Today on Three Times A Charm we welcome author, Laurel A Rockefeller. I love introducing my readers to the people who work in children’s publishing.
So nice to have you join us, Laurel. Can you tell us a little about yourself, please?
Hello, my name is Laurel A. Rockefeller. I am a gifted historian and historical reconstructionist originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. History and science have always been my passion, ever since I was a little girl attending sky shows at the Hyde Observatory. As a child, stories of Robin Hood, King Arthur, and Luke Skywalker filled my imagination. The first movie I ever saw was the original “Benji” movie from 1974 which I saw with three generations of my family in a little town in rural Nebraska. That experience, along with one Christmas where my family read “A Christmas Carol” aloud together around our tree cemented into my mind the need for family-centric literature and movies as certainly as watching Star Wars (before it was “A New Hope”) cemented my interest in physics and astronomy.
A child of extreme domestic and sexual violence growing up, my family and my church taught me to fear and avoid my talents. When my gift for writing first showed I was told that becoming a writer would turn me into the violent monster who did so many terrible things to me and others in my family. Though all I ever wanted to do was write and sing, I found myself at war with what they wanted me to be and who I really was.
Even my now famous passion for England was discouraged under severe social pressure, as if there was something inherently wrong with loving Shakespeare and finding the middle ages fascinating.
At the University of Nebraska, a glitch in my class schedule threw me into a woman’s history course, changing my life forever by teaching me, quite against the teachings of my family, that women are no less than men and that woman can do amazing things – the very message I share in my Legendary Women of World History Series that I think all girls and women need to hear.
In 2009, I stopped running from my talent and really started embracing the beautiful person I am. In 2011 I started work on my first novel, “The Great Succession Crisis” from the Peers of Beinan science fiction series. Eighteen months later, I published the first edition of GSC, reworking and adding to it as the current extended edition in January 2013. Two months later, I published its sequel, “The Ghosts of the Past,” while continuing to write non-fiction for Yahoo Voices.
In March 2014 an informal poll revealed to me not only how poor history literacy is among British and Americans, but that women’s history literacy is almost non-existent in both countries. That inspired me to begin The Legendary Women of World History Series of biographies for young readers (age 8+) focusing on the lives of women who have truly transformed our world.
In May 2014 I met British voice actor Richard Mann through ACX (Amazon’s publishing platform for Audible), beginning what is now the most powerful and inspiring creative collaborations I’ve ever seen or heard. Richard Mann’s many talents are the perfect fit for my talents. His narrations of my audio books are so beautiful that the first time I heard “Boudicca: Britain’s Queen of the Iceni” I literally cried tears of joy for the first time in my life. Mr. Mann has taught me that my work – and my heart – are truly beautiful.
Tell us more about your books.
The Legendary Women of World History Series brings history to life as you have never seen or heard it before. Focusing on the true stories of women who have transformed our world, you will be inspired by the courage, conviction, and strength of these women who until now have remained almost entirely forgotten and unknown to most people.
I recommend my book to readers who like:
Pride and Prejudice
The Lord of the Rings
Okay – now it’s time for the three’s. Please share your top three answers to the following questions so we can get to know you a little better.
· Top 3 tools of the trade you couldn’t live without.
The internet, a powerful computer, and dedicated professionals willing to consult with me and answer questions.
· Top 3 favorite places.
Brooklyn, New York United States
London, United Kingdom
Toronto, Ontario Canada
· Top 3 childhood memories.
1. Attending Saturday night sky shows and looking through telescopes at the Hyde Memorial Observatory in Lincoln, Nebraska from about the age of 3 until my university years. Hyde observatory introduced me to my love of science. The Peers of Beinan Series really would not exist if not for those early experiences with physics and astronomy.
2. Watching Star Wars (before it was “A New Hope”) in the movie theatre. Like so many Gen X kids, Star Wars captured my imagination and really influenced my interests later on. Reading the novel version in grammar school had a huge influence on my writing because George Lucas uses the prologue-main story-epilogue structure which I use in the overwhelming majority of my books.
3. One Christmas the entire family gathered together around the tree to read Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol.” It was a book the entire family enjoyed altogether and showed me that the best stories need to be accessible to everyone, no matter how young or old.
And finally, where can our tech savvy readers find more about you so they don’t miss out on your books?
Talk to Laurel and join the conversation on twitter at https://twitter.com/laurelworlds, follow Laurel on pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/peersofbeinan, then check out Laurel's blog at http://peersofbeinan.wordpress.com.
Thanks for joining us on this week’s Three Times A Charm, Laurel! Best of luck to you and your books.