Meet Our Authors
“The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.” – Geoffrey Chaucer, The Parlement of Foules
Poor Chaucer! He knew that our short lives barely give us time to learn the intricacies of the craft. In The Parliament of Fowls, the poem that turned Valentine’s Day into a celebration of romance, our friend Geoffrey portrays himself as a novice in Love, attempting to learn from books how to be a player in Medieval England. He has a dream in which he is promised to see “matter of to write” — a sort of “those who can, do, and those who can’t, write about it” consolation philosophy.* The poems highlights how much Chaucer (the real Chaucer, not the slightly foolish character of the poem) owed to other authors for both his subject matter and his skill.
Collegial conversations with contemporary creators are as important now as they were in the 1300s. In Regal House’s series of interviews, That’s My Story, talented novelists, poets, essayists, and memoir-writers share their thoughts on reading and writing, techniques and craft, the high points and troughs that compose the process of creating a literary work. These interviews are intended to spark lively discussions among our authors, their readers, and the larger literary community. We hope you’ll join our on-line parliament and add your voice and thoughts to the exchange.
In the first installment of our interview series, we’ll learn what Jim Lawry reads, discover Kate Murdoch’s secret super-power, be treated to one of Tim Myer’s favourite jokes, get to share Lily Iona Mackenzie’s insightful realization that using a computer can change one’s thinking, and — in an interview that jumps with Mental Health Awareness Month — be enlightened by Bill Alton’s insights into the influence mental illness can have on the creativity.
Read on for the beginning of the confabulation and a behind-the-scenes acquaintance with the creators of Regal’s publications.
* We needn’t feel too sorry for Chaucer. He was a successful poet, was attached to the royal court, was a diplomat (and possibly a spy), married the sister of John of Gaunt’s mistress/third wife, AND he got to have Paul Bettany play him in The Knight’s Tale. Personally, I think he did pretty well for himself.
Ruth Feiertag is the senior editor of Regal House Publishing. She holds a B.A. from the University of California Santa Cruz and an M.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She finds Medieval and Renaissance literature (mostly poetry and drama) endlessly fascinating, and anyone who wants to be treated to a long monologue should ask her about bastards from the Middle Ages through the Early Modern period. Ruth is the founding editor of PenKnife Editorial Services, and a member of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars.