The Coffee Corner Welcomes Rachel James from Across the Pond!

The Coffee Corner on Inspirational Moments


Welcome back to the Coffee Corner, everyone!

I have a special treat from across the pond! Rachel James joins us with her new book, The Last Princess of Meigen. That's right, the one due out this week! So grab a cup of tea and settle in...here we go...



RB: Hi, Rachel, I'm so glad you're here. What can you tell us about your new book, The Last Princess of Meigen?
RJ: The Last Princess of Meigen, is the sequel to The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia. It’s an inspirational medieval romance, set in the 7th century when the tiny British kingdoms were gradually lost to Anglo-Saxon invaders. Elmetia and Meigen were real kingdoms located in what would become Yorkshire. There is not a lot known about this period of history, and even less known the Kingdom of Meigen.

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The Last Princess of Meigen

RB: Wow! The Last Princess of Meigen sounds awesome. And what a cool time in history! How do you decide what to write about and when do you do your research?
RJ: I begin the process by researching. I look into the history of a certain time period, in this case, 7th century Britain. As I find out about the tales and stories of that time, and glean information about historical events, I get my writing inspiration, and then start to work on a brief story outline. I research some more, finalize my outline, and then get writing. I find though, that my research is ongoing throughout the writing process. The more I learn, the more I realize need to know more!

RB: With it being a historical romance (and Christian, of course), how do you pick your character names?

RJ: I use this really clever tool in Scrivener (writing software), called the name generator. Using this simple feature, I can ask the widget to generate me a list of names, based on its origin. This is so handy when writing for the 7th century, as I can select names that have an Anglo-Saxon origin, or Celtic, or even Arthurian. Once I have a list of names, I shortlist a few that appeal to me. I like to go for ones that are easy to read/relate to, like Teagen and Alena (as opposed to names like Ethelburga!) From my shortlist, I look at the meanings, and select a name that sums up a person’s character. So for Sherwin, his name means ‘quick as the wind’, and as he is a nimble archer, I thought this would be perfect. Alena means light / fair.  I use the meaning of each name, to remind me of that person’s character. It helps me focus on what kind of person they are going to be.

RB: We know you're from across the pond...England. But writers can't being much different there than in the good ol' USofA, right? How long have you been writing and why did you start?

RJ: I’ve always loved writing, it was my favorite subject at school, without a doubt. But along the way of searching for viable career options, getting married and starting a family, the idea of writing professionally got pushed to the side. It was when I hit 30 that I started to contemplate the goals in life. I’d never pursued my dream of writing like I’d always imagined I would. At that time, I was studying toward a business degree, and I’d had enough of crunching numbers analyzing business strategies. I had the option of choosing a minor subject, and so opted for creative writing. Well, that was a wake-up call. It was like I’d forgotten about doing the thing that I truly loved. Studying creative writing not only gave me the tools I needed to begin writing novels, it gave me the confidence, that with hard work and dedication, my dream was entirely possible. The moment I started writing The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia, I knew I was hooked for life. That was two years ago, and I’ve been writing ever since.

RB: I'd have to say you're a writer in the best definition of the word. It's in your blood. LOL By the way, I love the titles of your books. How do you pick them?

RJ: My novel writing always starts with the title. I’ll research a topic, and a title just pops into my head. It serves as the initial writing prompt for the rest of the book. With my first novel though, the original title was just ‘Forgotten Princess’. I had the idea of a princess existing but forgotten about with regard to historical records. It was only after I’d written the book, and sent it off to be professionally critiqued, that the editor suggested I lengthen the title to The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia to add detail and intrigue. I’m glad I did! As the sequel, The Last Princess of Meigen just followed suit.

RB: Rachel, what’s your biggest challenge as an author?

RJ: Eek. Every stage has its challenges! I think though, that writing the book is the easy part. By far, the hardest thing for an author is the moment their work is released into the world of opinions and reviews! An author shouldn’t take bad reviews personally, but it does hurt to see someone unnecessarily pull apart all your hard work and slate it. Being able to put your chin-up, and carry-on writing (instead of crumbling in a heap and balling your eyes out) takes courage, and belief that God called you to be a writer in the first place.

RB: If you're like most authors (including me), you love to read. What’s your favorite book and where do like to read the most?

RJ: I don’t really have favorites, as I love such a wide variety of genres. As a child, the first to get me ‘hooked’ on reading, was a children’s adventure novel, ‘The Secret Island’ by Enid Blyton. I must have been only 8 or 9, but I loved it so much, I read it again and again! As a young adult, I loved ‘The Princess’ by Lori Wick. It comes of no surprise therefore, that my first ever novel features a princess and a secret island! My favorite spot to read is on a window seat, with a spectacular view, possibly with a warm fire burning close by, and of course with a hot mug of tea in my hand.

RB: What’s your writing spot look like?

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Rachel's Writing Space
RJ: I’ve tried many places to write, coffee shops, libraries, even the car, but there is no place like home. Here is my little writer’s room. Rather than rely on a journal, I pin all my ideas up on my wall, and have my ideas scattered all around me. I love it!
RB: I'd have to agree with you there. I've written in different places as well. Hospitals, parks, but I have to say...I like my easy chair the best.
 
Thanks for coming by the Coffee Corner, Rachel. It's been a true pleasure having you here.



Don't Miss Your Chance to Win a Copy of The Last Princess of Meigen

ARCHIVED POST...GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.

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Comment below for your chance to win an e-copy.
One winner will be chosen by random draw on 5/24/15.

ARCHIVED POST...GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.




About the Book:

A captivating tale of love and duty as the last princess of Meigen searches for her true purpose amidst conflict and betrayal.
It is 626 AD, and the ancient Kingdom of Meigen is left vulnerable to neighboring Saxons. To unite the kingdoms and bring peace, Princess Alena must enter into a royal marital alliance. But when the handsome physician, Sherwin, befalls her, matters become complicated. Torn between obligations to her young son and country, she faces a difficult decision. Will Alena obey the king’s orders, or choose to follow her heart?

Don't Miss Rachel's Blog Tour Giveaway on June 4th for another chance to win! (Signed paperback!) Entry-Form
Release Date: May 22, 2015



About the Author:

rachel-james
Rachel James
Rachel A. James 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 raised in England, Rachel now writes inspirational 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 insanely addicted to 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.

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