Phillip Ambrose on Portal to Logres ~ Interview, Local Giveaway

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Phillip Ambrose for taking the time to talk with us today.


Title: Portal to Logres
Author: Phillip Ambrose
Publisher: Wilde City
Cover Artist: unknown
Publication Date:03/04/2015
Genre/Sub-Genre: Fantasy, M/M Romance, Science Fiction


Students Marcus and Toby are stranded in the parallel kingdom of Logres, a world of treachery and intrigue, sinister puppet masters pull the strings of ambitious noblemen. Who can they trust?

In the shadows, an ancient evil is rising again and the two lads seem fated to have to face it. Yet, how can they hope to defeat an enemy of such power?

As they explore their deepening love for each other and with only each other to trust, Marcus and Toby must find a path through an unfamiliar world, as the fate of the kingdom rests in their hands. Will their love draw them together or will their destiny drive them apart?


We are here today to talk about Portal to Logres. What can you tell us about it?

Well, first things first, “Portal to Logres” is an m/m romance. The love story between two students, Marcus and Toby, is at the heart of the book, runs through the book and in large measure drives the plot. But at the same time the book is an epic fantasy, set in part in a parallel world, rather like Tudor England, with lots of adventure and intrigue.

“Portal” is the first part of the adventure. The second part, “Sword of Logres” will follow. [SPOILER ALERT!!] The books tell of how the two students discover that a world they thought was invented, the creation of their Professor, is actually real. They go there and find that they have a role to play in an unfolding and very deadly drama.

I think there’s something for everyone in the book, from Machiavellian plotting by powerful lords; the re-appearance of an ancient evil; echoes of a distant past and some fighting as well as some hot sex between the lads!!

The book should (I hope) appeal to those who like fantasy (my book is akin to Martin’s “Game of Thrones” or Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series). But also those who like a good old-fashioned romance.

Tell us more about Marcus and Toby?

Marcus McDermott and Toby Hall are two students at an ancient university in 1970s Britain. Both are good looking in rather different ways. Marcus is dark, tall and athletic. Toby is stockier, muscled and fair haired.

Initially neither lad likes the other, though they find each other attractive and are attracted to each other. So they have to work that out before anything else can happen.

Both Marcus and Toby are bright, intelligent young men (around 20 years of age) both are sporty and both study history. Marcus has Olympic potential as a fencer, went to a British public (i.e. fee paying) school and can be (often is) arrogant. He has had a troubled childhood and put up lots of defences, not least because he’s gay.

Toby is, on the surface, a more open and easy-going character. But he is, initially at least, uneasy with his gayness (being openly gay in 1970 was still not common and had only been legal for a few years). More emotional than Marcus, Toby seeks commitment and gives himself completely to his lover. He finds it difficult to understand that not everyone reacts in the same way.

Whether the two will make it though despite hurdles or whether their destiny in Logres will drive them apart is the key question.

What about Portal to Logres makes you the proudest?

What makes me proudest is that I have managed to intertwine, rather like the double-helix of DNA, an adventure story AND the two gay characters. I think it would be difficult to separate the two strands.

I say this, because I have long aspired to write a gay fantasy novel but did not simply want to insert two gay characters into a ho-hum story. I felt that would be tokenism. Whether I have succeeded will be up to readers to judge, but I am amazed that I have done what I set out to do.

The other things that make me proud about the book are, firstly, that I have been able to create and explore an imaginary world in some detail. I am pleased with the way that it has evolved and how much of it I have been able to reveal.

Secondly, I think that the characters, other than Toby and Marcus, are interesting and different.

In short, I have quite a bit to be proud of. But the proof of any pudding is in the eating…

Portal to Logres is your first novel. Can you talk a little about your experience publishing your first novel?

I hardly had time to pause for breath!! It all unfolded so quickly. I began to write this book (with the encouragement of a wonderful published m/m author) around late December 2013. By the end of January 2014 (after sending my mentor pretty much a chapter a day) I had 200,000 words down. Not all of those words were good, but I had the basis of a complete novel in front of me. By June 2014 my mentor had be making a pitch to a publisher, and in early March 2015 I became a published author. YAY!!

It has been an amazing year. I have met some lovely people, not least my lovely editor. I have learned masses I never knew before and have gained confidence. Friends have been an absolute blessing – encouraging, supporting and providing feedback.

