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Ian Anderson Book and Novel

Ian Anderson - Author

Born in Western Australia after the end of WW2, Ian Anderson's eyes were always turned skywards. His early heroes include Douglas Bader, Guy Gibson and Barnes Wallace. An engineer in both military and industrial spheres, Ian's formal qualifications are in science and engineering, however, his interests include music, theatre, history and literature. Ian now lives in Surrey, England. Over the years, he has written consistently, but always for a technical audience. Knight is his first venture into fiction.

Below is a Q&A with this author.

The story is full of what feels very authentic detail – what were your main sources of research?

The research sources are explicitly identified in the ‘Acknowledgements’ section at the end of the book, and on the ‘References’ page of my website In general there were two categories; other books and the internet. Once I had established the period and the setting, then the most significant books for me were those of Juliet Barker (see who had written extensively about Henry V’s campaigns of 1415 and 1417. From these, there was much material from which the background setting could be constructed. Meanwhile, from the internet, I was able to research individual elements as they arose, particularly geographic and architectural, and also identify some of the personalities who inhabited the time and the locations through which the story passed. And, as also mentioned in the Acknowledgements, there were two TV programmes from which I drew inspiration; one for a Mediterranean setting so necessary to draw parts of the story together, and one for a small but revealing interlude about a king’s ship.

Before Knight had you written other books or short stories?

I have been writing technical specifications for most of my working life. And, on a few occasions in the past, I have let my mind wander and produced a couple of, perhaps, ‘imaginative’ short stories; but these were very small and were never published. However, following the loss of my wife, there was a need to somehow deal with the emotions the followed, and the way turned out to be writing. Small and hesitant at first, it grew and acquired a life of its own, and as time passed, the story emerged.

You talk of the book being integral in the grieving process after the death of your wife – so is there a part of you in the character of Averill?

There is no part of me in the actions of the hero, but there is certainly much of me in his experiences, his emotions, and his philosophy. I found that I needed to create a character who could successfully deal with the situation; but not as most observers would anticipate, since the advice one receives is largely about looking forward and moving on with life. But, there is a period, which can be quite long, during which this is not possible, and one retreats into the memories of what was so beautiful about the life that has been lost, and this I found is where the healing begins. And, only then, is it possible to even contemplate moving forward. These phases underpin the structure of the story.

If your book were to be made into a film who would you like to play Gregory Averill?

Ah, difficult question. Because of my own age, most of the actors who have inspired me are older than the characters in the story. Nevertheless, I enjoyed Joseph Fiennes and Ben Affleck in ‘Shakespeare in Love’, and could possibly see them as Averill and Henry, respectively. I also enjoyed Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Charles Brandon in The Tudors. And, I like the agonised, brooding characters Ralph Fiennes often plays. So, for me, the question is open. It would be a life-changing event if , one day, there were an opportunity to answer it.

Do you have plans for a second book?

I have the plot and the main characters and the first 4,000 words of a new story, and I am currently researching aspects of the First World War, which would provide the setting; however, it is early days, yet.

Featured Books, with extracts, by Ian Anderson

Knight by Ian Anderson
Ian Anderson
Be transported back to 15th Century England in this meticulously researched, action-packed tale of chivalry, love and loss. This debut historical epic will appeal to fans of Bernard Cornwell and M. C. Scott.Gregory Averill has served...
Format: Paperback - Released: 14/03/2013

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