Heir To A Prophecy by Mercedes Rochelle
Shakespeare’s Witches tell Banquo, “Thou Shalt ‘Get Kings Though Thou Be None”. Though Banquo is murdered, his son Fleance gets away. What happened to Fleance? What Kings? As Shakespeare’s audience apparently knew, Banquo was the ancestor of the royal Stewart line. But the road to kingship had a most inauspicious beginning, and we follow Fleance into exile and death, bestowing the Witches’ prophecy on his illegitimate son Walter. Born in Wales and raised in disgrace, Walter’s efforts to understand Banquo’s murder and honor his lineage take him on a long and treacherous journey through England and France before facing his destiny in Scotland.
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Historical Fiction, Scottish, Military
Spotlight Interview With Author Mercedes Rochelle
Born in St. Louis MO with a degree from University of Missouri, Mercedes Rochelle learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. A move to New York to do research and two careers ensued, but writing fiction remains her primary vocation. She lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they had built themselves.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Sergeantsville NJ? Our county has just celebrated its 300th anniversary, which is pretty good for the US. There is a great sense of history here, as many families can trace their ancestry all the way back to the early settlers. Although I am a relative newcomer, I am pleased to be surrounded by old stone houses and historic sites.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I remember reading my first historical novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame when I was in college. It was quite a revelation to me and set me on my course. I didn’t know stories could be told like that!
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? After I became a reenactor, I saw how everyday life could be incorporated into a story. I all started to make sense to me.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Even as a kid I used books for escapism.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? It seems like my title comes first, although my first book started its life with a title I later discarded!
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I absolutely love historical fiction. To be honest, I can’t seem to devise an original plot to save my life, but history is so full of interesting stories I only need to stumble across an event to find my inspiration. Once I have settled on an event or person, I fill in the blanks with my imagination. The farther back in history, the more filling-in is required. And there is a piece of me that feels a responsibility to bring history to life in the most painless way possible for the reading public.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I discovered that I was a better researcher than a writer. I absolutely loved diving into the basements of university libraries and blowing dust off the books that had been sitting untouched for years. These days, with the internet, I don’t do that anymore and I miss those days (even though my choices were more limited).
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? My first five-star book review was a tremendous vindication.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? It is so important to develop a “thick skin”. Not everyone is going to love your work. Not everyone is going to appreciate how hard you try. It took me ten years in the Real Estate business to learn how to deal with rejection! Just like Real Estate, the rejection is not at all personal. You just have to pick yourself up and keep going.
Who is your favorite author and why? My favorite author is and has always been Alexandre Dumas. I had such a personal relationship with “The Three Musketeers” I learned French to read it in the original language. I found his characters to be so alive, so three-dimensional that they have stuck with me all these years.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I think art (and literature) must enhance real life, not just mimic it. I want to be enriched by a book, not merely entertained. I hope to learn something from every book I read, and I hope to teach something in every book I write. But the teaching needs to be hidden inside the story.
Please add questions and the answers to any questions that you believe your readers would like to know.
Q: What were Macbeth’s Witches Up To? A: The Witches were predicting the eventual rise of the Stewart dynasty in Scotland, of which Banquo was the ancestor. James I was the reigning king when Shakespeare wrote Macbeth, so the play may have been a nod to his ancestry.
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