KnightOfSherwood_TourBanner

I’m thrilled today to welcome N.B. Dixon, author of the Outlaw’s Legacy series, to Boys on the Brink. Something fun to start off with. N.B., can you share a quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

I hate clocks that strike. I’ve hated them ever since I was a little girl. I was in a shop with my parents, and a grandfather clock struck right in my ear. It frightened the hell out of me. I could only have been about four or five years old at the time, but ever since, the sound of a clock chiming just sets my teeth on edge. I’m the only one who does not stay up till midnight on New Year’s Eve to hear Big Ben welcome in the year.

It’s clear from reading the first two novels in your Outlaw’s Legacy series that you have a passion for the legend of Robin Hood. What is it about it that so captures your imagination?

Whether or not Robin Hood actually existed, what he represents still endures today. The idea of a man standing up for those less fortunate than himself, particularly when it would have been easier for him to keep all his plunder for himself, is something that really inspires my imagination. Robin Hood stood to gain nothing from helping others, but he did it anyway. Of course, many historians would argue that this is unlikely. Why would an outlaw help anyone? They needed to steal to survive. I think academics and historians are missing the point of the story. It would hardly have been so popular if it had been about a man who killed everyone he came across, took what they had and left them in the road. Whether it’s realistic or not, it’s a fantastic story.

Where did the inspiration to add an LGBT twist to the story come from?

I was hoping you would ask me that. The honest answer is, it happened by accident. I always intended to include some kind of LGBT angle. From the start, I thought having a gay Robin Hood would be an interesting concept, but I bulked at the idea, thinking people would be burning effigies of me for daring to besmirch the character of their hero. After all, most people associate Robin Hood and Maid Marian the way they do Romeo and Juliet or Paris and Helen. However, once I started writing the story, I found that the Robin and Marian plotline just wasn’t working for me. I’ve never been a big fan of Marian’s character, at least not the way she is portrayed in the legend. She doesn’t even appear in the earliest versions of the tail, and when she does, it’s more to add a love interest than because she has any significant role.

Professor Stephen Knight, who caused a bit of a sensation a few years ago by implying that the Robin Hood legend actually had strong homosexual undertones, suggested that Marian was only present to bolster Robin’s sexuality. That idea intrigued me. When I went back and read Howard Pyle’s, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, I saw how often Robin and his men hugged and kissed, and I began to think Stephen Knight had a point. It didn’t detract in any way from their masculinity. If anything, it strengthened the obvious bond that has always been there between Robin and his men. I now faced a bit of a quandary. I wanted to pursue Robin’s relationships with both men and women, so making him gay was not the right way to go. This was why I decided to make him bisexual, but have his main romance be with a man. Originally I intended his best friend to be in love with him but have it as an unrequited love. When it became obvious that the Robin and Marian angle wasn’t working, I wrote a scene between Robin and his friend just to see how it worked, and the rest, as they say, is history.

What has been the most challenging part of writing this series so far?

Tying all the plot threads together. This series just keeps on growing. It was originally supposed to be a trilogy. Then it became a quartet, and finally a quintet. Trying to keep everything in my head and make sure it all connects up without giving too much away early on has been a real challenge. Also, portraying Robin and the other characters as they would have behaved, rather than how I might want them to behave. The morals of your average medieval man are not going to be the same as the morals of a modern man. I needed to find the right balance.

And what have you most enjoyed about it?

From the beginning, I wanted this series to be about Robin’s entire life. Since there are big gaps in the legend, that meant I got to use my imagination. I’ve really enjoyed filling in the blanks.

Some reviewers have accused you of being misogynistic, perhaps because the main female characters in Heir of Locksley are either unlikeable or have unfortunate things happen to them. What would you like to say to them?

First of all I would like to point out that just because a character behaves in a reprehensible manner, that doesn’t mean the author agrees with them. An author is an actor on paper, but they have to play all parts, not just one. This means they have to put themselves in the heads of every one of their characters, whether they are good or bad. That doesn’t mean they subscribe to every single opinion their characters have. If you read a crime novel by a modern author today that was about a man who went around raping and murdering women, would that mean the author secretly dreamed of doing the same? Of course it wouldn’t.

