The magic of books just enchants me. I love reading, what more can I say?
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Book Feature: Michal's Window by Rachelle Ayala + Author Interview
Hey guys! Today, I'll be featuring an author and her book on my blog. Rachelle's novel is a very intriguing one to be sure, and one about a Bible character we know so little about. It seems really interesting and I honestly feel that it will be a very good read. Hehe, let's get started, shall we? :)
Michal's Window by Rachelle Ayala
In ancient Israel, where women are property, Princess Michal loves her father's worst enemy, the future King David. She sacrifices all to save his life, but will her heart survive war and separation?
A novel of betrayal, forbidden love, and redemption, Michal's Window is an imaginative retelling of King David's story through the eyes of the woman who loved him first.
Michal's Window is a story of one woman's journey through love and heartache to self-realization. As one reviewer said, "So, once I let the modern feminist inside of me relax, I realized how timely her story is, because, sadly, many of the things she has to deal with are things that women still face today.”
Rachelle Ayala was a software engineer until she discovered storytelling works better in fiction than real code. She has always lived in a multi-cultural environment, and the tapestry in her books reflect that diversity.
She is currently working on a romantic suspense involving software engineers. When her hyperactive imagination is in the mind of her characters, Rachelle enjoys social networking, reading and music.
Rachelle lives in California with her husband. She has three children and has taught violin and made mountain dulcimers.
And now, let's welcome Rachelle to the blog to have a little chat with us!
Hi Rachelle, it’s lovely to have you on the blog today!
It’s nice to be here, Victoria.
For starters, why not you tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
Oooh… we’re going for the secrets already. Okay… something clean. Ha, got one. I had to wear corrective shoes in fifth and six grade, because they said I had flat feet. Those things were ugly! And every time you jumped off from climbing a fence, your feet would sting because they took away the flexing of your arches with those “supports.”
What made you want to become a writer?
I am an avid reader, as you are, and I get so engaged with the story, the plot and characters that I get angry when it doesn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. Writing is a way for me to express myself, as well as get the endings I like. Pretty selfish, huh?
Did you have other aspirations/dreams in the past, or have you always wanted to be a writer?
If I told you all my dreams, I’d have to write another book. I don’t think I grew up one day and said, “I wanna be a writer!” It all started with a character, soon a story grew around it, and then I did my research and wove more stories around the character and before I knew it, I had written a novel. I’ve had several false starts in the past. I wrote a children’s “Alice in Wonderland” type of story for a college Honor’s course, and my computer is littered with a few drafts I’d rather not think about.
What gave you the inspiration for the plot of the book?
Michal’s Window is a re-enactment of the life of a rather minor Bible character, Michal, the princess who became King David’s covenant wife. She is an ignored woman who had some rather startling characteristics. She not only crossed class boundaries to love a common man, her father’s servant, but she married him and defied her father, the King of Israel, to help him escape. Later on, she again defied a king, only this time it was her husband, King David. The Bible does not treat her kindly and reports that she had no more children after that incident.
I wondered what happened to her and what kind of relationship she had with her husband and how she dealt with being a woman in a world where she was not allowed to chastise her husband even when she was correct in her assessment.
Are your characters based off real people, or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
The characters in Michal’s Window are a mixture of real characters from the Bible and fictional characters. Because it is a work of fiction, I did fill in their personalities from my imagination, but I left their stories intact to fit the Bible narrative. I was able to embellish a lot more with the fictional characters, and I had a lot of fun with them.
The characters in my next book, Broken Build, are entirely imaginary. I don’t base characters off real people because invariably it gets too difficult to keep track of motivation and conflict when you have a real person in mind. Besides, I can’t make them do outrageous and stupid things without feeling guilty!
Could you tell us a bit about your book and why it is a must-read?
Michal’s story resonates with women everywhere. She was put in a position where she had to make choices between following her heart or adhering to the rules of society. She faced heartbreak, loneliness and grief when David, the man she loved, took on other wives. Her journey toward self-acceptance was more tragic than most, but her story is timeless, because many of the things she faced are the same for women today.
What do you love most about the writing process?
The first draft, when ideas are brimming all over the place and I can just write free flow. I literally live and dream my characters in this phase. They are alive, moving, feeling and acting. I never suffer from writer’s block. If anything, I’m too verbose and I have to do major revision and cutting later on. But the first draft is love at first sight when everything is rosy and wonderful.
And of course, do you have a particular favorite character? I know an author will love most if not all of the characters he/she creates, but I’m sure there must be a favorite of yours! So who is it, and why?
Well, of course we love our little darlings. But we do know a little too many of their warts. Ha, ha. So I’ll leave mine to the side and find someone who still holds some mystery for me.
My favorite character is Claire from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. She is perceptive, smart, conflicted, yet caring. She’s a bit of a scientist, yet a romantic at heart. And of course, she is paired with the dashing Jamie. I have no time for her husband, what what was his name again? That Randall guy? Yuckola. I only wish Diana hadn’t brought Claire back to the twentieth century to spend the prime of her life away from Jamie. [the big gap between Book 2 and Book 3]
But Claire is just as spunky in her fifties as she was in her twenties. So I wish her a long, long life and plenty of adventures.
Will you tell us a little about your plans for the future?
I plan to be a best selling author, of course. J I will continue to write more stories and entertain my audience. What more can a writer hope for?
And of course, are there any other books that are in the works? (Ideas thought out, perhaps even a rough draft?)
“Who broke the build?” Words you do not want to hear when you’re a software engineer in front of a major deadline.
My next book, Broken Build, is a fun caper through the world of a Silicon Valley startup with a deadline on Black Friday. As if broken builds were not enough to contend with, we have a murderer on the loose, bad driving, a confused but sexy hero, and a build engineer heroine with a high tolerance for pain.
I’d love to eventually do a time-travel with a twist and a psychological thriller. Time is my only constraint, since I will never run out of ideas.
And now, just some little random questions!
Anywhere with my husband.
The Holy Bible, King James Version
Honestly? My laptop. I feel as if I have tentacles attached from my fingers to the keyboard.
What you do when you’re free:
I go to school functions, volunteer for field trips and go places with my family. But my characters never let me go until I’m finished with their stories. So I’m never completely free.
Sunday! All four of my children were born on Sunday. How statistically possible is that?
Hmm, I think that should be about it for today! It was a pleasure to have you on the blog today! Wishing you all the best in your career! :D
Thank you, Victoria, for having me here. Good luck with school, and maybe one of these days we will see a book from you, too. J
I welcome readers to contact me. Goodreads is a nice place if you want to discuss my book. Feel free to yell at my characters or rant on how differently you wanted the book to turn out. Who knows, maybe there is a budding author who might be inspired to write her own story after screaming at mine!
So yep, that's about it for today! I do hope you've enjoyed yourself and found a new book to add to your TBR! :)
My name's Victoria and I love to read! Sure, I may be in school now, but I'll always find time to read because you can't stop a passion, can you? I love netball, especially shooting, there's just something so peaceful about it, isn't there?
I started blogging last year, around November. I've fallen in love with it. Blogging about books just is so fun isn't it?
But above all, I love my Lord Jesus Christ, my Savior. I've put my trust in Him.
If I have inadvertently used any of your material without proper linking, do contact me immediately and I will take it down at once/link the material to you, whichever you prefer. I do try my best not to use any copyrighted material (especially for photos) but sometimes I lack attribution due to ignorance.
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