Today author Jenelle Schmidt is here to talk about minstrels. Why this topic, you ask? Because her new book Minstrel’s Call is now available, and there’s an epic giveaway to go along with it! First let’s hear from Jenelle, and then you’ll have a chance to enter the giveaway which is full of all things fantasy (including a sword!).
Now, take it from here, Jenelle!
The Minstrel’s Life For Me
Minstrels have always fascinated me. Fflewddur Fflam, from Alexander Lloyd’s “Prydain Chronicles” was the first minstrel who captured my imagination, and I’ve kept an eye out for more characters like him ever since. Perhaps part of my love of minstrels is that I feel a certain kinship with them; after all, they were the “authors” of the medieval era. Wandering from place to place, regaling anyone who would listen to their stories and songs. Minstrels enjoyed a certain amount of freedom that many other classes of that era never experienced.
Minstrels had to be skilled at little bits of everything. A minstrel didn’t just sing or play an instrument, they also juggled, told jokes, performed acrobatics, and danced. They didn’t just tell stories they’d heard and memorized, either, most minstrels lived by their ability to make up new ballads and songs, as well as their ability to bring news to people who did not have access to it…. Minstrels, the Facebook of the Middle Ages…
Life on the road is not always easy, however, nor is it comfortable. So the more fortunate minstrels were employed by kings or other nobles, they would be given servants’ quarters and fed regularly as part of the household, but in exchange for these comforts, they were expected to play on demand. I imagine they would also have to be more careful in their choice of songs, stories, and jokes if they wished to retain their place in the household.
I suspect that this fascination with minstrels and their lives is also why Kiernan Kane arrived on the scene and successfully demanded that my story (which was supposed to revolve around Kamarie and Oraeyn, by the way) become all about HIM.
Kiernan Kane appears on the scene in King’s Warrior as the exact picture of a bumbling, foolish, down-on-his-luck sort of wandering minstrel you’d expect to find wandering around from dusty village to impoverished farming community. However, there is far more to him than first meets the eye. And though his friends scoff in disbelief at his self-deprecating boasts of singing before Kings and Queens and Dragons… he actually has done all the things he claims to have done… and more!
Much of Kiernan Kane’s existence was inspired by Gordon Lightfoot’s song, “The Minstrel of the Dawn.” I have always loved that ballad and been intrigued by the story it tells about a traveling minstrel whose eyes and face are filled with the ghosts of all the tales he carries. Kiernan certainly carries a lot of stories, and all of them are true.
But to find out about that, you’ll have to read the book. Because Minstrel’s Call is, first and foremost, Kiernan’s story…
Thanks for sharing your knowledge of minstrels and what they’ve meant to you as a storyteller, Jenelle! I really want to know Kiernan’s story now. There’s something timeless and classic about a minstrel that has always appealed to me.
Jenelle Schmidt grew up in the northern-Midwest. She now resides with her husband and their four adorable children in the wilds of Wisconsin. Jenelle fell in love with reading at a young age during family story-times when her father would read out loud to her and her siblings each night before bed. Her imagination was captured by authors such as Madeleine L’Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Lloyd Alexander. It wasn’t long before she began making up her own stories and sharing them with her family. To this day she enjoys creating exciting adventure tales filled with poignant themes and compelling characters in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.
You can purchase her books at:
And now it’s time for…
…This epic giveaway! There’s a sword, how cool is that? Enter for your chance to win.
Jenelle’s Rafflecopter Giveaway:
I am giving away 1 Dragon Sword, 1 252-piece puzzle of the artwork for Minstrel’s Call, and 1 signed paperback copy of Minstrel’s Call. (Due to standard-postal shipping restrictions of blades outside the continental USA, and the lack of reliable dragons these days, I cannot offer the sword to winners outside the U.S. However, if someone outside the U.S. wins that particular item, I will send them a $35 Amazon Gift Card instead).
Subscribe to my email list for sneak peeks into my writing projects:
© 2018-to present author E.E. Rawls and RawlsE.wordpress.com
(ads are by WordPress, not me)