Q&A: Rachelle McCalla
Rachelle McCalla tells stories of suspense and romance. In Prince Incognito she tells the story of Alec a man who's lost his memory and who's unknowingly been taken in by his family's worst enemies.
What was your inspiration driving the story in Prince Incognito?
The tiny Christian Kingdom of Lydia, located on the Mediterranean Sea near Greece, can trace its history back to the house church of Lydia, who appears in the Bible in Acts 16. Through the centuries, the kings and queens of the Royal House of Lydia have faithfully ruled and protected their people. But when an insurgent uprising shatters the peace and threatens the members of the royal family, it’s up to the four royal siblings—Isabelle, Anastasia, Alexander, and Thaddeus—to overcome the forces who oppose them and reclaim the crown.
Prince Incognito is the third book in the Reclaiming the Crown series, and follows the adventures of Alexander, the soldier prince. Injured in the attack, Alec no longer remembers who he is. Lillian Bardici, an American vacationing in Lydia, helps Alec. But when Alec’s enemies come after them, they flee together, looking for answers. Along the way, they find hope and help in unexpected places.
Over the course of writing it, what surprised you most during the journey?
My happiest surprise came when I read over the final round of edits and discovered that I enjoyed this book even more than the previous two. I wasn’t expecting that. The third book in a four-book series, like the third runner in a relay race, is often the weakest. Maybe I’m not supposed to pick favorites, but I think I like this book best out of the whole series.
How does your faith influence your writing?
I pray every evening and every time I sit down to write, that God will be glorified through my writing. Biblical elements and Christian concepts pepper the pages of my stories, and readers can go deeper using the discussion questions at the back of each book. My goal is not to lecture readers about what to believe, but rather, to show the struggles of my characters as they try to lead faithful Christian lives.
Why do you think story is such a powerful way to communicate truth?
God created us to love—to love God, and to love each other. Love is not a state of being—it’s something we do, in big ways and small ways, in every interaction we have. As we live out God’s call to love, our lives tell a story.
The Bible is full of stories, too. Not stories in the fictional, made-up sense of the word, but rather, stories of the lives of the people who came before us. Through those stories, we learn about their faith. We learn about the times they failed, about the times God forgave them, and about the times God worked wonders in their midst. Through their stories, we learn about God.
What do you hope readers get out of your work?
My prayer has always been that God will be glorified through my writing. Maybe that means a reader will be encouraged in their faith. Maybe another reader will feel inspired, or take away a tiny gem that helps them to reflect the light of God’s love more purely. Maybe some readers will even feel a sense of sadness or despair along with my characters as they face the trials before them, and find hope knowing that everything came out all right in the end.
Because everything does come out all right in the end—both in my books, and in God’s plan. If the ending isn’t happy, that means it’s not really the end.