Writing About King Arthur

How does anyone ever write a fantasy book based on the legends of King Arthur?

This is both an easy and a difficult task. Easy because there is so much lore and legends. All built up in the layers of history. There is so much to mine from and dig through. Ideas are plenty! The problem is choosing.

It’s like the book by Raould Dahl, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, where Charlie is in the candy store … so many choices!

Only here, in the realm of Arthuriana, people care what you choose. How can you criticize Charlie’s choices? But I do expect criticism for what I chose to include and what I chose to exclude. Criticism for where I placed Arthur and what I have him do. Criticism for the unique literary free reign that every author has to exercise. It’s not like I am writing about something no one else has ever written about, so in some sense there is no way to do this without stepping on toes.

Especially of the experts. An expert has to be careful because their academic career is at stake for what they support and what they do not support as true.

As an author, my job is different. My job is to excite the reader’s imagination. Make them “THIRST” to turn the pages. As such I need the freedom to choose what among the King Arthur legends excites my imagination, not what is necessarily the most 100% historically accurate.

Don’t get me wrong. My goal is not historical inaccuracy. My goal is to be as faithful to the times and truth that I can—along with giving the reader a book that they will not want to put down.

Also, if I didn’t take a unique stance on the topic, why am I bothering at all? This is a question that all authors have to answer. What is my purpose in writing this? Why does my voice need to be heard? What do I have to say? To contribute?

As a Christian, the question is even deeper: How can I change the world?

Now that is a big task!