My guest today comes to us from across the pond, as they say. Please welcome Clive Hagon, an author of historical fiction that taps into Greek myths and legends. First, I’ve asked Clive to tell us a bit about himself, then we’ll move into the interview. Take it away, Clive!
The casual observer would be forgiven for believing that my life has been devoted to gambling, womanizing, and dining well. This is only partially true, for my vocational passion has been to unravel the meaning of classical Greek literature.
I cannot claim formal structure to my studies but, since witnessing Peter Hall’s production of The Oresteia on the London stage in 1981, I have been intrigued by the significance of the play, and all the components of the Epic Greek Cycle. My lifestyle has provided me with the opportunity to devote significant time and energy to the unraveling of these mysteries, and the time now is right for me to begin to create my contribution. I am currently working on an historical fiction concerning the early life of Agamemnon.
Betty: When did you become a writer?
Clive: I have always expressed my creativity in writing, poetry mainly, as well as short stories. Until now none have been submitted for publication as they were written for my own pleasure or, in the case of the poetry, women.
Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?
Clive: Charles Dickens (anything). Franz Kafka (everything). Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.
Betty: What prompted you to start writing?
Clive: Writing is, for me, a satisfying medium for telling stories. I enjoy being the storyteller.
Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?
Clive: My favorite writing activity comes when I write poetry to a woman with whom I have fallen in love. The reason, I think, is self-evident.
Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?
Clive: Mr. Dunn, (name changed) a schoolmaster, (many, many years ago) insisted that a gentleman should learn how to express himself clearly and concisely in both spoken and written forms. Full of post-world war II vigor, he was prepared to thrash these virtues into all the young gentlemen that came unto his educational care, especially those who emerged from the vast social housing estates that had sprung up, new to the district. I learned at an early age that the pen was less painful than the cane.
Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?
Clive: In relation to Pelops. The Making of the King, nothing. The journey from where I was before I began writing Pelops, to where I am now, has taken me to information, myth, legend, and learning that I had previously never imagined. In research for the novella, I have gained a startling insight into the nature of the origin of civilization in the western, modern, world. I would not change a thing.
Betty: What other authors inspired you (either directly or through their writing) to try your hand at writing?
Clive: Oliver Postgate. He told stories on television back when I was a child. Ivor the Engine, and Noggin the Nog, were those that I fondly remember. I enjoyed in my childhood mind the rhythm of the sounds, and the images that the sounds created. I strive now to create rhythm with the written word, and to create images in the readers mind.
Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?
Clive: The background research for the Agamemnon project led me to the task of deconstructing the legend of Pelops. In so doing, I realized that what I had before me were the threads of a tale which could be woven into an engaging fiction. A logical step in the process of understanding the deconstructed remnants of myth and legend provided me with a wonderful story.
A fictional narrative based on the legendary ascension of Pelops to the throne of Pisa.
He awoke, refreshed and calm, to the aroma of warm bread and goats’ milk, and the sound of the horses who had returned to the yard. The old man had gathered the breakfast, and the two men sat in silence as they ate. Without a word, Pelops then hitched the horses to the chariot and led them to the entrance. He turned back to look at the old man, who sat at the table, quiet and still, as Pelops had first seen him.
Pelops spoke. “You are the only friend I have in this world. I will miss your company.”
The old man thought long. “You are my only friend too.” he eventually replied. “I know not what the future holds, neither for you, nor for myself, but I do know that we have both benefited from our friendship. If in the future, you need a quiet place to rest, you will find a home here.”
“Thank you” said Pelops, and bowed his head, overcome with an irrational concern, that the blind man would see his tears.
Please note. Due to the COVID-19 lock down currently in force in Europe, the launch of Pelops. The Making of the King has been temporarily postponed. If you would like to receive information concerning the revised launch date, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title ‘Pelops. The Making of the King’ and I will inform you of the date as soon as it is known to me. Thank you. Clive Hagon.
Take care of yourself and your family, Clive. I can only try to imagine the depth of research you must have done in order to write the story of Pelops. I’m sure your book is worth waiting for!
My heart goes out to everyone during this global health crisis. Stay safe, stay home if you can, and wash your hands… I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the first responders and healthcare workers on the front lines fighting this pandemic. Your efforts and dedication are vastly appreciated!
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