger from Daniel
Tombes, who has a fearsome reputation as a witchfinder.
And without giving too much away, what can readers look forward to in the second
In Royal Blood, Lady Elizabeth, Kate, and Tom move to London in the middle of the
Civil War, experiencing the great political changes taking place at the time, including the
trial and execution of Charles I. They are also still under threat from Tombes, who is also
in the city. The story has many twists and turns, and I doubt if any of the readers will
expect the novel’s cliffhanger ending.
And then they’ll have to wait for the third book?
Yes, they certainly will. I’m hoping that Revenge of the Witchfinder, the final novel and
the conclusion of the story, will be published later this year. After that, people will be
able to buy all three books in the series.
And what’s the story behind the story?
The story, main characters, and some of the settings in Royal Blood are fictional, but like
in The Stone of the Seer, they’re based on real events and historical characters, such as
King Charles I, appear in the story. The English Civil War broke out as a result of the
struggle between Charles I and Parliament, regarding how the country should be
governed. The king’s defeat in the war was followed by his trial and execution in January 1649.
The monarchy was abolished and replaced first by the Commonwealth of England
and then the Protectorate. However, although the monarchy was restored in 1660, in the
person of Charles II, his father’s defeat confirmed that an English monarch couldn’t rule
the country without the consent of Parliament. This was eventually legally established in
1688 after the Glorious Revolution.
Did you conduct extensive historical research for this book, as you did with the first
Although the English Civil War is a time period I’ve always been interested in, I still
engaged in lots of research. I needed to study what life was like in seventeenth century
London, the political and religious beliefs that were around at the time, the influence of
real witchfinders such as Matthew Hopkins and others like him, and of course the trial
and execution of Charles I. The trial itself was very well recorded and I was able to
ensure that the words spoken by both the king and his accusers were accurate. There were
also many witnesses to the execution, so I was able to include established facts about that
aspect as well.
As I did in The Stone of the Seer, I’ve included a glossary at the end of Royal Blood,
where readers can learn more about the events, settings, and leading characters from the
era, locations that are mentioned in the text, life in the seventeenth century, and about
other historical periods that are featured in the story. On my website, there’s also a page
with details about the historical background behind the books, with links to online
sources about the time period.
Do you have any current projects?
Right now I’m working on another historical fantasy novel series, this time set in the
early years of World War II. I’m also working on another series of paranormal novels, in
the same genre as my previously published series that includes Flashback, Twisted Fate,
and Parallel Destiny. You can learn more about those books at http://www.simon-rose.com. In
addition, I’m in the early stages of another couple of historical projects, and am also
working on some screenplays, including adaptations of my Shadowzone series, and on
several other topics.
Do you still work with other authors as well?
Yes, I offer coaching, editing, consulting, and mentoring services for writers of novels,
short stories, fiction, nonfiction, biographies, inspirational books, and in many other
genres, plus work with writers of scripts and screenplays. I’m also a writing instructor at
the University of Calgary and served as the Writer-in-Residence with the Canadian
Authors Association. You can find details of some of the projects I’ve worked on with
other authors, along with references and recommendations, at http://www.simon-rose.com.
So where can people buy Royal Blood and The Stone of the Seer?
The novel can be purchased at most of the usual places, as follows:
Ebook: Amazon Canada, Amazon USA, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords
Paperback: Amazon Canada, Amazon USA
Thanks Simon, for being my guest here today and the very best of luck with Royal Blood
and the Stone of the Seer series. I hope the books sell thousands and thousands of copies
in the coming weeks and months.
You can learn more about Simon and his work on his website at http://www.simon-rose.com,
where you can also link to his social media sites and other locations online.