Join Me Saturday at Barnes and Noble, Henderson

Hello Las Vegas folks. I’m very excited to be at Barnes and Noble in Henderson (567 North Stephanie near Sunset) from 1-3 pm on Saturday, June 29th. I’ll be hanging out and signing copies of my Lucca le Pou books, Acre’s Bastard and Acre’s Orphans. Come stop by!

If you haven’t read these award-winning historical fiction tales, now’s your chance!

Even if you’re familiar with the novels stop by so I don’t look like the sad, lonely author sitting at the table in the back of the store!

Image result for cartoon, author, book signing

The Plantagenet Legacy Begins with Mercedes Rochelle

If you are a fan of Shakespeare’s histories, you are familiar with the Plantagenet line: Richard 2 Edwards 1 through 3 and Henrys 3-4… maybe 5 they all blur together after a while. But Mercedes Rochelle has begun an ambitious series with the first in a long line of books: A King Under Seige.

Mercedes, tell us about you.

I’m one of those writers who decided against a “real job” because I thought it would get in the way of my writing career. I even moved a thousand miles to New York so I would be ready to jump when an agent came calling. I almost made it, too; though I should have known something was not quite right when my first New York agent’s office was a crowded closet with a tiny window overlooking an alley. He didn’t place my novel. My second agent dropped me like a proverbial hot potato after she couldn’t place it with her few contacts. That was thirty years ago. I was devastated. For twenty years my novel sat on a shelf gathering dust until I screwed up my courage and tried again. I realized that times change and it’s never too late. I had to learn all about building a platform and navigating this “brave new world”. Competition was fiercer than ever. But there were good changes too. Research was a heck of a lot easier with the internet at my fingertips. Historical Fiction was almost unheard of back then; now, it’s almost mainstream! Many years as a reenactor gave me the courage to imagine I can relate to medieval mind set. I brushed the dust off my masterpiece and even discovered some new historical sources. Since I never gave up my love of the middle ages, one book stretched to four about England in the eleventh century and events surrounding the Norman Conquest. Now I’ve moved forward 300 years to Richard II, who caught my attention back before I moved to New York.  The research continues!

What’s your series about?

My current project is called the Plantagenet Legacy; this will be a four volume set starting with Richard II and ending with Henry V (unless I get inspired to move forward to the next king). Book one is called A KING UNDER SIEGE which is about the minority of Richard II, who became king at age ten. For ten years he struggled to assert himself, proving his worth during the Peasants’ Revolt but butting up against the antagonism of his disaffected magnates, led by his uncle Thomas of Woodstock. The Lords Appellant, as they were called, goaded Parliament into eliminating Richard’s advisors and friends through judicial murder, exile, and dismissal—laying the seeds of their own destruction that will take place in my current work in progress, THE KING’S RETRIBUTION.

Why that time period? What’s the fascination?

Back in the late ‘70s, I saw Shakespeare’s RICHARD II performed on BBC by the Royal Shakespeare company. I had never heard of this king, but the final scene where he was imprisoned, bemoaning the fate of kings, struck me so soundly that I carried him around with me for 30 years before I was ready to write this book. (I needed to get the Godwinesons and the Battle of Hastings out of my system first.) I’m glad I waited; the research surrounding Richard has been intense. I was puzzled about how this King could have lost his throne so quickly; of course, now I know that his downfall was several years in the making. The events of A KING UNDER SIEGE were so humiliating to young Richard that his methodical revenge in the next book becomes understandable.

What’s your favorite scene in the book?

At the height of Richard’s degradation, the five Lords Appellant corner Richard inside the Tower of London, where he is surrounded by their rebel army and finds himself helpless to resist. Poor Richard is left only with his regality, which doesn’t go very far in the face of their determination to subjugate him. At first Richard doesn’t realize how complete their victory is; but in the face of their united contempt he is reduced to a helpless pawn. They detain him in the Tower for three days as they argue over who will supplant him.

Where can we learn more?



My blog:


Amazon author page


We interrupt this interview for a shameless plug. Acre’s Orphans has won a much coveted “Discovered Diamond” award for historical fiction. You can read the review here, or just take my word for it and buy the book.

I’m On the Radio- The Internet is the Author’s Friend

Most of you probably don’t know what little formal education I do have consists of an Associates degree in Broadcast Journalism from BCIT. I love the medium of radio. I was recently interviewed for the Aspects of Writing radio program. The topic was: The Internet is the Author’s Friend. Lord knows it’s mine…

Listen to the show here:

In this wide-ranging and somewhat insane interview we cover doing research for historical fiction, getting the word out about your book, why dinosaurs changed my life, and how the internet is both a frightening time suck and the best way for indie authors to network and share their work with a readership.