Yet writing is a lonely process and I now wait to find out whether characters who have come to mean a lot to me will mean as much to readers.

I could go on and on about this topic but I’ll leave it there for the moment.

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?

Quite simply, WRITE. When one writes ideas flow. You can brood for ages over the plot or characters, planning, making notes, thinking. When you write it all comes together. Serendipitously, ideas link, previously unthought angles and descriptions flow onto the page.

Never procrastinate (my great problem) but write, write, write.

If the world were going to end tomorrow, how would you spend your last night on earth?

Making passionate love to the most handsome man I could find!!

Seriously, I think I’d try to be with a friend or friends and try to ensure that they were Ok, not frightened or alone.

Together we are stronger and capable of far more, than we are apart.

What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?

My kindle bulges with books downloaded but not yet read.

I also read a lot of non-fiction (usually history-related).

In the m/m field, I have just re-read TJ Masters lovely “Taking the Gardener” (I adore Tom the gardener); and i am about to embark on a re-read (in order) or Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows novels. They were the books that got me into writing m/m and “Portal to Logres” is dedicated to Charlie.

Rapid Fire Time

  • Tax Audit or Enema? Enema
  • Vanilla or Chocolate? Chocolate
  • Apple or Android? Android
  • Coffee or tea? Coffee – but I also love tea (I’m British!)
  • Love Story or Thriller? Depends (Thriller with a great love story and hot sex would be great!!)
  • Christmas or Halloween? Christmas. Too old for Halloween (and it was never celebrated in Britain when I was young so it has no associations for me).
  • Pastel or neon (bright?)? Pastel.
  • Baseball or Cricket? Neither. I have no aptitude or interet in sport.
  • Pancakes or Waffles? Pancakes, but I like waffles. But for me maybe scones and jam and cream, or a cucumber sandwich!!
  • Kanye or Beck? What are these.

What are you working on? What is next?

Currently, I am striving to complete “Sword of Logres” the completion of the story begun in “Portal to Logres”. It is almost there, but I have to make sure the psychology is believable and right and that a complex story is structured in the right way.

There is a hole in the draft about two thirds of the way through. I know what happens but I cannot write it until I am satisfied the lead up to it works.

I have some ideas for a few very heavily sexed bdsm and gay erotic novels.

There are also notes for a story about the British Royal family (they’ll be fictionalised) which I think might be intriguing.

About the Author:

Whatever his chronological age, Philip Ambrose has never really grown up, still has the enthusiasms of an eleven year old and is happiest in a world of imagination and invention. He has a passion for history (real or invented) especially historical mysteries from the “princes” in the Tower; Jack the Ripper, ancient Egypt, the Wars of the Roses and military history. Perhaps that interest relates to having been brought up in an English Cathedral City where each day he was surrounded by Roman and medieval buildings. Now retired, Philip Ambrose was for almost forty years in the public service but could not possibly comment on whether that affected his writing style! Writing for publication has always been an aspiration but was not a realistic prospect until work was behind him. Today he lives surrounded by books and and loves meeting people, enjoying a good meal, conversation and reading as well as writing the sort of books he would like to read.

Buy Links:

Wilde City
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA


Phillip Ambrose has kindly offered $10 All Romance eBooks OmniBucks to 1 Lucky Commenter

Locally held contests will end 7 days from original posting date at 8pm CST. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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17 thoughts on “Phillip Ambrose on Portal to Logres ~ Interview, Local Giveaway

  1. I enjoyed the interview and I love finding new authors especially if they are a Brit like me.


  2. Portal to Logres sounds good! And I am glad to learn that established authors are mentoring new authors so we all have more good books to read. 🙂

    Thanks for the post!

  3. Tax audits are no fun, I’ll rather have a enema too, lol XD Thank you for the interview and rapid question answers =)

  4. I put on my must read list and thank you for the interview. I enjoyed reading the post and looking forward to reading Portal to Logres and any other book you have and will pen.

  5. Thank you so much for introducing us an up and coming new author and enticing us into his first book and finding out some interesting facts. I love alternate fantasy worlds and one my favourites lasted six books, as I love series and following characters along their journey.

    Thank you for a chance to win an ARe gift voucher, but I would not mind being gifted his book if that option was also available, as the book does not seem to be available on Amazon yet 🙁

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