{Giveaway/Ebook SALE!} Interviewing Kieran Higgins, Author of THE FORGOTTEN SISTER and THE FORBIDDEN SISTER

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Do you love digging into Arthurian lore as much as I do? There are so many legends and stories and tales, some contradicting one another. Yet I love all the versions!

There is a YouTuber I've followed since maybe the beginning of the year, Kieran Higgins. I JUST found out that he is also an author--and his second book comes out TOMORROW, September 7th!

Both books follow Arthurian lore; each centers around one of Arthur's half-sisters.

To celebrate the launch of the new book, THE FORBIDDEN SISTER, you can buy the first book, THE FORGOTTEN SISTER, on sale for $2.99! Kieran has also stopped by to chat with us about his books, his writing, and to take part in this month's zaniness!


 An Interview With
Kieran Higgins


Kieran is a Belfast-born author. He wrote his first novel at age 5 - he also received his first rejection letter at this age. He has been writing ever since, producing his debut novel The Forgotten Sister, a captivating Arthurian retelling, and Mists Over Newbroke, a chilling Gothic novella.  

Kieran, inspired by JK Rowling, Garth Nix and Mary Stewart, writes the type of stories he wants to read - exciting tales full of compelling characters with believable motivations, captivating locations, strong females and, most importantly, magic.  

When not writing, Kieran can be found on YouTube and Instagram, talking about the books you need to read. Kieran recently finished his PhD and now works as an FE lecturer for students with special educational needs.

What began your love of Arthurian lore?

It all really with the Sword in the Stone - I was, and will always be, a massive Disney fan. I think that film sparked my interest in Arthurian things. I’ve been born at a really interesting time because there was a lot of Arthurian things out there when I was growing up - Sir Gadabout on CITV, the Sam Neil Merlin Miniseries, the Mists of Avalon TV movie, the BBC Merlin show and the short-lived Camelot by Starz. Book-wise, if it’s about Arthur or Merlin, I’ve probably read it. I think I’ve always been a sucker for the heroics, and the magic!

Your debut novel, THE FORGOTTEN SISTER, revolves around Arthur's half-sister Elaine, whom we know little about. What sort of research went into developing her character and deciding on the traction of her story arc?

Elaine was very much an accident. I knew I wanted to do an Arthurian novel set from a female perspective, and I was trying to decide whether I should do Morgan or Morgause, but then I was like, boom, isn’t there another one? She had some non-negotiables from the legend - she had to be married to Nentres, had to be kidnapped by Saxons and had to be there with Arthur at the end of his life. But I thought, why not stick her into all the business of Camelot, and the meta-reason we don’t really know about her is because history didn’t take too kindly to a powerful warrior witch by Arthur’s side?  

Research wise, it’s very hard not to get overwhelmed with all the different versions and sources of the myth. I decided to stick firmly to one source (Le More D’Arthur) and drew on a lot of the writings of St Gildas for the historical accuracy. I used to live next door to a Poundland (where everything is a £1!) and was shopping there late one night, around about the time I decided to start writing THE FORGOTTEN SISTER. When I got to the book section, I spotted this book called ARTHUR: KING OF THE BRITONS by Daniel Mersey. I thought it was fate, so I bought it and it turned out to be one of the simplest and best texts for understanding both the historical context and Arthur as a character that is consistently reimagined!

Congratulations on your new release! What can you tell us about THE FORBIDDEN SISTER, which chronicles the life of Arthur's half sister Morgause after marrying King Lot?

THE FORBIDDEN SISTER really grew out of another interview I gave, where I said that I enjoyed writing Morgause and Lot, and my head-canon for the two of them was them living in Orkney being very fabulous and sassy with one another, and manipulating each other to achieve their own nebulous goals. I wanted to explore that in more detail, because it would be fun to write, but also bring in the idea of the different types of marriage that grew out of arranged marriages: Elaine had a very successful one, Morgan had a horrible one, and Morgause has a different one that her and Lot re-define.

This book sets out to fill in the bits of Morgause we don’t see in The Forgotten Sister, because she lives so far away, but have these reaching consequences for Arthur and Camelot. I always wanted to take a look at the whole incest thing - it was unlikely that they didn’t know about each other and no-one thought to introduce them? So I brought in the effect of genetic sexual attraction instead.

In comparison to THE FORGOTTEN SISTER, which was very sword and sorcery, this is the Arthurian equivalent of a political/espionage novel and looks at the different types of power people can wield.

Do you have plans to create more Arthurian-centered companion novels, perhaps for Arthur's half-sister Morgan LeFay or even Arthur himself?

