About the Book:
Title: THE BOOK KNIGHTS
Author: J.G. McKenney
Pub. Date: July 5, 2017
Publisher: J.G. McKenney
Formats: Paperback, eBook
From the award winning author of EON’S DOOR comes an Arthurian tale like no other.
When her parents are condemned to death by Morgan Fay for the crime of reading, Arti Penderhagen becomes a fugitive. Hunted by Mordred, the sadistic police captain who recites poetry to enhance his physical strength, Arti escapes to the Isle of Avalon, a sanctuary for outlaws. There she meets an old librarian named Merl who tells her about the Grail Tome, an ancient book in Morgan Fay’s possession that can alter the course of history. Can Arti steal the book in time to save her family?
THE BOOK KNIGHTS is a fantasy adventure in which knights wield words as weapons, librarians are wizards, and books can change the future.
Your book is a modern reimagining of King Arthur, which I think is fantastic. What made you decide to place these characters in a modern setting rather than provide your own spin on the classic tales?
I thought the story would be more relatable to readers if I placed the characters in a modern setting. I want readers to understand how important the power of words is to us now, and make clear the threats posed to our freedom to think and live the way we choose.
Can you tell us a little about Arti, who is the heroine in this story? What inspired you to cast the modern King Arthur as a young girl?
I chose a young girl because I wanted to challenge the classic Arthur stereotype of the active male hero. I wanted Arti to be a model to all those smart young girls and women whose love of books and reading gives them the power to overcome obstacles, no matter how daunting.
When did you first become interested in the Arthurian stories? Is there a particular tale that is your favorite? What makes that one stand out from the rest?
I’ve always enjoyed the Arthurian stories, but rather than one part standing out, I really like how they work together to explore the heroic journey. In writing THE BOOK KNIGHTS, I drew on Arthur’s pulling of the sword from the stone, the Lady of the Lake and Excalibur, and the quest for the Holy Grail. They are all equally important to the story.
The cover is really awesome. How did you come up with the idea for that design?
I’m glad you like the cover. It’s a representation of the Grail Tome, an ancient and magical book. Arti Penderhagen and her “book knights” must steal the tome from Morgan Fay so Arti can write the book’s final page to change the future and save her friends and family.
Where did you get the idea of reciting poetry to provide a magical effect, such as boosting physical strength? Did you encounter any challenges with the idea?
The power of words is a key theme in THE BOOK KNIGHTS, so I thought it would be cool to have words/poetry used in combat. In the story, it’s referred to as “the strike of words” and I think it really works. The difficulty I faced was in creating a language and a fighting method that were believable but not overly complicated or confusing.
Although the name on my books is “J.G.” McKenney, you can call me John. I’m a writer and a teacher. I also consider myself a book knight, but you’ll need to read my latest novel to find out what that’s all about.
My fascination with fantasy and adventure began at a young age when I discovered works like THE HOBBIT and THE CALL OF THE WILD. That early love of reading has matured into a need to tell stories that transport readers into worlds full of wonder and enchantment. It’s an addiction I don’t intend to kick. The problem is I’ll be dead long before I can write all the books I’ve got in my head. There…just thought of another one.
In the winter, if I’m not at work keeping tabs on my Co-op students, you’ll find me at home working away on a manuscript, reading someone else’s book, or walking with my wife and best friend, Wendy. If it’s Friday afternoon, I’ll be playing hockey with the boys.
Summer’s my favorite season because it gives me more time to write. It’s also the time for boating, swimming, and reclining in my zero-gravity chair under the shade of the maple trees next the lake shore. Oh, and walking with my wife. If it’s Thursday afternoon, I’ll be playing golf with…you guessed it…the boys.
I’d love to hear from you. Follow me on Twitter @JGMcKenney or reach out through my “Contact Me” page with your questions or comments. I’ll let you know about my promotions, including when I offer free books!
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE BOOK KNIGHTS, US Only.
3 winners will receive an eBook of THE BOOK KNIGHTS, International.