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Author Melanie Karsak Talks about How her Novel LADY MACBETH Came to Life (with a Giveaway!)

I am such a sucker for classic story retellings!

Thank you so much for having me stop by today. I’m excited to talk about how my Lady Macbeth novel came to life. And also glad to share the news that the first novel in my new series, Lady Macbeth; Daughter of Ravens, Book I in The Saga of Lady Macbeth, is now available on Amazon!

Bringing Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens to light has been a labor of love. In 1997, I was a student at Penn State. I took a Celtic History class with renowned scholar Dr. Ben Hudson. When he lectured about the “real” Macbeth, it poured water on the seed of idea I’d had for some time. This wasn’t the first time I’d thought about writing about Lady Macbeth. My high school English teacher, Mrs. Wilkenson, and I talked about what such a novel might look like. Was the real Lady Macbeth misunderstood? Could she be presented more sympathetically? Gruoch, (Lady Macbeth’s real name), lived in a world that was changing. She was the last Celtic queen, ruling over a country that had just converted to Christianity. How might Gruoch’s changing times relate to Shakespeare’s vision of this story?

I started writing and researching this novel in 2002. I won’t claim this novel is an exact historical retelling. Scholars disagree on Gruoch’s exact lineage. I’ve done the best I could piecing historical information together. While I was studying for my Master’s degree, I spent hours in the stacks of The University of Alabama’s library researching Lady Macbeth (as opposed to studying Social Work, my actual major, thus why I have a MA in English not Social Work today).

What readers should expect in Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens is a novel that is a mix of the historical and fantastical. Combining the history of the real Lady Macbeth with Celtic myth, I have tried to paint a picture of a girl who would become queen, of a girl who was more than what she seemed, of a girl whose world was dark and dangerous, of a girl who be forever-changed by that darkness.

In Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens, you will meet a young Gruoch at the beginning of her adventure. I would describe Gruoch, not as naive, but as a girl who has lived without much love in her life, a girl quick to trust and love (like a lot teenage girls). I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide if she is making good choices. Gruoch is also a girl with great, but untapped, power within her . . . and not all of that power is innocent. The pace of this novel is a little less action-driven than my other novels (though LOTS of stuff is happening), but there is always a calm before the storm.

Is it a love story? Love is a central part of this book . . . how love can confuse, hurt, and ultimately, destroy us. Of course the reader knows that Grouch will end up with Macbeth, but she has a lot of life to live before they meet. And there is a very special druid, named Banquo, who has a significant impact on Gruoch in Daughter of Ravens.

The Saga of Lady Macbeth is a three-part saga. The second and third novels in the series, Blade of the Goddess and Wyrd Queen of Scotland, are complete but currently being polished.

Thank you so much for having me today!

Melanie Karsak is the author of the Amazon best-selling steampunk series The Airship Racing Chronicles (Chasing the Star Garden and Chasing the  Green Fairy) and the award-wining horror/dark fantasy Harvesting Series. She grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania and earned a Master’s degree in English from Gannon University. A steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and zombie whisperer, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.
Author links:
Lady Macbeth
by Melanie Karsak
(Daughter of Ravens #1)
Publication date: December 3rd 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Something wicked this way comes . . .

Gruoch is born to rule, but long before she becomes Macbeth’s queen, ancient forces claim her soul.

Marked from birth by the old gods, Gruoch is initiated into the ancient religion of her ancestors and begins learning the mysteries of the Goddess Cerridwen. But not everything is as it seems. Soon the Battle Goddess Morrigu imposes her will, and Gruoch finds herself at the mercy of the Wyrd Sisters.

With King Malcolm plotting, the Wyrd Sisters schooling her in arcane craft, and haunted by dreams of a raven-haired man she’s never met, Gruoch feels her fate is not her own. That is, until she meets a druid named Banquo. Gruoch’s heart is swept away when Banquo awakens something in her more powerful than duty, magic, or destiny: love.

This retelling of Shakespeare’s classic work leads readers through an unforgettable saga of one woman struggling to escape her fate without blood on her hands.

Begin the Lady Mabeth Saga with Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens.

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