The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia - Interview
How did you get in to writing?
I have always enjoyed writing, but never taken it seriously as a career until recently. I tried to write a novel a few years ago, but gave-up. I had lots of ideas, but no skills and training to speak of. It was only as I was working on my business degree that I decided to take a creative writing track. I’d had enough of studying financial accounting and wanted something ‘fun’ to do instead. Once I started studying, I was hooked, and decided to try my hand at novel writing once more.
Give us a summary of The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia
The book is about a Celtic princess who witnesses her father murdered by invading Saxons, and she is then taken into slavery. Her kingdom falls, but her brother escapes to a nearby island off the east coast. Many years later when she grows up, she finds out her brother is alive, and she manages to escape the Saxons. She searches for her brother so that they can reclaim their lost kingdom, and their identities.
Where do you get your ideas from?
I find inspiration through researching the past. I love history, and find the old tales of early British history fascinating. That combined with whatever I’m reading, watching or listening to… all contributes to ideas for my novels. My writing always has an inspirational theme too. When I wrote The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia, I focused on God’s grace and forgiveness, but other themes found their way in there too, such as redemption, and our identity in Christ. The second book, which I’ve just finished writing, concentrates on acceptance, and value. I find that writing is probably the primary way God speaks to me
Talk about your book’s setting
I found out about the tiny kingdom of Elmetia when I was researching early British Kingdoms. At the time, I was living just a few miles from Sherburn-in-Elmet in Yorkshire, and realised the name derived from Elmetia. I discovered that the kingdom only existed for a few hundred years, before the last King was killed and the kingdom taken over by Saxons. When I researched further into King Ceretic, the last king of Elmetia, I discovered there was no record of his wife or any children. Some critics say it may be that they could have existed, but the records were destroyed, or lost. In truth, we are talking about over 1500 years ago, so no-one can really know for sure. This was the basis for The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia. I began to wonder, what if he did have children, but they died, or even escaped….
Do you find writing easy?
No… writing is hard work, and it consumes your life! I find I’m thinking about plot lines and characters as I drift off to sleep, and even in my dreams. I’m thinking about them as I do the washing-up, or picking up the kids from school. I even have to reprimand myself when my thoughts trail off during a sermon!
You are a pastor’s wife and mom, how do you fit writing in with your busy lifestyle?
Any mum will know, trying to juggle work and kids and family life is challenging. The hardest part in working from home is separating family life with working, and self-motivating myself to write. For me though, I know I have to have the right priorities. God and family come first… before my writing. It may mean I have less hours in the day to dedicate to my writing, but when I do get the opportunity, I can work away without guilt and have a clear conscience. In fact, I find I get more work done that way. When the kids were younger, I’d write during their naptimes. Now, I fit in between their school times. I find writing in the morning easiest (when my brain seems to function better!), and then I can focus on church or family stuff in the afternoon. I tend to write/research in the evenings when the kids are (usually) quiet and asleep. But there is no such thing as a typical day, and (despite my natural tendency for organisation) I have to remain flexible.
Any more releases due out in the future?
The Last Princess of Meigen, is the second book which follows on from The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia. I’ve just finished writing that, and hope it will be published next year sometime. Now I’m taking a short break from writing before plunging into the third book of the series, The Secret Princess of Lindes.
Rachel grew fascinated with the medieval time period as a child. Dubbed a bookworm from a young age, Rachel found herself surrounded by places steeped in history and adventure. She enjoyed trips with her family to visit nearby derelict castles and Roman ruins, and that coupled with a zealous imagination and love for stories, sparked her interest in knights, fortresses and ancient kingdoms.
Born and bred in England, Rachel writes adventure driven historical romance, she is also a pastor’s wife, and has three beautiful little princesses. She minored in creative writing at university and strives to entertain, inspire and encourage others in their own spiritual journey. She’s also captivated by romantic tales… combine it with a little history and a hot cup of tea, and she’s smitten! Find her at www.rachelajames.com for more information.
About the Book (Inspirational Medieval Romance)
It is 616AD, and one fatal night the ancient Kingdom of Elmetia falls. Saxons kill the Elmetian King, and capture Princess Teagen. Teagen poses as a slave girl and works for the Saxons in the Kingdom of Deira, until she discovers her brother is alive. She finds a way to escape, and her path crosses with Ryce the Warrior.
Struggling with his past, and angry against the tyrant Saxon king, Ryce helps the princess in pursuit of her brother. But just as the connection between them intensifies, obstacles get in their way. The Saxon king now wants vengeance, and will stop at nothing to get it.
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