I'm excited to announce the upcoming release of the new historical fiction novel, Among the Great, and to talk with the author, Amy Ullrich! I know you'll love hearing from her, so read on for our conversation and to learn more about this book set during the reign of Alfred the Great.
Among the Great
The year is AD 877, and King Alfred has succeeded in driving the marauding Danes from his kingdom – for the time being. Edwin and his sister Edith are just beginning to enjoy their liberty when, one terrible night, their lives change forever. Separated from one another, and caught up in the turmoil of their times, Edwin and Edith must learn to discern between truth and falsehood, friend and foe, or be swept away on a tide of treachery. A blind bard, a lame blacksmith, and an ambitious warrior all have their role in this tale of courage and true heroism set during the reign of Alfred the Great.
Learn more about Among the Great and be the first to know when it releases by clicking HERE.
Hello, Amy! I’m so excited to have you here and to talk about the release of your debut novel! To start, would you mind sharing a bit about yourself and your upcoming book?
Thanks for having me Ava, I’m excited to be here! I am a historical fiction writer based in Australia. I’ve loved history for as long as I can remember and am very grateful for the opportunity to share my passion with others through my writing.
My upcoming book, Among the Great, is my debut novel. It’s a historical novel set in 9th-century England during the reign of Alfred the Great. It tells the story of a brother and sister who, after the murder of their father, find themselves surrounded by danger and treachery. If they fail to discover the truth about themselves and their neighbors, they could lose their lives!
What is the inspiration behind your Among The Great, and what prompted you to write it?
It all started when I discovered King Alfred’s story. King Alfred was an amazing ruler whose work transformed English history, but he was also a very human character, with struggles just like the rest of us. His story is an incredible example of God’s power working through human weakness. As that has been a recurring theme in my own life, I felt I just had to write about it!
What is the most valuable thing writing this book has taught you?
I think the most important thing I’ve learned is that, as Christians, we need to learn more and more to depend on God in everything we undertake to do in life. The more we recognize our own weakness and our need to lean on Him, the more His strength can shine through in our lives. In my journey with Among the Great, I have found John 15:5 to be so true: “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”
How long have you been writing? What is your favorite thing about it?
I’ve been writing since I was six years old. My first story was a fairytale about two poor sisters who are invited to a ball and one of them ends up marrying a prince (surprise!). I hope my plots have improved a bit since then! My favorite thing about writing is the opportunity it gives me to enter into another world and explore deep themes through my characters.
What do you want your readers to take away from this story?
First and foremost, I want my readers to enjoy it. It is a fairly intense story in places, but my aim is always to leave my readers feeling refreshed and inspired. I hope it’ll encourage them and perhaps remind them that, as one of the characters says, “The greatest heroes are often the most ordinary people.”
Which character do you resonate with the most, and why?
Oo, great question! There’s a bit of me in all of my characters, but I think the one I resonate with the most is Aisly, who is actually a minor character. She is a quiet village girl who loves to help people and who loves the Lord. Of course, I love all of my characters but I think if they were real-life people, I would probably get on best with Aisly.
What are some of your big dreams and aspirations as an author?
What I really hope and pray for is that my writing will bless my readers. Of course, selling lots of books, winning awards, and all that sort of stuff is nice, but what would give me more joy than anything else would be to know that my stories are touching lives and are inspiring and encouraging my readers in the way that so many stories have inspired and encouraged me.
What advice do you have for other young writers who dream of publishing one day?
Maybe this sounds cliché, but if I were to give one piece of advice it would be to never, ever give up! Writing is hard, and publishing is even harder. But, if you know that you have something to say, trust in the Lord for His strength, rest in His guidance, and write!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Captivated by the joy of storytelling at an early age, Amy Ullrich is an author whose passion is to bring history to life through the eyes of relatable fictional characters. Amy’s favourite way to study history is to examine the lives of individuals, finding out how God used their personal stories to impact future generations.
Amy particularly loves to see how, throughout history, God has worked through weak, ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. Her debut novel, Among the Great, explores this theme while introducing readers to the life and times of Alfred the Great.
Besides writing, Amy loves reading, playing music, painting, and of course, interacting with her readers! To find out more about her, visit AmyUllrich.com.
Do you read historical fiction? What is your favorite time period? Are you excited for Among The Great? (I can't wait to read it!) I'd love to hear from you in the comments!