Quest for the True Cross – some questions I’ve been asked


Quest for the True Cross will be published on Kindle shortly and I’ve been asked a few questions by other bloggers and Templar fans that I’ll quickly answer today – this being a day of rest and I can finally get my brain round these things. So, a few FAQs about Quest for the True Cross.

Is it going to be another Dan Brown?

No! This story will be rooted completely in the Templar period – that is the twelfth century and you’re going to feel as if you’re there, in the Middle Ages with the Knights Templar. Of course I delve in to the mysteries of the Order but, I hope, with complete authenticity and backed up by a mountain of research.

Where is the action set?

We start during the Second Crusade in Jerusalem but my main character is forced to leave outremer (the collective name given to all the crusader kingdoms) and return to England. He then gets in to all kinds of trouble in England before ending up on crusade against the Moors in Al-Andalus. So you get taken on something of a tour of medieval Europe!

Have you researched this properly?

Absolutely. The book will acknowledge the academics and experts who have helped me along the way. Most of my research was done on the ground in Israel, Spain and Portugal and England. I’m very grateful to three or four museums for patiently explaining a few things to me and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to one member of staff at St George’s castle in Lisbon who opened my eyes to a lot of details about the period that have gone in to the book. I also have two cousins who are history teachers and they put up with my nagging questions – poor them!

Is this a one-off?

It’s not – it’s the first part of a five book series. I’ve already mapped out the story going forward and it will take my main character – Sir William de Mandeville – to the Holy Land, the Baltics and Constantinople.

Were the characters in your book real-life people?

Yes – but you can excuse some artistic license in the telling of their stories. Sir William de Mandeville – the hero – was the third earl of Essex. The fate of his father – which is mentioned early in the story – was something I first read about in the brilliant work The Knights Templar in Britain – in fact, it’s from this book that I got a lot of background facts for the part of my story set in England. When we go to Portugal and the fight against the Moors of Al-Andalus, I bring in King Afonso of Portugal and his sidekick Geraldo the Fearless – both real people. I’ve given them personalities that I’ve guessed they had from my research.

Is this your first book?

No, it’s not. In recent years, I’ve brought out two well received biographies through Aurum Press and one of them was shortlisted for the UK Sports Biography of the Year in 2011 – a book called No Place To Hide. The other biography was the life story of Neville Staple, lead singer in 80s band The Specials – the book is still on Amazon and called Original Rude Boy. History is my first love and obsession so this book and the ones that will follow are a dream to write – and I hope you enjoy them too!

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10 thoughts on “Quest for the True Cross – some questions I’ve been asked

  1. chalicemoon says:

    Can’t wait to read this!

  2. Amanda says:

    The research for this book must have been an amazing experience. What would you say is the #1 book that people unfamiliar with the Templars should read to get past the gossip and conspiracy theories of popular culture? Will your book have an introduction or end material to help readers unfamiliar with the subject differentiate between historical fact and the necessary artistic license of storytelling?

  3. Amanda says:

    Doing research for this book must have been an amazing experience. What is the #1 book that you would recommend for getting past the gossip and conspiracy theories of popular culture? Will your book have an introduction or end material to help readers unfamiliar with the topic differentiate between historical fact and the artistic license necessary to storytelling?

    • Amanda – good to hear from you. I’ve got a page on this blog at the top called ‘study aids’ where I’m going to put background information about the book to help people with some of the terms and concepts. But also the blog continues and if you read the book and need any questions answered, I’m good at coming back to people. May take a day or two but I always respond. In terms of factual accounts of the Templars – I think anything by Karen Ralls is a good starter – she wrote a book called the Knights Templar Encyclopaedia where you can look up terms in alphabetical order.

  4. I am Excited!

    My youngest will be thrilled when I share with him this “Find.”

    Thank You Again!

    God Love You ♥

  5. […] He is currently in the works of publishing a 5 Book Series beginning with “Quest for the True Cross.” […]

  6. […] Quest for the True Cross – some questions I’ve been asked (thetemplarknight.com) […]

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