I started writing in 2013, when I studied Creative Writing as part of my bachelor degree. My debut novel, The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia, was published by Prism Book Group the following year. I then churned out a sequel, and The Last Princess of Meigen was published, again by Prism, in 2015. I had a lot to learn about writing in those early years, and when I went on to study writing at Master's level, my writing developed dramatically.
I had always planned on writing another book to follow on from my first two novels, but I really struggled (and I'm talking for a few years) to complete it, because my approach to writing had changed since my original debuts. Fortunately, my first two novels were only under a two year contract, and when my publisher released my rights back to me I saw this as an opportunity to develop them further.
I've spent this past year revisiting my first two novels, in tandem with writing my third, and this has produced "The Forgotten Kingdoms" series. My hope is that this post will highlight to any readers who read my original books the changes I've made (and my reasons for doing so) so that they can enjoy the third book without any confusion!
I have a passion for history, and am truly fascinated with the time period when Britain was divided by many kingdoms, which is why I set my original books in 7th century Britain and they were marketed as Inspirational Historical Romance. However, my primary purpose for writing is to not only entertain, but to also inspire others in their own spiritual journeys. The faith-element, although subtle, is far more important to me than the historical details of a certain time period.
When I write medieval fiction, I don't want to get bogged down with writing a detailed historical narrative, but rather aim for a historical backdrop in which to set the scene. And even though I am inspired by history, I do not want to be ruled by it, as this can get in the way of the story that I, as a writer, want to tell. The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia and The Last Princess of Meigen were originally written as historical fantasy. Basically, they were fantasy novels, set in the time period of the dark ages, and there were the odd links to real historical events (the fall of the Kingdom of Elmet, for example) and historical figures such as King Edwin and King Ceretic.
In order to make my third book work the way I wanted it to, I soon realised that I had to change my first two novels, and put them fully in the fantasy genre. I therefore eliminated any direct historical references by reinventing place names and a few character names. Great Britain became Holmorra, the Saxons became Shieldoks, the Celts became Wealdfolk. I changed Edwin's name to Eadward, and Ceretic's name to Cedric. By making these alterations I therefore transformed the historical setting into an entirely new fictional world, which enabled me to do what I wanted with my characters and their respective kingdoms. I will be marketing my series as Inspirational Fantasy Adventure.
It was a requirement of my publisher that I change the titles of my books, and so I will be re-releasing them as Elmetia and Meigen.
For any readers out there who have read my original two books, don't worry, you will be able to enjoy the third book without having to read the re-released titles. The main characters of Teagen and Ryce (Book One), and Sherwin and Alena (Book Two), have stayed the same. I've made a few tweaks here and there, and cut a few unnecessary scenes, but the essence of the story is the same as before.
Rivalyn releases on 29th November 2019
To celebrate the launch of Rivalyn, the ebooks of Elmetia and Meigen will be completely free on Amazon over the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend.
I've just received confirmation from my publisher that my new novella, "A Field of Forget-me-nots", will be released on 13 March 2020!
A tender love story set in the 1850s English Countryside...
When the patron of the Foundling School took pity upon young orphan, Georgiana (Ana) Weston, Lady Dunston took Ana into her home at Longworth and raised her as one of her own. Years later, Ana still wonders what happened to her mother. Now Lady Dunston does not have long to live, and Ana is faced with an uncertain future.
Mr. Luke Renshaw still mourns the loss of his parents and would rather travel the world than live in the place that reminds him of so much pain and loss. But responsibilities await him, and when his only aunt becomes sick, he returns to Longworth. After all, it is where he will receive his inheritance.
Luke and Ana used to play together as children, though many years have now passed and much has changed. The prospect of marriage without love holds little hope for their romantic ideals, and yet it seems the most sensible solution for both parties.
Rachel is an author and freelance editor. She has an MA in Creative Writing and loves to write fiction that uplifts, inspires, and encourages others. She lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three adorable girls, and when not writing she enjoys idling time away in a vintage teashop or visiting a historic landmark in pursuit of a new story!