Friday, 20 June 2014
More about the author
Kamil Gruca was born in Warsaw in 1982 as one of the so-called 'Marshall law children'. It was winter after the general Wojciech Jaruzelski decided exceptional measures were necessary in order to keep the country under control. It was cold and the army patrolled the streets. It was one of the turning points for Polish socialism. Some circumstances to be born in! Still, Kamil claims having no personal memories of that time.
Kamil became passionate about history early on. His interest was as much theoretical as practical and in his teens he joined one of the earliest historical reenactment groups in Poland. Those were the dark ages for the 'Knights Movement'. Nobody had much of an idea how to craft weapons or armour. Not to mention how to sew historical attire. A common sight on a tournment was a knight in linen rags and bucket helm. Obviously, seriuos injuries were a plenty. The positive side of it was that the medieval reenactment groups were made of truly passionate and devoted people. A few of them were seriously interested in reconstructing the nearly lost art of swordfighting, the true one so much unlike the acrobatics we see in the movies. As Kamil honed his sword skills, from a common soldier he grew up to become a knight, winning tournment fights, acquiring a sturdy plate armour and a fine sword. In 2006 consistent training finally resulted in winning the Polish Knights League where participants gather points competing in selected tournments throughout the year. Sample disciplines include group skirmishes, sport duels and freestyle duels. After joining the reenactment group his interest in medieval history focused on the 100 Years War which was the main theme of the group. Thus the seed for the book was planted.
Writing has always been in Kamil's blood. Prior to the 'Gentlemen of Pitchfork' Kamil experimented with fantasy short stories and a philosophical detective story which never saw the light of day but were a good testing ground. After graduating from the Faculty of Philosophy at The Warsaw University Kamil decided to move to France where he focused on developing the book using the rich resources of local libraries and archieves to bring historical depth to the story. Thus the 'Gentlemen of Pitchfork' were born.
Published in 2009 by one of Polish major publishing houses Rebis the book received a warm welcome by critics, readers and fellow writers.
It was soon followed by a sequel 'Baron i Łotr' which brought closure to the plot.
Currently Kamil is working on a series of historical novels focused around one of Poland's most famous knights - Zawisza Czarny - and his numerous, not so famous yet equally interesting brothers.
Beside writing Kamil devotes much of his time to his another passion - programming scripts which he treats as a fine exercise in logics.
Currently Kamil lives in Warsaw with his family.