Message From The Author

Author's Message

The Last Arrow

I freely admit I have been intrigued by the legend of Robin Hood since the first time I saw Errol Flynn swing down out of a tree in his natty green tights and feathered cap. It was always something I wanted to write about, but it was rather brazen of me to think I could retell such a familiar legend in my own voice.

On the other hand, I had been experiencing a recurring dream since the age of twelve-a dream that involved a beautiful blonde-haired damsel in distress, held captive in a cave high on a cliff, rescued by two men cloaked in monks' robes, wielding bows and arrows. Each time I had the dream, it started the same way, progressed through a harrowing escape down a cliff and ended with the heroine being shot through the hand and dragged underwater, out of reach of her two rescuers. A very good friend of mine, intrigued by the precise and unchanging details of the dream, suggested I write it down and use it as a premise for a book. I took her advice and created the first ten pages of what turned out to be the prologue for Through a Dark Mist. While it wasn't the story of Robin Hood, it did open a door to the possibility that the Black Wolf of Lincoln was heroic enough to have sired such a legendary hero.

I explored that possibility in In The Shadow of Midnight, but again discovered that Eduard Fitz Randwulf was not quite the man I was looking for. In recounting his adventures, however, I took perverse pleasure in introducing some secondary characters who could, conceivably, form the nucleus of the legend. I had the maid, Marienne, Friar Tuck, Will of the Scarlet Eyes, even Alan a'Dale. Not to mention a blinded princess who sought refuge in Kirklees abbey, and a prince turned King who made his former champion, Sir Guy of Gisbourne, the High Sheriff of Notthingham. And there was Robin, the first-born son of the Black Wolf, conceived in the magical waters of the Silent Pool, destined to some great future enterprise that would carry his name down through the centuries.

I had my Robin Hood. And while his story forms the basis for THE LAST ARROW, I have taken great pains and even more perverse pleasure in skirting around the edges of the actual legend, choosing instead to suggest how the many elements of several heroic characters blended together to create the fabled Prince of Thieves. I hope I have done justice to Robin, as well as to the many readers who wrote and asked if I intended to finish the story begun in Through a Dark Mist.

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