Tag Archives: Jan Hawke

The Fantasy Freebooting Tour

I am thrilled to share with you, dear readers, the incredible talents of indie author Jan Hawke! If you’ve not discovered this writer yet, you’re in for a treat. Take it away, Jan! 


To Bard or not to Bard?

Once I’d bitten the roleplay bullet, I started out as a Woodelf raised by humans, but now seeking to re-connect with her natural kin in the River Kingdom. The place I felt most comfortable was with the Bards. Now, while I had embraced fan-fiction pretty quickly, the poetry/singing side of things was not quite so attractive to me. The reason for this was irrational, but deep-rooted. I had sworn off poetry big-time as a teen, when we were assigned Idylls of the King as our set book for our General Certificate of Education syllabus (Senior High level). Our teacher really sucked lemons at teaching poetry, and even though I loved Arthurian legend, I truly loathed the poor Lady of Shallot, and vowed to eschew iambic pentameter and all formal poetry forms forever and a day by the time I’d taken and passed my exams.

Becoming an elf is when I learned the meaning of ‘never say never’. Tolkien is arguably the greatest of the English poets of the twentieth century, and you can’t fall in love with Middle Earth like I had done as a ten-year-old, without also liking some of the songs that he wrote for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings… And all bards must sing…

By the time I was acclaimed High Bard in the River Kingdom (courtesy of our ‘lords’ the Kingdom moderators), I’d quite happily started to rhyme, or rather rap in free verse for the most part. However, taking my new role to heart, I finally backed down and decided I’d better do some ‘proper’ poetry as well. Only it was usually on my own terms, and always in character for Jano’s backstory.

Being immortal is not all roses and smiles. Imagine if, like Jano, you spent a lot of time around mortals and felt they were your family (let’s leave romantic lurve out this for the time being), then watching them all get old, infirm and then die in what seems like five minutes to the long-lived Elves. All that while always looking youthful and beautiful yourself. Frankly it’s depressing. Heart-wrenching in fact, especially when old family friends think that you’re your own daughter, or granddaughter, because so many years have flown by, but you haven’t changed in any way. Which is why Jano was in a state of extreme loneliness and despair by the time she got to the River Kingdom, after trying to tough it out living alone in her homelands, far from any elven community. She was an elf by nature, but mortal by nurture, and as such this gave her dark insights into the true differences between the Children of Eru. The immortal elves and mortal men.

Elf-mortal pairings, though celebrated in the Middle Earth legendarium (both Aragorn and Arwen were descended from a couple of elven princesses who had mated with mortal heroes by special dispensation from the Valar), were in fact extremely rare, because of the emotional trauma for the surviving immortal when they inevitably lost their lifemate. Although Jano had not had that particular pain (losing her foster parents, siblings and their offspring had been hard enough to bear), when she related the old stories to people visiting with the Bards Guild, she approached it from a more pragmatic perspective than most elves, simply because she had far more empathy with mortals than her biological kin.

Here’s her take on love between the two kindreds, done in simple couplets. Mandos’ Halls mentioned at the end is the equivalent of paradise, where elven spirits went if they were slain, or died of grief, to either stay in disincarnate peace, or to reincarnate in the West, where all the elves eventually came ‘home’. Mortals could not reincarnate, so although they went to a different part of the Halls of Mandos, they all eventually left the world altogether, to join their Maker in the heavens.


Kindred Love

(The Elves (the Firstborn) sing the first three verses)

You will go and I must stay

so whilst we share our lifelong way

we will not think on what will be

but take our time so lovingly.

For I am old and you are young,

so we take the path with starlight strung.

We fill our days with love and light

and take the warmth into the night.

I must stay and you will go

so since we know our love can grow

we will not think on what will be

but take our time so lovingly.

(Men (the Secondborn) sing the last three verses)

For I am young and you are old

and here we reach the time foretold.

Your eyes still shine like mine in youth

but my life’s strength soon fails in truth.

And I will go and you must stay

so whilst we share our lifelong way

we will not think on what will be

but take our time so lovingly.

So you must stay and I will go

and where I’ll end we do not know.

Time’s passing way – it is death’s call

for I cannot stay in Mandos’ Halls.




Siân Glírdan is the fusion persona of the elven roleplay character, Janowyn (Jano), High Bard of the River Kingdom and her ‘real world’ creator, author, Jan Hawke. Glírdan is the elven word for ‘songsmith’, and Siân is a Welsh variant of Jan (in case you were wondering!).
When it became obvious to Jan that Jano had a far better handle than she could ever have on writing in the fantasy genres, Siân was born, fully formed and raring to go.  A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac, which is basically the manual on how Jano was brought into being and developed, is Siân and Jano’s first official collaboration. They’re currently working hard on an epic future fantasy series, Tomes of the Havenlands, loosely based on the ancient Celtic world. The first volume should reach the shelves at the end of 2016.