Oh yes indeed! Originally THE FORGOTTEN SISTER was a standalone, but there was such a good response to it that I decided to do more. Next up will be a short novel set from the perspective of Sir Kay, Arthur’s foster brother, and then Morgan will come after that. I don’t want to put a timeline on it, because I’m not sure I can guarantee it, but that’s what the plans are.   

After that, I’ve plans to do a Merlin prequel (featuring Arthur’s mysterious grandmother and my fav that I introduced at the start of THE FORGOTTEN SISTER, Petronella) and then a sequel, featuring his daughter Anna and Elaine’s son Hoel, picking up where THE FORGOTTEN SISTER ended. The knights make great short story fodder! I have an idea for a short story to draw the whole series to a close, so I want to be sure I’m done before I write that.  

But Arthur himself, I think not. That’s been done so many times. I think he’s a far more interesting character when he’s seen through everyone else’s perspective!

What has been your favorite part of writing these novels and making the lore your own? What has been hardest?

My favourite part has been bringing in humour, pointing out some of the inherent silliness in the lore! The hardest has been managing the time scales of the whole thing. In the original, Elaine and Arthur’s other sisters were far older than him, so they had grown-up sons who were his contemporaries. Trying to balance that so the sons feature but also keep the sisters in the frame was hard, and just keeping the sprawling mythos all together, so that something didn’t happen out of order!

Would you rather be a hero or a villain?

Ooh, villain, most definitely. But not like a world-ending one! Maybe one who is roguish and always on the make, but in the end sees the errors of the ways and helps the heroes defeat The Big Bad!

If you could be any mythical creature, which one would you be and why?

Can I be a Greek god, or is that cheating? I’m Irish, so something from my own cultural myths, a fairy! Emerging from my hill-palace to wreak havoc on or give gifts to humans, depending on who leaves out the best snacks and whisky and who tells the best jokes. That would be very fun indeed!

Have you seen any recent fairy tale/myth movie/television adaptations? If yes, which ones and what do you like most about it/them?

Not many, actually! Hollywood seems to have stepped very far away from them, apart from Disney live action remakes. Book wise, I’m currently reading TO KILL A KINGDOM by Alexandra Christo, which is a darker retelling of The Little Mermaid. I would definitely recommend CIRCE by Madeline Miller to any Greek myth fans out there!

What magical power do you wish you had?

A toughie! Maybe a straight-up witch, then I could cast any spell I want. If I had to pick a specific power, I think maybe teleportation? It would certainly make my life easier, and there’s a myriad of ways you could use it for good…or evil!

If you found yourself trapped in a fairy tale, which would you want it to be?

Fairytales are very Grimm (if you’ll pardon the pun!), so I’m not sure I would want to be trapped in one. If I had to, I’d say Beauty and the Beast, as long as I get to be the “beauty" character, or maybe a villager that helps the others see the error of their ways in attacking the beast! Or maybe Sleeping Beauty - I could do with the rest! 


O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Kieran Higgins
Release Date: May 30, 2016
Publisher: Kieran Higgins
Purchase Links:
Amazon (Now on Kindle Unlimited!)


The Princess Elaine promises the dying Uther Pendragon that she will support the ascension of her half-brother Arthur to the throne. Believing in his vision for a glorious Britain, Elaine is soon swept up in the intrigues of Camelot and caught firmly between her warring siblings - the High King Arthur, the vengeful Morgan LeFay and the devious Morgues. 

She is a queen, a warrior and a witch. Yet none of these things may save her brother from those who plot against him, or the poison at the very heart of his kingdom. He became myth, but she was forgotten. This is her tale. 

Perfect for fans of Alison Weir, Philippa Gregory and the Mists of Avalon, this magical, thrilling Arthurian retelling makes familiar characters new once more.  

Author: Kieran Higgins
Release Date: September 7, 2018
Publisher: Kieran Higgins
Purchase Links:
Amazon (Now on Kindle Unlimited!)


Married off to the island kingdom of Orkney, the Princess Morgause thinks her new kingdom, and new husband, are deathly boring. However, she soon discovers that King Lot trades in more than eastern spices. But as the politics of Britain draw her home to Camelot, Morgause is quickly lured into the intrigues of her sister, the vengeful sorceress Morgan Le Fay. The result is a forbidden love that will change the face of Britain forever, and may spell doom for those she holds dear. 

A companion novel to THE FORGOTTEN SISTER, this book is a must for readers wanting more Tales of Camelot from the pen of Kieran Higgins. Though this can be read as a standalone, it is best enjoyed alongside or after THE FORGOTTEN SISTER.  


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