Ken ready for battle!
To commemorate the 16th and final episode of season 1 of The D.O.D.O Files, Bound’s VP of Story Development Jamie Ortiz sat down with author Ken Mondschein to discuss Chaucer, fencing with Neal Stephenson, and time-traveling back to medieval times.
Jamie: Thanks for taking the time to talk, Ed. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Ken: Well, in addition to being a writer, I’m a professor of medieval history, a fencing master, and a jouster. No, really. I have a PhD and I joust and teach historical swordfighting. My website is kenmondschein.com, if you don’t believe me.
Jamie: That’s awesome. So, when did you start writing?
Ken: Oh, geez. I used to write “books” on construction paper was a kid. I’ve always written, and had my first professional sale when I was 17. I’ve written something like five or six books since then.
Jamie: Nice! So how did you get involved with the project?
Ken: Well, I’ve known Neal from historical fencing circles for a while, and he figured with my period knowledge, physical skills, and writing chops, I was the perfect sort of candidate to be recruited for real-life DODO…
Jamie: “The Screwhead Letters” is a great title! Where did the inspiration for the story come from?
Ken: A combination of Ash’s line in “Army of Darkness” (“Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up! You see this? This… is my boomstick!”) and C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters. Other than that, I imagined what Handler’s character might say…
Jamie: Interesting. Did you have to perform any research on 14th-century France?
Ken: A bit on the chronology, the particulars of Chaucer’s life, and the Champain affair (interesting how the interpretation of what has changed over the years), but less than you might think… I mean, I live this stuff.
Jamie: That helps. What are you working on next?
Ken: Well, I write… a lot. I’m trying to complete a fantasy novel, but also wrapping a rapier fencing manual, a translation of a 15th century sword-fighting treatise, and a book on the history of timekeeping. My book, “Game of Thrones and the Medieval Art of War,” will also be out in November.
Click here to learn more about The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland.
For more on Ken and his writing, check out kenmondschein.com