Author image


A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac back blurb

This is poetry, wrapped in fantasy, within a memoir… Or, to put it another way, it’s a true tale that might well apply to many fantasy fans and gamers who can’t be bothered with keeping their realities separated from their more lurid imaginings.
In my case, this is a sort of ‘real’ cyberspace profiling, during a phase of my life when roleplay truly did need to be therapy, because what was happening around me for real was not what I wanted to participate in. So, buckle up your swash and prepare to witness a titanic battle played out on the field of sanity – where what happens in your head is the only truth that matters.

Book Image
Book links

Amazon (eBook only for now) – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H3R5K7K
Amazon Biohttp://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01H3UVW06
A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac blog http://freebootersalmanac.blogspot.co.uk/

Social Media links
Twitter – @SianGlirdanBard (https://twitter.com/SianGlirdanBard)
Facebook Author page –


“The tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

Spotlight Author Jan Hawke

Hello again, dear readers. It is my privilege to host Rave Reviews Book Club’Spotlight Author. This incredible honor goes to indie author Jan Hawke.  Take it away, Jan…

jan hawke bio pic my download

The future is prehistoric

Well, it is in my work in progress, book 1 of Tomes of the HavenLands: Storm Shadow. Though set well into a murky galactic future, the fantasy is archaic in that it’s loosely derived from Arthurian legend, with romantic focus on the Arthur-Morgause dynamic and their relationship with Merlin. All three main characters are supernaturally gifted with various magical powers such as seeing into the future, controlling animals, and, in the lady’s case, the ability to shape-shift…


The adolescent she-lionpard* stood motionless at the edge of Dergpwll, the moonlit cloud shadows falling darkest blue over blood-soaked predator and her slain prey, the dry wind soughing through the boulders and the high dunes around them.

Feyæth let the dream unroll as always. It was pointless trying to evade it, for this night she must sleep and so she kept the tortuous vigil for Nuithen’s father as she had on that night, so long ago. She shivered in her sleep inside the wisent hide cone-lodge, invaded by the cold night air of Ardtarn even as she had done out in that desert, despite the soft mottled golden fur she had worn then for the very first time, as her dream traced the beast’s numbed, murderous stride into the glinting, silent waterhole.

Again she felt the cool of the waters wash away the blood and flesh from her gaping maw and fangs, soaking the lionpard’s hide to her shoulders until she had completely submerged herself. Only then did she allow herself to float without stirring a muscle, barely trying to keep her nostrils out of the water. Wanting to drown away the memory of what she had just done and her life with it…

Had she really started to drown, or was it just the dream? She felt she was choking, her lungs burning, her head throbbing with pain as a great light seemed to sear her insides and then to seep out of her skin in a long, drawn out, excruciating sigh, as she had diminished and then struggled for air, the taste of bile strong in her mouth. Her human mouth once more.

The dream went on and she allowed it, though she could hear herself sobbing far off, whether it was in that night-cold desert or beside the icy moorland lake. It didn’t matter whether her face was wet with water or tears, as her younger self slowly staggered naked from the water to look down on the man she had once thought was her father. Her eyes went first to where she had ripped out his throat. The ruins of torn flesh, the blood no longer spurting, though it pooled all around his head and chest, not yet congealed as the sands cooled in the night wind. Her fingers, pale and trembling, reached out for his face, but then flinched away from the great lacerations made by her panic-stricken nails, that had lengthened and curled into vicious black claws as the metamorphosis had carried her away into fury, then madness, as she had savaged his visage. Ripping out those blazing, hate-filled eyes that had finally gaped in terror at the hellish transformation he had deliberately provoked – inflicted upon her, as he drove her into the horrifying maelstrom of extremis…


A lionpard is a ‘retro-gelf’ animal, in appearance like a super-sized lion but with leopard-like rosettes and heavily furred for the cold desert climate of the Wastes of Great Hafn which, like our Gobi Desert, has extremes of heat and cold so it has snow on the dunes at times (ever wondered why Bactrian Camels have such shaggy coats?). Nuithen is Feyæth’s brother if you need to know…


Jan Hawke is the author of

Milele Safari – An Eternal Journey

Available on Amazon

 jan hawke Milele Safari

Follow Jan Hawke on Social Media

Website: janhawke.me/

Twitter handle: @JanHawke

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Jan-Hawke-386239624841750/