Daughter of the King | Fascinating Historical Fiction and an Author Chat with Kerry Chaput

Daughter of the King
(Defying the Crown, Book 1)
By Kerry Chaput
La Rochelle France, 1661. Fierce Protestant Isabelle is desperate to escape persecution by the Catholic King. Isabelle is tortured and harassed, her people forced to convert to the religion that rules the land. She risks her life by helping her fellow Protestants, which is forbidden by the powers of France. She accepts her fate — until she meets a handsome Catholic soldier who makes her question everything.
She fights off an attack by a nobleman, and the only way to save herself is to flee to the colony of Canada as a Daughter of the King. She can have money, protection and a new life — if she adopts the religion she’s spent a lifetime fighting. She must leave her homeland and the promises of her past. In the wild land of Canada, Isabelle finds that her search for love and faith has just begun.
Based on the incredible true story of the French orphans who settled Canada, Daughter of the King is a sweeping tale of one young woman’s fight for true freedom. Kerry Chaput brings the past to life, expertly weaving a gripping saga with vivid historical details. Jump back in time on a thrilling adventure with an unforgettable heroine.
Trigger Warnings:
Violence, sexual assault
Buy Links:
Read for free with #KindleUnlimited subscription.
Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/3nE9ze
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09CJNJX1K
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09CJNJX1K
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09CJNJX1K
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B09CJNJX1K
Thanks for stopping by for a chat, Kerry. Let’s start by asking if writing energizes or exhausts you and how do you wind down / recharge?
Honestly, it does both. When I’m drafting (my favorite part of the process) I feel energized in a way only writing can do. I find it so exhilarating, and it often occupies my thoughts and wakes me up in the middle of the night. When I’m really in a story, it seeps into my dreams. As the process moves along into revisions, it can exhaust me. It’s a bit of a marathon. And you have to stick with the love of the story to propel you forward. I must take breathers and let the story (and my mind) rest.
If you could go anywhere for a year to be inspired for your next book, what setting would you choose and what would you write?
My dream is to combine my two favorite things – travel and writing. I would live in Scotland and travel the countryside, finally writing the historical fantasy that’s nudged me for years. My father was born in Edinburgh, so I have a bit of a mystical connection to the place. Someday, I’ll make that dream happen.
How important is working with your editor or beta readers, and how would you describe your relationship?
My writing community is the primary reason I’m here and not just saving words into the silent abyss of my secret hard drive. I don’t think I would be published without their help. I have a wonderful critique group with three other writers. We review work and help each other brainstorm plot ideas. We meet via zoom regularly and have developed a special friendship. The very first person I showed my work to was a creative writing professor who gave a presentation at one of my local author meetings. She was so encouraging and helpful that I still use her on all my projects. She helped me move past my first few drafts of Daughter of the King. Really, we can’t see our own work and need others to guide us. I’m so grateful for those that helped me sharpen my skills and shape Isabelle’s adventure over the past few years.
If you have pictures on your writing desk or desktop, what are they and why did you choose them?
I have one picture on my wall in my writing space. It says, “Make Things Happen.” I love this. It’s easy to let your insecurities run wild and take over. If I can keep my focus on what I can control, which is my process, it calms that little voice of doubt inside my mind. I also firmly believe that success is about the long game. You’ll get there, but that means deciding right now that you won’t give up, no matter how many roadblocks get thrown your way. I tend not to allow much that distracts me in my writing space. No music, no pictures. I write in the first person, and I want to be completely immersed in their worlds. If I had pictures of my kids or my husband, my mind would wander back to my own life.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I believe it is a real thing for people. I have yet to experience it. I think because I’m a revision writer, I do a lot of cutting! I’m never afraid to write the wrong thing. I just keep focusing on moving forward. And sometimes it takes me down the wrong path. I recently threw an 85,000-word manuscript in the trash because it was the wrong thing. But I started again and now I’m very happy with where it’s going. But I never see that as lost time. It helped me find my story. No writing is ever wasted. I heard a quote somewhere that to be a writer means letting go of something good for the possibility of something great.
Tell us more about your latest book. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I do read them but only in passing. I know most authors can get pretty torn up over negative reviews. While I certainly feel a twinge of sadness at the moment, I let it pass quickly. The truth is that a mix of reviews (good and bad) is beneficial to our sales. It lets potential readers know that we didn’t pay for reviews and that your audience is real. Even the best book you’ve ever read has a handful of one-star reviews.
Which scene or chapter in the book is your favourite? Why?
I have so many favorites. But there is one where Isabelle rides into a grove of birch trees that are bursting with yellow color. I wrote this to deepen her love story. This is a high-action adventure book, and I had fun writing a small, simple scene with the beauty of Quebec in the fall. The pictures I saw of those groves are stunning, so I imagined it to be a perfect place for wild, adventurous Isabelle to fall in love.
There is also a Native American character in the book, Naira. Anything with her in it is among my favorite scenes. She is a young girl skilled beyond her years. She helps push Isabelle’s growth forward, and I think we would all want Naira in our corner. She has a connection to the land and greater knowledge of spirituality that I loved in contrast to the rigid beliefs of European religion that is such a large part of this book.
What was the most difficult part of your artistic process for this book?
Something I didn’t realize was a challenge until the line edits at the end- how to make a historical fiction book feel like storytelling and not like a history lesson. Managing an appropriate amount of backstory and explanation without throwing historical facts at your reader is a huge challenge when writing in a little-known time period. I found that I had put in too many facts to explain the story to myself, and that was fine for drafting and revising, but they had to go. We aren’t history professors, we are storytellers.
Thanks for stopping by! I really enjoyed learning more about your writing.
Born in California wine country, Kerry Chaput began writing shortly after earning her Doctorate degree. Her love of storytelling began with a food blog and developed over the years to writing historical fiction novels. Raised by a teacher of US history, she has always been fascinated by tales from our past and is forever intrigued by the untold stories of brave women. She lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon with her husband, two daughters, and two rescue pups. She can often be found on hiking trails or in coffee shops.
Social Media Links:
Website: https://kerrywrites.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chaputkerry
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KerryChaputAuthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kerrywrites
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kerry-chaput
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Kerry-Chaput/e/B08123S61Z
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19751692.Kerry_Chaput