Geoffrey Monmouth - Author

geoffrey@geoffreymonmouth.co.uk

 

 

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Who am I?

They say every author’s first novel is autobiographical. Does that apply to me?

No. Of course, I have drawn on many of my experiences in life.

 

 

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Am I one of my characters?

No. I do, however, usually give my central character certain of my characteristics, but there are always some important differences too. It is important to be able to identify with your hero to a certain extent.

Is Geoffrey Monmouth my real name?

No. It is a pen-name. I use it because I write other types of fiction and non- fiction under my real name and I believe it best to keep historical fiction separate from other kinds of writing. Otherwise the information about myself on this site is true.

 

Why that name?

There was a writer in the Twelfth Century called Geoffrey of Monmouth. He was a monk living in Oxford.

 

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How am I connected to him?

I think we have a lot in common.

  1. He wrote a mixture of fact and fiction in his histories. So do I.
  2. We both love some of the same things:
    • History
    • Writing
    • Wales
    • God

 

What else can I say about myself?

I love animals, especially horses, and nature generally.

I enjoy reading and writing mysteries, especially whodunits.

If you share my loves, I hope you will enjoy my writing.

 

I say more about each aspect of my life and my writing in the following sections.

Writing

When Did I Start?

I began to write at the age of four. I began with my name. My real name, of course. Since then the scope and, I hope, the quality of my writing has developed.

 

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I am fascinated by words. I have studied some foreign languages and find that illuminates my knowledge of English, not least because English has been enriched so much by other languages over the centuries.

 

In my career I have had to write reports, memos, letters and procedures. I almost always found that to be one of the more interesting aspects of my job. It taught me some useful lessons.

 

 

What do I read?

I read all kinds of books, magazines, papers, adverts, blogs and e-mails. In fact just about anything. I think whatever you read influences your style, even the things you dislike. I enjoy historical fiction, historical fact, humour, crime mysteries and articles on management and current affairs.

 

I also like reading the Bible and books about the Christian faith.

Why crime fiction?

I enjoy crime fiction in print and on TV. I enjoy solving puzzles and mysteries. I find that a mystery gives a story a bit of purpose or direction, although some writers manage to do pretty well without including a mystery.?

 

Have I any experience of police work?

I have never been a police officer but I have investigated financial irregularities including fraud. I found my questioning mind was put to good use. I am now putting it to use in creating fictional crime stories.

 

Why historical crime fiction?

Some say the Golden Age of crime fiction was the 1920’s and ‘30’s, although there is plenty being produced today. I am sure crime has gone on all down the ages and that at least some people have had a concern for justice, not just revenge, and have tried to employ reason based on evidence to achieve it.

 

Whilst I enjoy a lot of modern police fiction, I think the use of forensic science, databases and profiling, although to be applauded in real life, can push out the old-fashioned low- tech methods of investigating crime, so a step back into the past helps me take it back to basics.

 

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Publications

I write blogs, articles, newsletters, and books on various subjects, notably risk and management. I also write about matters relating to faith. I am currently in the process of writing a work of fiction.

 

 

My publications can be found by clicking on the relevant word below:

 

HISTORY

I have always loved history. My focus has been mainly on British history, but I may change it to that of other nations sometime. I cannot say I am especially wedded to any one period. I have started to take an interest in prehistory, because there are always so many exciting discoveries about our distant past.

 

Does history matter?

The more we learn about our past, the better we can understand the present. A person without a memory is called an amnesiac.

It is not a healthy condition. I think this applies to nations too. This should not lead to jingoism. Appreciating and celebrating our own quirks does not mean despising those of others.

 

Why mix history and fiction?

I enjoy writing fiction against a historical background, as the natural drama of major events enhances the personal dramas.

Wales

Am I Welsh?

I was born in England of Scottish and Irish descent, as well as English, but I have spent many years living, working and travelling in Wales. I have a great love for the Principality and its people. I am aware that most Britons contain a lot of Celtic DNA. So Welsh history is relevant to most of us on this island ?

 

 

Where is my loyalty?

It is appropriate that I have taken the name of a person associated with both England and Wales, as is the old county of Monmouthshire. Its motto was “utrique fidelis” meaning “loyal to both” which sums me up.

 

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Do I speak Welsh?

 

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No. However, I know enough to understand a lot of place names and people’s names, as well as a few common expressions. Being not truly Welsh, I am bound to make mistakes when I bring Welsh expressions into my writing, but I hope the generosity of the Welsh character will mean I can be forgiven. Likewise, mistakes regarding the history and geography of Wales. .

 

What other places are important to me?

I was born and brought up in Lancashire and have spent most of my life in the North West of England. I have never lived in Scotland, but have had family connections with that

country and have enjoyed many holidays north of the border, except the ones taken in the wet season! My characters and locations will reflect my experiences.

 

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Religion

Why is it important in historical crime fiction?

Religion has been a major phenomenon in our history, and probably in everyone else’s. To ignore it would be a mistake if you want to understand the past.

 

Every hero, indeed every person, needs a moral compass. For many this comes from their faith. For others there must be a different source. My heroes experience inner conflict when they drift away from their moral upbringing, and in any case find life’s complexity challenges religious certainty. They are in good company.

 

 

Doubt

 

 

Am I writing about my own religious convictions?

 

Soap Box

 

I am a Christian and am trying to be true to myself. My characters express thoughts I can identify with, including their doubts and conflicts. I also hope they are authentic representatives of their time.

 

Religious conviction and conflict have often existed side by side with immorality and materialism, in the past as in the present. People had to find ways of living in the real world without abandoning their ideals. They still do.

Horses

Why are they important in my books?

Until the Twentieth Century horses were a vital part of our world, in transport, agriculture and warfare.

 

Some people used horses just because they had to, but we know that many others loved them and took a lot of interest in them, as I do. I try to bring out the different characteristics of the different horses and to show that horsemanship, which means more than riding skills, could make a big difference in a lot of situations.

 

Do I ride?

I have done, on and off, most of my life. The pun is intended. I have competed, unsuccessfully, in various equestrian disciplines. I think riding out over the countryside is a great way to see it and share the enjoyment with your horse.

 

I do not currently own a horse and have not had the opportunity to ride recently. Should I describe myself as “unhorsed” or “dismounted” or what?

There is a poem called “The Horse” by Ronald Duncan which sets out my feelings better than I can.

 

 

Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,

Friendship without envy, Or beauty without vanity?

Here, where grace is laced with muscle, and strength by gentleness confined.

He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.

There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent;

There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.

England’s past has been borne on his back.

All our history is in his industry.

We are his heirs;

He is our inheritance.

 

 

 

Copyright of the Ronald Duncan Literary Foundation.

 

 

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I am always happy to hear from you

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