The Usurper King by Mercedes Rochelle / #Interview #BlogTour @maryanneyarde @authorRochelle



The Plantagenet Legacy Book 3

From Outlaw to Usurper, Henry Bolingbroke fought one rebellion after another.

First, he led his own uprising. Gathering support the day he returned from exile, Henry marched across the country and vanquished the forsaken Richard II. Little did he realize that his problems were only just beginning. How does a usurper prove his legitimacy? What to do with the deposed king? Only three months after he took the crown, Henry IV had to face a rebellion led by Richard’s disgruntled favorites. Worse yet, he was harassed by rumors of Richard’s return to claim the throne. His own

supporters were turning against him. How to control the overweening Percies, who were already demanding more than he could give? What to do with the rebellious Welsh? After only three years, the horrific Battle of Shrewsbury nearly cost him the throne—and his life. It didn’t take long for Henry to discover that that having the kingship was much less rewarding than striving for it.




When and where do you prefer to write?

Thanks for interviewing me. It took many years for me to discover a routine, but I’m mostly there. Timing depends on my “real job”. I sell Real Estate, so I’m a slave to my clients. But on a normal day, I can’t seem to bring myself to start writing until my marketing/blog/platform building work is done, at approximately 4 pm. I have two computers set up: my desktop, where I do my everyday work, and my laptop (at standing level) for my writing. Standing while I write seems to tickle my creative juices. Hemingway taught me that!

Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?

100%. I can’t think with noise in the background. This can be especially challenging because my house has an open floor plan and my office is in the loft. Such great acoustics! Fortunately, my husband set up his office on the opposite side of the house, so we don’t interfere with each other too much.

If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

I tried that with my first book. My then boyfriend made the suggestion (and I credit him with jump-starting my writing career). It was a total disaster. Our styles were so directly opposed that I quickly gave him “the boot” and went on my own. He forgave me. I’m such a lone wolf that I couldn’t possibly entertain the suggestion again.

Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?

Although I like villains, I can’t see myself in that role. I don’t have the ability for good subterfuge. I have trouble doing that with my own characters; in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever written a convincing villain. I’m a firm believer that no one is all bad.

Who would you like/have liked to interview?

I’m a huge fan of Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s so difficult for me to disassociate the brilliant Sherlock Holmes from the equally brilliant author. How did he come up with those plots? And, to throw in another level of fascination, he wrote some of the best historical fiction I ever read. Did you ever read “The White Company”? His characterizations are flawless. I understand he felt his Non-Sherlock novels to be his best writing.

Where can I find you when you are reading?

I have an exacting reading schedule. An hour before midnight I climb into bed with a novel. Sometimes I’m asleep by midnight, sometimes not! Depends on the book. Then, in the morning, the first thing I do is crawl under the bedcovers with my coffee and read my non-fiction books (mostly my research books) for about 45 minutes. I’m well rested, so I can read the difficult stuff then.

Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?

In the spring/summer/fall I will usually sneak into my yard and do my gardening. It’s great therapy. During the winter I have the nose to the grindstone; my most productive writing months are when the weather is too cold for me to go outside. During the summer, my writing drops off. I know the books will get written, so I don’t fret over it.

What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?

Usually, I go right to the computer and make a change to the artwork! Luckily, I do it all myself. I should be more thrilled, I suppose, and I sometimes watch the videos of authors opening up the box for the first time with a little envy. For me it’s just another step in the process.

How do you come up with a title for your book?

Free Association. I am a firm believer that the title must say something about the story right away. With that thought in mind, I sit down with a piece of paper and write down a number of titles until one jumps out at me. I usually have to do it a few times. I also look it up on Amazon to see if it’s been used before. (I was surprised at how many duplicate titles are out there.) In my current series, I feel that the word King needs to be in the title. That was an accident and I’m sticking with it!

How do you pick a cover for your book?

Originally, when I was using a hybrid publisher (for my first two books), they sent me to Deposit Photos for a copyright-free image. No kidding! It was a surprise to me. I picked out a few pictures I liked and the publisher’s in-house artist turned my first choice into a cover, sometimes with alterations (they added fog to the first one). That’s why you often seen the same picture on different novels; they are doing the same thing.

With my current series, all of my covers have come from Froissart’s Chronicles. The first one apparently threw a few readers who thought it was a young adult or children’s title because it was a drawing (Even though someone is getting his head cut off. Go figure.) By the second book, I think it started to make sense; it certainly did to me! With a modest fee to the British Library, I have a cover that is unique—and relevant.

Thank you, Mercedes Rochelle and The Coffee Pot Book Club


About the Author 

Mercedes Rochelle is an ardent lover of medieval history, and has channeled this interest into fiction writing. Her first four books cover eleventh-century Britain and events surrounding the Norman Conquest of England. The next series is called The Plantagenet Legacy about the struggles and abdication of Richard II, leading to the troubled reigns of the Lancastrian Kings. She also writes a blog: to explore the history behind the story. Born in St. Louis, MO, she received by BA in Literature at the Univ. of Missouri St.Louis in 1979 then moved to New York in 1982 while in her mid-20s to “see the world”. The search hasn’t ended! Today she lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they had built themselves.


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