Meet Rachael Stapleton, an extremely talented author who has very graciously accepted the invitation to guest on Silent Pen today. I know you will enjoy getting to know her and her books as much as I did! And don't forget ... the holidays are coming, what better gift than a good book to curl up and relax with.
Adventuring into the Past with Rachael Stapleton’s Temple of Indra Series
The past fascinates Rachael Stapleton, author of The Temple of Indra's Jewel. As a child, she spent much of her time getting lost in history books within the walls of an old Victorian library. When she got bored of reading—everything from mystery to biography—she created her own stories featuring secret worlds, hidden elevators and magical spiral staircases. At sixteen, she penned a column for the local newspaper and in 2006 while on maternity leave, wrote her first book. Her latest novel, Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire, is the second in a series about an adventurous librarian who is stalked through time over a cursed gem set she inherited from her great-grandmother.
You have a new book releasing soon from Solstice Publishing, Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire. Can you tell us how it begins?
Sure. It’s the sequel to The Temple of Indra’s Jewel. It’s still following the same storyline featuring adventurous librarian Sophia Marcil, only there’s a little more mystery and murder this time. The book begins with Sophia back in her own life. She’s left her abusive ex-boyfriend Nick behind and is living in Ireland. Within the first chapter she’s unexpectedly thrown into the past when her new boyfriend proposes with the very ring that cursed her. It doesn’t take her long to figure out that she’s in the home of her Great-Great-Great-Grandparent’s and she attempts to locate the Purple Delhi Sapphire in time to prevent their deaths, unfortunately the killer is very close.
Is this story mostly set in 1920 then?
No, not at all—it’s mostly set in modern day Ireland. Sophia returns to her present-day life where she’s convinced that her stalker ex-boyfriend Nick is the reincarnated killer and all she has to do is use the sapphire to save herself. Then Nick’s body turns up, and she finds evidence that has her questioning everything she thought she knew about her fiancé.
The first book in your Temple of Indra Series also takes readers into the past. How hard was it to write about time travel?
Writing about time travel was extremely alluring. It’s a complete creative license to bring to life whatever you can possibly fathom and for me that was castles, corrupt 19th century politics, magical gemstones and cursed souls. I just love the endless possibilities but you’re right physics and quantum mechanics can make your head hurt which is why my story has a magical twist and I never really explain the science. Having read a lot of time travel stories, I found it better at times when the science was left out and I guess that’s why my book would be classified more as magical realism then science fiction. It’s also debatable as to whether my storyline hinges more on time travel or reincarnation.
What inspires you to write?
I would have to say a good historical setting. Nothing inspires me more than a crumbling location, steeped in history with secrets aplenty where I can take fact/myth and weave in my own mystery and romance. Currently it would most likely be my home—a Second Empire Victorian House, built in the late 1800's. Three floors with original doors, hardwood flooring, large baseboard trim and 12 foot ceilings with intricate crown moldings, not to mention a parlour, dining room and a third floor which formerly held the servant’s quarters. This space with its aged wood and arched dormers is something out of Flowers in the Attic, and has proven to be a complete treasure trove when it comes to sparking my imagination. In book two, Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire, Sophia is pulled back into her own ancestor’s past in the early 1900’s and it just so happens that they live in a Victorian house. Coincidence?!? Check out my website www.rachaelstapleton.com for pictures.
That sounds lovely. Speaking of settings, your series offers up some beautiful castles. What is it about them that draws you in?
I love the fact that most Castles have hidden passage or secret doors. They always seem so magical to me. Who wouldn't want an armoire that opens into a secret jewel chamber or a bookcase that gives way to a relaxing reading room, there’s something enchanting about a secret space. Below you’ll find Schloss Lichtenstein also known as Victor's family castle among a few other inspirational photos that sparked my imagination. What I wouldn't do to be able to wander the halls scouting fireplaces and bookcases for hidden passages.
You said you like to weave fact, myth with fantasy. How much of your series is realistic?
Actually, the Purple Delhi Sapphire is a real gem and the legend of it being cursed is true. I believe it currently resides in a museum in London and they say it was looted from the Temple of Indra during the Indian Mutiny of 1857 and brought to England by Colonel W. Ferris who was soon plagued with health and financial troubles.
Is book two the end for Sophia?
No or rather possibly, but it’s not the end for the series. I’m terribly attached to Sophia and the gang and I don’t feel her story is over so I’m currently working on the third book in the series which is tentatively titled Keeper of the Book. This book is a little different from the first two. It’s told partly from the perspective of Sophia’s daughter who is crushed when her mother is taken. Raised by her father along with her mother's best-friend, she begins to suspect that they're keeping a secret from her. The search for the truth becomes an adventure of monumental proportions, taking her to Eastern Europe as she trails after her father all in the hopes that her mother might still be alive. The question is, if she does locate her mother, can she rescue her from the past?
Where can readers buy your books and are they available in e-book, print, or both?
The Temple of Indra’s Jewel is available online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, as well as Chapters both on-line and in select stores. The e-book is available on Kobo, Kindle and Nook. All links can be found on my website www.rachaelstapleton.com.