Interview with Will Shand

What's the story behind your latest book?
The book is based on the original Beowulf, but not quite. Chunks of the original plot survive and the main characters come from the original, however there isn't a lot that stays the same after that. NQB looks at the old story with a modern eye. Why should Beowulf be the hero and Grendel the villain?
In a world where humans have steadily encroached upon all the other species and have had such a significant effect on the environment, advancing the argument that he does what is best for men and this is why he is the hero just doesn't carry the same weight.
So, I got interested in the whole character of Beowulf and he emerged a much darker and ruthless figure. He is clearly, in NQB a villain, and a very modern villain insofar as he understands the ethical issues that confront him, but prefers to ignore these in order to fulfill a traditional role.
That all sounds a bit serious! To some extent I just wanted to play around with an old story and liven it up a bit.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I really like the idea of just being able to write a story and then put it out for people to read. E publishing is very simple and direct. It means that anyone can just write and share without having to worry if the content fits a genre, or is fashionable. It's very simple and direct.
What are you working on next?
A sequel! 'Beowulf is Back.' I enjoyed writing the first one so much that I had to see what he would do next. It has a horridly convoluted plot that I'm trying to get my head around (although at the moment it's a bit out of control!)
A number of the same characters are back, Beowulf of course, and Roscow, Gareth the former royal dog and Grendel's mother is still chasing them down. The Duke of Jutland manages to appear in person and there are a lot of interesting new characters.
It should be ready to go by the autumn.
What is your writing process?
I have a bit of a plan. Then I just write. After I've written I have to decide if I need to redo the plan. There's always a bit of tension between the characters and the plot. The characters often seem to want to do things and I have to try and decide whether to keep them in line or not. Sometimes they have really good ideas, but quite often they just want to do their own thing and I can't let them get too far away from where they need to go.
I try and write a bit every day.
Published 2014-07-21.
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Books by This Author

Beowulf is Back
Series: The Not Quite Histories of Beowulf. Price: Free! Words: 68,020. Language: English. Published: November 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Beowulf is back, but for how long? Already on the run, he is drawn into multitude of conspiracies surrounding the French Succession. Pursued by assassins, trolls and a mysterious stranger, Beowulf is drawn into a high stakes game of 'which Louis should be king?' Look out for ambush, intrigue, fast donkey carts, fried chicken, philosophy and true love! Making the dark ages even darker!
Not Quite Beowulf
Series: The Not Quite Histories of Beowulf. Price: Free! Words: 56,140. Language: English. Published: July 10, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
The truth behind the old legend! The honest story of the King, the Monster and the Hero; the real Beowulf revealed in a tale that puts the darkness back in the dark ages!