Secondly, I would like to point out that I’m writing historical fiction. My books are set in a time when women were regarded at best as second-class citizens, and worst as the property and chattel of men. They were not considered to possess equal intelligence with men, nor did they have equal rights. A man could beat and rape his wife and suffer no repercussions. He owned her. The condition of her life would depend very much on the humanity of her husband.

Finally, I would like to point out that this is a series. If I’d killed all the villains in the first book and made all the romance is work out, what would have been the point in writing the rest of the series? Yes, one of the women does meet an unfortunate end, but my book is not and will never be the only one in which a woman suffers tragedy. It’s ironic. I expected to receive some criticism for daring to question Robin’s sexuality, but no one’s batted an eyelid. My fears were groundless. Still, I’m sure someone will twist my words at some point to say I’m homophobic or some nonsense like that, just because Robin doesn’t behave or think how they want him to. I try not to let reviewers’ opinions bother me anymore. They don’t know me and they have no right to make assumptions regarding my views. I think reviewers need to consider their own inadequacies before throwing around sweeping statements.

I know it’s some way off yet, but do you have plans for other novels once you’ve finished writing this series? Is there life after Outlaw’s Legacy?

It’s hard to think that far ahead. I’m currently in the middle of editing the third novel, while preparing for the release of the second. I have two more novels still to write. This series has been such a major part of my life for the last four years. However, I think I would like to do something with the King Arthur legend. I’d also quite like to set a story during the Scottish War of Independence. I have nothing concrete in my mind, but both those ideas will be worth exploring when the time comes. Right now though, I can’t imagine writing anything that isn’t Robin Hood. When I reach the end of the series, I’m going to be devastated. It will be like losing a friend or watching your beloved child go out into the world.

About the Book

KnightOfSherwood

Title: Knight of Sherwood

Series: Outlaw’s Legacy, Book 2

Author: N.B. Dixon

Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: September 14, 2017

Romance Genre(s): Historical, LGBT

Words: 145,000

View on Goodreads

Blurb

Robin returns to England after four years fighting in the holy land. On arriving at Locksley, he discovers that Guy of Gisborne, his most hated enemy, has been made Sheriff of Nottingham. Forced to flee into Sherwood, Robin sets himself up as champion of the poor.

But Robin has a secret. His feelings for his friend Will Scathelock have deepened, but to acknowledge the truth would mean facing up to his past. Meanwhile Lady Marian Fitzwalter, heiress to the vast Huntingdon estate is determined to claim Robin for her own.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

About N.B. Dixon

Author Bio

N.B. Dixon is an author of historical fiction. Her love for the Robin Hood legend began in a neglected corner of the school library and has continued ever since. She is a self-confessed bookworm and also a musician.

She began work on the Outlaw’s Legacy series in 2013, and was accepted by Beaten Track Publishing in 2016. Outlaw’s Legacy is a historical series based around the Robin Hood legend. The author describes it as Exciting Historical Adventure with GLBT romance.

Connect with N.B.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Knight of Sherwood, the second novel in the Outlaw’s Legacy series, N.B. Dixon is giving away an e-copy to 3 lucky winners. For your chance to win, simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. The contest closes at midnight EST on September 29, 2017, and is open to entrants worldwide.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Stops

September 18:

Author Interview with Boys on the Brink
Exclusive Excerpt at Outrageous Heroes of Romance

September 19:

Author Interview with A.M. Leibowitz
Exclusive Excerpt at Fictional Rendezvous

September 20:

Spotlight on The Broke Book Bank
Exclusive Excerpt at Romance Novel Giveaways

September 21:

Book Review by Making It Happen
Exclusive Excerpt at Happily Ever Chapter

September 22:

Book Review by Drops of Ink
Exclusive Excerpt at Always Love Me Some Books

September 23:

Author Interview with Liz’s Reading Life
Exclusive Excerpt at Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

September 24:

Book Review by Bayou Book Junkie
Book Review by Boy Meets Boy Reviews

Tour Hosted by LoveBound Promotions

LoveBoundPromotionsLogo

Be Sociable, Share!