I am very humbled to be joined by the fantastic Michele Quirke, author of historical fantasy. Michele’s current published work is: The Fires of Treason.
Michele: Princess Elizabeth has always idolized and supported her older brother, but when Greg is accused of treason and banished, her loyalty to him is tested in ways she never could’ve imagined. As she leaves her luxurious lifestyle behind to join him in exile, she must learn to cope with the everyday struggles of the working class, all while keeping her true identity a secret. Facing new hardships and the looming threat of execution, Elizabeth will need to toughen up if she has any chance of surviving outside the palace walls.
Prince Gregory spent his entire life trying to prove himself worthy of the crown until his banishment releases him of all the pressures and obligations that have chained him down. Although he has no intention of raising an army to defend his birthright, he soon learns that not everyone is content to let him walk away from the throne. With his sister’s safety and well-being to consider, Gregory must make a decision that will change both their lives forever.
P.L.: Oh, that synopsis would definitely make me want to buy the book, which of course, I did! Who are some authors that have influenced your writing style?
Michele: In all honesty, I’m not quite sure if any authors have influenced my actual writing style. I sort of just write what I feel and haven’t given much thought to where the influence come from. That said, there is one author who has always inspired me. Jodi Jensen is my critique partner and basically the person who encouraged me to believe in myself and my work. I never would’ve published if not for her. She taught me so much and I am forever grateful that she was in my corner when I needed that push to pursue my dream of being a writer.
P.L.: Jodi sounds fantastic! It’s obvious she has a positive impact on you and your writing. You are a popular and well-respected self-published author. Your book is of exceptionally high quality in all facets: writing, editing, cover design. There still remains a perception in some circles that self-published books are of a lesser quality than traditionally published. Do you have any comments about that?
Michele: Truth be told, I was of that mindset a few years ago. However, once I joined Twitter and actually started reading more indie and self-published books, I learned just how wrong I was. There are so many incredible indie books out there. I suppose I feel pity for people who think this way because they are going to miss out on some truly amazing stories if they only read books that have been traditionally published.
P.L.: You are so right! The bulk of my own TBR is self-published work now, because I completely agree with you, so many amazing self-published books out there! Your novel, The Fires of Treason, is impeccably researched, and the setting feels like a real European kingdom. How much research was involved in writing your book?
Michele: I probably spent more time researching than writing. Although The Fires of Treason takes place in a fictional kingdom, it’s based on Elizabethan England. Therefore, I tried to keep everything as accurate for that time period as possible. One of my favorite resources was A Compendium of Common Knowledge 1558-1603 by Maggie Secara. It was super helpful!
P.L.: That sounds like an excellent resource! What inspired you to write The Fires of Treason?
Michele: This might be a little strange, but it was heavily inspired by Avatar: The Last Airbender. Prince Zuko and Prince Gregory (one of my protagonists) have a lot in common. Both have power-hungry older sisters, both have callous fathers, and both were banished. At the time, I was also watching The Tudors. So The Fires of Treason started off as a little nod to both shows, then quickly evolved into its own thing.
P.L.: Wow, I must admit I did not see Avatar: The Last Airbender coming, but in reflection I can see the similarities between Zuko and Gregory! And I loved The Tudors! That I can totally see in terms of comparisons to your book! Great stuff! Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Michele: Honestly? Just write. Enjoy yourself. The rest will come with time.
P.L.: Wise counsel! It’s been fantastic to speak to you, Michele! Thanks for being interviewed!
Check out the original interview here
Buy The Fires of Treason on Amazon here
Follow Michele Quirke on Twitter @MicheleQuirke