An Interview with Robin, King Bewilliam, ruler of the Chalklands and hero of The Lost King and The King’s Ransom, Books One and Two of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam.Thanks to readers of The Lost King and The King’s Ransom, Books One and Two of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam for submitting questions. -- Devorah Fox
As the sun set taking its light with it and the Great Hall dimmed, so too did King Bewilliam’s energy fade. It had been a long day. He wasn’t complaining. He relished the work of ruler of the Chalklands. There was a time when he was simply Robin and his labor had been physically taxing. While he never failed to give his all, he much preferred the diplomacy and decision-making challenges that he faced as king. It was the work for which he was born and bred. Though the approach of evening found him weary, ready for an ale and supper, a clutch of subjects remained standing before him waiting to be heard. Among them was a farmer’s son. He cast anxious glances at the door, no doubt wanting to return to the fields before the day’s light was lost. He then turned pleading eyes to Robin.
“We will take a few more questions and then we will call it a day,” Robin said. He bid the farmer’s boy to
The young man bowed and said, “Sire, we your subjects, have learned of the terrible struggles that Your Majesty endured to win back the kingdom. How did you keep going in the face of such adversity?”
The boy had probably battled adversity of his own. A cropper’s fortunes were at the mercy of natural forces that even the most skilled farmer could not control, Robin knew. “One day at a time, lad,” he replied. “Often, just as we were exhausted and tempted to give up, something would revive our commitment. It might be as simple as an encouraging word or some small achievement but it was just enough to set us back onto our path.” Robin smiled. “Facing Death only made us realize how desperately we wanted to achieve our destiny.”
With a thoughtful expression the boy nodded, bowed, and stepped back.
Sir Alan who had recently renewed his pledge to serve said, “In the old days, you had several trusted knights. Not so many these days. What are your plans to recruit new ones?” The question sounded confrontational but Sir Alan’s stern expression also conveyed concern.
“The Chalklands boasts many riches with which we can compensate loyal service. We look to you, our faithful knights, to recommend, recruit, inspire, and train others who wish to prosper along with us.”
A rare smile lifted Sir Alan’s lips and his eyes twinkled. “Must a knight be a male?”
A female knight? Robin had never heard of such a thing. “A provocative question, Sir Alan. In our travels we have had the good fortune to meet several capable and valiant women. How would you feel about serving alongside one?”
Sir Alan opened his mouth to reply. He looked perplexed, frowned, and finally said, “A provocative question, Sire.” Like the farmer’s son, he nodded, bowed, and stepped back.
From the back of the crowd came a voice. “My lord, at the risk of being thrown out back and flogged, I shall stand here and speak. I am Jonathon Nobody of the Commoner's Gazette. Sire, you have had everything that few of us could ever dream of and you've lost it for whatever reasons. You have clawed and kicked yourself back to the very pinnacle you were once at. You were a fool in a field now you are a King.
“Not so fast,” said Robin perhaps louder than necessary. Now this question was indeed confrontational. However Jonathon Nobody could be giving expression to qualms that others were too timid to voice. Best that Robin put these fears to rest now. “We will never leave the Kingdom of the Chalklands’ welfare in the hands of an uncaring or exploitative ruler,” he said. “You have heard of our plans to strengthen our defenses. We have not endured the struggles that we did only to lose the kingdom again. We will do whatever is necessary to ensure that will not happen.”
From the shadows, a woman’s voice piped up. “Sire, do you intend ever to return to Empress Alexandra and Sea Gate?”
Robin struggled to suppress the flush that threatened to color his face as he was flooded with the memory of the brief but affecting experience. He hadn’t even been aware that anyone in the Chalklands knew of his sojourn at Sea Gate Fortress or what had transpired there. He had no ready answer and leaving the question unanswered gave the officer at arms the high sign. Puzzled, the man nevertheless dutifully announced that there would be no more audiences that day. Robin’s subjects straggled out into the evening leaving their King in the darkening hall alone with his memories of the past and dreams for the future.
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About the Author
Winner of four National Novel Writing Month marathons, Devorah Fox has written for television, radio, magazines, newspapers, and the Internet. Publisher and editor of the BUMPERTOBUMPER® books for commercial motor vehicle drivers, she is also developer of the Easy CDL apps for the iPhone and iPad. She has written test preparation guides for Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. and edited books for Techni-Com, a Canadian publisher, as well as several novels. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she has lived in Port Aransas, Texas, since 2005. Secretary of the Rockport Writers Group, Fox writes the "Dee-Scoveries" blog here and column of the same name for The Island Moon newspaper. She wrote her first novel in the third grade and has written several more since. The Lost King, a literary fantasy, is her first published work of fiction and its sequel, The King’s Ransom, is her most recent. firstname.lastname@example.org