I had so much fun interviewing King William of Coldthwaite and his lovely wife, Jael. If you missed it, you can read it here. I was on my way out of the castle, when who should I run into—literally—Will Morgan. Yes! Young Will from The Lady of the Haven. He is as handsome as his uncle, the king. *Sigh*
So of course I had to ask him a few questions. He walked me to the landing—you can only get to Coldthwaite via boat this time of year. Or in this case, Dragonship. I’m also a close friend of Benabi’s. If you’re ever in the Mediterranean, you absolutely must visit Milos (pronounced mee-los btw).
Back to the subject: Young Will/Will Morgan.
Even with a slight limp from his injury in the first book, he is dashing. He’s not quite as tall as the king and is slighter of build. His dark hair is tied back, and he keeps his mustache and beard neatly trimmed. He has a wonderful smile, and he smiles often.
So after I bumped into him (the lighting in ancient castles is atrocious!), I introduced myself. He was dumbstruck. Happily, that was short-lived, or this would’ve been a mini interview. He bowed over my hand and kissed it. Oh shivers!
Me: So, now that you’re all grown up, you’re known as Will Morgan, but many of my readers would recognize you as “Young Will.” Were you glad to put that name behind you?
Will: The name and the person, Lady Betty. I’ve no wish to be that young man again. Always last and left behind, daily struggling with my own weakness.
Me: But your patience and perseverance paid off, I believe.
Will: I wish I could say twas true, my lady. I murmured and complained enough to challenge the Hebrews on their desert trek. It was mercy, more like, and being in the right place at the right time.
Me: That’s certainly true of your first meeting with the Lady of the Haven.
Will: Aye, tis true. (He chuckles)–Eh … she had us all fooled, she did. I thought for certain it was a young lad I was dealing with. She looked like a street urchin. I was that surprised when I found out there was a female under all that filth. And a lady at that.
Me: We’d made the landing by now. I craned my neck to see the top of the sails, unfurled for a last check before we set off. The emblem of the dragon spitting fire always impressed me. In an age of handcrafting, these beautiful silk sails tended to be spot-on. Each identical to the others. Will noticed the direction of my gaze.
Will: Impressive, aren’t they? And fast, too.
He steps aboard then turns about, and before I could follow him down, takes my breath away (literally) by clutching me about the waist and hoisting me aboard. No easy feat, I promise you. I clamp my hand over my lips to suppress a giggle.
Me: Thank you, kind sir.
Will: (Bows) Tis I, who am in your debt, madam.
We were just in time it seemed. A few moments later, a couple of burly men weighed anchor and the ship began to move. Beneath the place where we stood, men wrestled with oars, turning about. I peered over the side to witness the fruits of their labor. When I glanced back up, I found Will in the bow, one hand shielding his eyes, the other upraised, saluting someone who stood on the upper terrace of Coldthwaite castle. There, a long white scarf unfurled. Lady Jael, no doubt. I moved to his side.
Me: At one time, I believe you had quite a crush on that lady.
Will: (Turns about to gaze at me, a slight frown creasing his handsome brow) Crush? Like killing a bug?
Me: (I laugh) Not quite. I should have said, you were at one time, enamored of your aunt. Before she was your aunt, of course.
Will: (Blushes) Aye, my lady, you alone would know that. Idolized her, somewhat, I did. She saved my life. (Smacks his thigh) And my leg.
Me: I smile and gaze upriver. Our destination: Corwinder-by-the-Sea, a place of rugged beauty; Will’s home.
Are you happy to be going home?
Will: Always. Happiness abides there for me. And I’ve a brand new crop of raw recruits to train. So yes, my lady, I am happy. (The smile returns, lending credence to his words).
We stand side-by-side in the bow. The freshening wind off the river is invigorating. For a moment, I’m tempted to reenact the scene between Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Winslet, but it is only a fleeting thought. I wouldn’t want to do anything to alienate the dear lady who waits for him in Corwinder. I won’t mention her name. That’d be a spoiler for those of you who haven’t read A Gathering of Eagles.
I’m planning to stay a couple of days in Corwinder, then I’m off again, this time in a much smaller vessel. Headed to the Falls of Verani, along with a certain Roman missionary, the only non-Rogan who knows the location of the disappearing trail. Well, except for me, of course.