Elizabeth: "The Silk Weaver’s Daughter" is historical fiction set in the late 17th century at a time when the Sun King, Louis XIV was instigating a wave of persecution against the Protestant followers of Jean Calvin. Pierre and Jacques Garneau are cousins, brought up together by their grandfather in a small Huguenot village. At a family reunion, Jacques warns the devout Pierre that he must soon make the decision to revoke his religion or risk death. Pierre decides that, with Jacques' help, he will try to get his family to England. However, Pierre's beautiful daughter, Louise and Jacques' son, Marc are in love, and they have their own ideas of what their future will hold. Set in this turbulent time in French history, how will the choices each family member makes, weave the tapestry of their lives? Or is their fate already predestined?
Ana: What themes does your novel explore and what do you hope the reader will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke in the reader? Essentially, do you hope your novel will mean to a reader?
Elizabeth: The underlying theme of the narrative is a look at the Calvinistic belief in predestination -- the theory that many Huguenots held, that one’s whole life is planned by the Creator before they are even born. Pros and cons on both sides of the issue are presented in what, I hope, is an entertaining way.
Ana: What prompted you to write this novel and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain author or work that inspired you to add your voice to this genre? Besides the boatloads of money and rockstar fame, what motivated you to write this book?
Elizabeth: I love history and have been involved in my own family history research for over twenty years. Years ago, my aunt told me there was a Huguenot connection and the idea fascinated me. About ten years ago, I finally found the French family name and was able to discover the Huguenot branch of my family tree. Later, I traveled to the small French village where they originated, and see for myself what they left behind. It was so beautiful there, and I felt such compassion for my sixth great-grandfather, who was willing to leave it in order to serve his God in the way his conscience dictated.
The research began as a duty to my family, became a great pleasure to me, and ended in a compulsion to write the story of what may have happened to that family. I must admit though, that in the end verisimilitude won, and the book is strictly fiction.
Ana: If you could compare your novel to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why? If the one thing you could say to a prospective reader was, "If you like X, you'll love my book!", which work would be invoked so that a reader could judge whether or not your novel is their cup of tea?
Elizabeth: There are many stories and books about displacement, such as "Fiddler on the Roof" which is a movie based on the Jewish experience in Russia. It has been the case, down through the ages, but I can’t just think of a specific book at the moment other than James Michener’s "The Covenant."
Ana: Is this your first or only published work, or have you published other novels? If you have published other novels, how do they compare to this one? Do you have any more novels planned, either as a follow-up to this one, or as a completely different novel or genre?
Elizabeth: Although I was involved in writing radio and television advertising, and later published travel articles, this is my first novel. I love the historical fiction genre and am now planning both a prequel and a sequel to the novel to make a trilogy. With the research required, though, it takes a long time for me to finish a novel, so it won’t be available in the near future.
Ana: Where can readers obtain a copy of your novel for them to enjoy? How can they contact you with any thoughts or questions? And do you have a means by which they can "sign up" to be notified when your next novel comes available?
Elizabeth: The novel is currently available on all Amazon outlets in print form and was released on January 23rd in Kindle form. "The Silk Weaver’s Daughter" has a Facebook page complete with pictures of the French Village at and I have a blog entitled Senior Moments with Liz Kales.
Ana: Thank you, Liz. I understand you have the first chapter of your novel available as an excerpt for interested readers? And is there anything else you wish to add for our readers?
Elizabeth Kales: Yes, the prologue and a portion of Chapter 1 are available on my "Senior Moments with Liz Kales" blog here.
I would like to say to the readers, that while this is a book about religious people and there are some scriptural references, it is not really, what is considered Christian or born-again fiction. It discusses religion only as a background, in the same way that Philippa Gregory does in her historical novels about the Tudor or the Plantagenet eras. I consider it more an inspirational type novel.