S. E. Turner
S E Turner is a life-long enthusiast of epic fantasy that borders on the believable. With an abundance of historical research weaved through the pages, this promises to be an engaging and immersive experience.
'The Kingdom of Durundal series is far more than the single genre of fantasy for one particular audience. Rather, it blends into a prestigious crossroads where fantasy meets reality, and the surreal meets the sublime. I wanted to write a series that everyone could read, and I'm happy to provide an exciting, epic story that a wide variety of ages will enjoy.'
A Hare in the Wilderness
'On my blood I will triumph over my enemies, for I will have fire in my eyes when I see them, not tears. I am fearless. Let the bloody battle begin.'
What inspired you to write The Kingdom of Durundal?
A visit to Scotland first inspired me. I found the wilderness to be breathtaking, the vast mountain ranges spectacular; and with its eerie atmosphere, you can almost hear the ancient clans talk on the wind. I climbed the great mound of Dunadd Fort in Kilmartin Glen; a royal power to the first Gaelic kings and home to a fortress some 2,000 years ago. From that vantage point I saw the far reaching views of the lochs, of castles, of caves and hidden grottos. I saw a story unfold before me. I saw pain and sorrow, love and comradeship, fear and courage. I saw the magic of a time gone by. I saw the Kingdom of Durundal.
As with all kingdoms where clans and courts live side by side; the realms of sacrifice and avarice are prevalent. That is the backbone of my series. Certainly by book 2: A Wolf in the Dark, the true depths to which those in power will go to is explored at some length.
Interestingly, from the first moment that Ajeya comes riding in (A Hare in the Wilderness), to the part where Sansara returns to Tarragon Island (A Moth in the Flames), the timescale is only a few days. It's the history of the main characters that goes back some twenty five years; and it's that connection that holds the story together. And as is usual with folklore and ancient history; there has to be magic and dragons -- hence the themes and characters in the final book.
How did you decide on the titles for your books?
When you write about ancient civilisations, albeit in a fantasy setting, there has to be a certain amount of research to keep it believable. Most of what you read about the clans is factual, and their totems are indeed very real. Our ancestors depended on them for safety, to please the spirits and to give the bearer added strength. I have tried to keep this bygone age alive in my books. The titles are the characters totems.
Your female protagonists are very strong. Why did you write them in?
Over the course of history there have been so many inspirational women, women of courage with a fire about them. I fear that sometimes women have lost that drive and ambition and are portrayed as the weaker sex. I wanted to eradicate that belief and give all women a platform. A platform to shine, to be heard, and to give their very best. A platform to find their strength and make a difference. Think like Cleopatra, fight like Boadicea and live like a goddess.
Who is your favourite character?
I am asked that a lot, and I would have to say Cornelius. I think he had a bad start in life. He was the ultimate bad guy--he did some pretty awful stuff to Namir in A Leopard in the Mist. He was a liar and a coward. But was it nature or nurture that made him that way? Whatever made him change, he came good in the end (A Stag in the Shadows). At that point I didn't know whether to kill him off or save him. I spent months considering the options. But in the end I decided to save him - because he is my favourite character. And to show that people can change-- if they want to.
What would you say to a fledgling author?
Never give up on your dream. Read a lot of books in different genres, and write down all those little pockets of inspiration that pop into your head at the unlikeliest of moments.