Author’s Corner – Interview & Book Review with Author Debbie A. McClure
It was an absolute pleasure to read Debbie A. McClure’s book The King’s Consort – The Louise Rasmussen Story. Below you will find my honest review and the interview with Debbie which is entirely in her own words.
About the Author
Copied from Author’s page – Debbie McClure Lives in London. Ontario, Canada with her husband and is the author of paranormal romance and historical fiction novels. a contributor to several international non-fiction anthologies, a motivational speaker and writing workshop host/facilitator. In addition, she frequently interviews other writers from around the globe for a popular third-party blog.
The Synopsis of The King’s Consort – “The Louise Rasmussen Story”
Most little girls dream of marrying their Prince Charming and having the happy ever after, but what if the fables we’ve been told don’t tell the whole story?
Born the illegitimate daughter of a seamstress in Denmark’s mid-1800s, Louise Rasmussen rises to become a noted ballerina with the Royal Danish Ballet, but getting pregnant with her own illegitimate child dashes her every hope and dream, forcing her to start a new life. Falling in love with Crowned Prince Frederik of Denmark should have made her life easier, but fate is fickle.
Despite severe opposition from the nobility, Frederik weds Louise, the newly titled Countess Danner, soon after he is crowned King. Deeply in love, the two must fight to find some semblance of happiness in an environment that refuses to bend, and amid pending war and social turmoil, Louise and Frederik discover what is most important. Many claim she was a gold-digger, yet toward the end of her life, she creates Danner House, a home for unwed mothers and orphans, which still exists today.
Set in the 1800’s, this was a beautiful, well-written love story with many surprises, twists and sad moments that kept me turning the pages.
Louise Rasmussen came into the world as a bastard child after being abandoned by her father who was a married man. Never knowing her father, she was raised by her mother, a seamstress.
With all the odds against her, she managed to become a dancer for the royal ballet, but because of her background, she was continually snubbed and never accepted by the upper society.
Through struggles of her own, she captures the eye of Prince Frederick, the next King of Denmark. Due to Society’s nature, Louise tries to resist the obvious attraction between the two of them but realizes the love they share will conquer the battles that lay ahead.
Throughout the story, Louise develops into a strong-minded woman and stands her ground when it comes to marrying the man she loves, who is now the King of Denmark. Rising above and beyond and facing the people’s outrage, she shows her will and strength to fulfill her dreams of becoming the King’s wife.
This was a book I couldn’t put down and had me engaged the entire time with an absolute satisfying ending and a look into the Danish Monarch, which I really hadn’t paid any attention to.
Thank you, Debbie McClure, for the enjoyable read.
COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – I liked everything about the cover, the colors, chosen, the font style, the image of the girl. Her headpiece told me right away that the story was historical fiction. The only part I wasn’t too fond of was the writing in front of her face. To me, it looked out of place and made the cover a little to busy.
CHARACTERIZATION – 5 STARS – Every Character in the book were well developed and had their own distinguished personalities. I especially liked Louise and how she grew into a strong-minded woman as the story progressed.
STORY & PLOT 5 STARS – Excellent story development with many twists and surprises that kept me engaged and wanting to know the outcome.
OVERALL RATING – 5 STARS
1 – How long have you been writing and why do you enjoy it?
I began writing as I approached my fiftieth birthday, about nine years ago now. With my youngest sister’s diagnosis of breast cancer, I realized that time really doesn’t wait for anyone, and if I wanted to write some of the stories in my head, I needed to start right away. I was still working in real estate sales, so I’d get up an hour earlier than I used to, poured a cup of coffee, and stole a little time to work on my writing.
I enjoy writing because it allows me to step away from whatever is going on in my life at the time and go to the places where my stories unfold. It’s my escape hatch, yet once all the edits are done and the publisher tells me it’s ready to go live, I am nervous and excited to share my work with readers who enjoy the fiction, romance fiction, and historical fiction genres I write in.
2 – Other than writing, what else do you like to do?
About four years ago I began dabbling in acrylic painting and found another passion in the process. Typically drawn to landscapes, beachscapes, and nature scenes, what I call “woods and water”. I find I paint scenes that are calm and serene since I guess that’s where my mind goes when I need to unplug and reconnect with nature and with myself.
It’s also my way of reminding others of the importance of allowing themselves to do the same. I often think that nature whispers to us, calling us home. Painting is my way of whispering back.
3 – What inspired you to write “The King’s Consort – The Louise Rasmussen Story?”