Thanks to James Kelly and Joyce Kaye Gatschenberger for letting me ramble.

Pirates and Swashbuckling with Ian Nathaniel Cohen

I am an an unabashed pirate fan. Whenever swords are crossed, buckles swashed, or mateys are a-hoying I am there. So when I found out about Ian Nathaniel Cohen’s book, The Brotherhood of the Black Flag, I was all aboard. Get your inner Rafael Sabatini on and join us…

Ian, welcome. What’s your story?

My name’s Ian, and I’ve been writing or making up my own stories in one fashion or another for as long as I can remember. I’ve written on-air promos for radio shows, created an online course of Asian film which I still teach,  I’m a former guest blogger for Channel Awesome and the Comics Bolt, reviewing classic movies, books, and comics – many of which have inspired my own work.

I know we both dig Errol Flynn movies. What’s your novel about?

The Brotherhood of the Black Flag is a historical thriller set at the end of the Golden Age of Piracy, when the newly-United Kingdom is cracking down on piracy while also contending with Jacobite insurrections and an economic crisis. In the midst of this, we have Michael McNamara, who was dishonorably discharged from the British Royal Navy. In desperate need for a fresh start, he sets sail for Kingston, Jamaica, hoping to figure out what to do with the rest of his life. Fortunately, McNamara is talented with a blade, which gives him the chance to become a local hero. His feat of arms brings him to the attention of Captain Stephen Reynard, once the most dreaded pirate in the Caribbean, who’s now reformed and turned pirate hunter. To earn a pardon, Reynard has vowed to apprehend seven pirate captains. McNamara, eager for the adventure and the opportunities it could bring, joins Reynard’s quest for redemption. His travels under Reynard’s command pit him against treacherous seas, bloodthirsty buccaneers, and an insidious conspiracy that threatens thousands of lives.    

Your boy Michael McNamara has a lot of Peter Blood in him. What is it about this time period you find so fascinating.

I grew up on Hollywood swashbucklers and the literature and history that inspired them – and one of my goals in writing The Brotherhood of the Black Flag was in part to capture the spirit of those classic films. The more I read and watched, the more I started coming up with my own ideas for historical swashbucklers, packed with action, romance, and hopefully solid character development. A pirate tale seemed like a natural fit for that kind of story, and then it was just a matter of doing enough research to find the right time and place to best suit the ideas I’d committed to going with. Plus, I get to showcase less-familiar elements of a somewhat familiar historical era, such as the Jacobite rebellions, which readers will hopefully find interesting.

As for the main character, he’s intended to be a classic, archetypal heroic figure, which some may find a welcome change from anti-heroes and villain protagonists. However, I can relate to his lack of clear direction and uncertainty about what to do with his life when his youthful ambitions don’t work out the way he hoped they would – and lots of other readers probably might as well, for one reason or another. So many stories are about the main character trying to fulfill a lifelong dream, and I thought it would be interesting to work with a character who didn’t know what they wanted anymore. It also makes his path unpredictable – yeah, he’ll find his path by the end of the book, but what will that be? What will he choose? 

Totally unfair question- what’s your favorite scene in the book?

Without a doubt, the scene where McNamara first meets Captain Reynard and Reynard auditions him for a place on his crew by challenging him to a duel. There are lots of sword fights in Black Flag, but I think I had the most fun writing that one, and I enjoyed the challenge of trying to depict a cinematic swashbuckling fight on the printed page, rather than going for gritty and realistic combat. I also had an absolute blast coming up with snarky, witty banter between McNamara and Reynard before and during their duel. 

I agree, that scene was a lot of fun, and over a pint we can play the casting game for who plays who in the movie. Meanwhile, where can people learn more about you and your work?

I have my own website, the INCspot, where you can find out more about me and my work – I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, and I try and respond to any and all comments I receive, so drop on by and say “hi!” 




We interrupt this interview for a shameless plug. Acre’s Orphans has won a much coveted “Discovered Diamond” award for historical fiction. You can read the review here, or just take my word for it and buy the book.

Join me June 29 at B&N Henderson

HI all. My first Las Vegas area book signing will take place Saturday, June 29 at the Barnes and Noble in Henderson, NV from 1-3 PM.

I will be there with copies of my award-winning “Lucca le Pou” novels, Acre’s Bastard and Acre’s Orphans. Stop by, grab a cup of coffee and get a signed copy of these books. I’ll also be dropping big greasy hints about my next novel as well.