Interview with John Richard Broughton
Author of Perfecta Saxonia
I was born in Cleethorpes Lincolnshire UK in 1948: just one of the post-war babies. After attending grammar school and studying to the sound of Bob Dylan I went to Nottingham University and studied Medieval and Modern History (Archaeology subsidiary). I have done many different jobs while living in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Leamington, Glossop, the Scilly Isles, Puglia and Calabria. They include teaching English and History, managing a Day Care Centre, being a Director of a Trade Institute and teaching university students English. I even tried being a fisherman and a flower picker when I was on St. Agnes, Scilly. I have lived in Calabria since 1992 where I settled into a long-term job, for once, at the University of Calabria teaching English for 25 years. Now retired, I have written 13 historical novels to be found on Amazon.
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How would you describe <Perfecta Saxonia> to a new reader?
- A new insight into the creation of present-day England
What was the inspiration behind <Perfecta Saxonia> ?
- There was no single trigger' factor but rather it was a culmination of other works about the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
Which authors do you admire?
- I love reading and we'd be here a long time if I made a list of those I admire but my favourites are Herman Hesse and Italo Calvino but more pertinently to what I do, Ken Follett. whose simplicity and effectiveness of laguage is a lesson to us all.
Can you tell us a little about the locations in the book?
- The location of the great battle of Brunanburgh is subject to debate but I have opted for the Wirral near Liverpool. The novel also reaches as far north as the faroe Isles north of Scotland
What advice would you give to aspiring authors? How would you advise a new author about traditional publishing versus self publishing?
- The best advice is to just write the first draft without aiming for perfection. It's best to throw it down, finish, then revise afterwards.
What's your writing process?
- I always read through my previous day's work before continuing.
Which character in <Perfecta Saxonia> has had the greatest impact on readers?
- Hopefully the main character Aethelstan, because his achievements should be more widely recognised.
If <Perfecta Saxonia> were to be adapted for TV or film, who would you see in the lead role? Who did you have in your mind’s eye when you wrote him/her?
- I'd love it to be interpreted by a new face. A little-known actor would led some poetic justice to the memory of Aethelstan. I had no particular person in mind when I wrote my novel.
How have readers responded to <Perfecta Saxonia>?
- Very well. The reviews are excellent.
Where next? What are you working on now?
- I have moved on from 'pure' historical novels like Perfecta Sxonia to time-slip novels. At present I'm working on Book 6 of a series. These books link the modern era to the Anglo-Saxon one.
King Alfred never achieved his dream of uniting the disparate Anglo-Saxon kingdoms into one Perfecta Saxonia.
The man destined to fulfill Alfred's dream is his grandson, Athelstan, as the spark of unity begins in the Saxon kingdom of Wessex. Abandoned by his father and raised by his uncle, young Athelstan faces numerous adversities on his way to becoming a mighty warrior and diplomat.
But can he overcome the odds to transform England from an insignificant island off the Western European mainland, into the leading centre of tenth-century diplomacy and learning?
Discover the story of one of the most important English kings, who put in place the foundations of modern-day England.