Ever since I was a young teenager I’ve heard my mother, who was born and lived in Denmark until she was fourteen years old, about an ancestor who rose from nothing to marry the king of Denmark during the mid-1800s. A few years ago I remembered those stories and, intrigued, I began researching Louise Rasmussen, Countess Danner.
The history books paint Louise as a crass woman with little to no socially redeeming qualities, who married King Frederik VII. Theirs was a true love match, which no one denies, but Louise was never accepted by the aristocracy of the time. Despite her change in circumstance and title and the deep love she shared with King Frederik, hers was not the fairytale life we tell our little girls. Yet toward the end of her life, Louise created one of Denmark’s first women’s shelters, for unwed mothers and abused women. Danner House, as it came to be called, still exists and operates in Copenhagen, much as it always did.
I became convinced there was much more to Louise than history would have us believe, and gold-diggers do not give back to others so selflessly as she did. So, I set out to write a fictional account of Louise’s life, based on historical facts. It’s not meant to be seen as a true, historical recording, (since I didn’t live in the mid-1800s), but my version of this remarkable woman’s life.
4 – Who as an author, inspires you and why? You may mention more than one.
Honestly, I’m inspired by an author who writes books that resonate with readers in a way that keeps them turning the pages. However, writers like Kristin Hannah, who writes books for and about women, Dan Brown, who weaves fact, fiction, and history with stories and characters that keep us coming back for more, to J.K. Rowling, who touches the lives of children and adults alike with her stories of a boy wizard and his fantastic adventures. I could go on, but you get my drift.
5 – Name three of your favorite books. Explain why these are your favorites.
Gone With The Wind – because it was the first full-length novel that had me truly connecting with the characters and introduced me to fiction novels with a historical element.
The entire Nancy Drew series, since, at age eleven or twelve, these were the very first mystery novels featuring a smart female protagonist I’d ever read. I loved following along and trying to figure out the who-done-its.
The Sebastian St. Cyr murder mysteries, written by C.S. Harris. Again, the murder mystery aspect paired with excellent historical fiction. I love each and every story, and of course, the main protag, Sebastian St. Cyr.
6 – What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
It truly is as difficult to write a good book as you think it is, but it’s also the most incredibly rewarding journey you can take. Learn everything you possibly can about the craft and business of the writing and publishing industry.
Contrary to what most novice writers think, there is no publisher out there who is going to sweep you off your feet, make you a millionaire overnight, and do all the marketing and promotion for you. It takes hard work, determination, and grit, and you’ll need every scrap of knowledge you can get to help you navigate the waters. Oh, and write, and read every day.
Don’t make excuses, because it’s very easy to give up, become disillusioned, and find other things to fill your time. If you want to write. Write.
7 – What common mistakes do you see new authors make.
They underestimate how much time, effort, and determination it takes to get a quality book into reader’s hands. They’re in such a rush to share their amazing stories that they don’t hire professionals for publishing, editing, and cover art. You can absolutely self-publish, but you have to be prepared to hire professionals to help you put together the best book possible. You also have to be prepared to promote and market the hell out of your finished product. Throwing it up on Amazon and calling it a day simply isn’t going to do it.
8 – Are you currently working on anything now? If so, tell us a little about it and when it can be expected to be available.
I do have a few stories I’d like to complete, but right now I’m taking a writing hiatus. I have Sjogren’s Syndrome, which is characterized by severe dry eyes and mouth. The dry eye aspect affects how my eyes handle any reading and writing, especially on a computer. After almost losing the sight in my right eye, I’ve been advised not to push it. Oddly enough, painting is very different, since the eye blinks naturally and moves around the canvas in a natural manner. I still have to be extremely aware of eye strain, and stop painting when my eyes become too dry, but it’s a God-send that I can paint when I have to limit my writing for now. Still, I’m waiting for that time, soon I hope when I can get back to writing the stories that are in my head.
9- What genre do you normally write in?
I typically write in the romance and historical fiction, since it’s what I love to read.
10- Other than Amazon is there anywhere else, readers can purchase your book?
The King’s Consort-The Louise Rasmussen Story is available via all digital venues, with print copies available for order from Amazon. Up until recently, it was also available through some Canadian bookstores and libraries, but the publisher is revisiting print options on a global scale, so we’ll see what develops.
11- Do you have a website, Facebook page or any other social media page where readers can follow you? If yes, please provide links.
12- Is there anything else you would like to say?
I’d like to thank you for this interview opportunity, Tina. Contrary to what many people may think, writers are extremely supportive of each other’s work, and it’s writers like you who help us all make a difference.
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