09 October, 2012

#Interview :: Rachelle Ayala - Author of Michal's Window & Broken Build


Today I have Rachelle Ayalla joining me for an interview...

Hello Rachelle. Welcome to b00k r3vi3ws. Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Sure, the big secret is I’m writing under a pen name because in real life I have a PhD in Applied Mathematics and I’m a computer geek. No one wants to read books written by people who have Java spilling out of their brain (and I don’t mean the coffee). When all I catch are NullPointerExceptions , and matching squiggly braces is more important than matching my socks, your eyes glaze over and you won’t buy my book.
So, I’m now the great Rachelle Ayala, the word magician, purveyor of emotional throes of lust and the agony of purple shaded prose.  I transport you into the heart and soul of larger than life characters, epic dramas, and amped up sensations. I grab ahold of you with gruesome images and heart-stopping fight scenes. And now, you will buy my book. [hypnotic tone with pendulum swinging]

Ummm... I already have a copy! So, Michal’s Window hit the market about six months back and has bagged quite a few awards. How was the whole experience?
Hey, Deb, are you handing out awards? Cuz, I’m pretty sure I’ve been bagging blog awards, the kind with the pretty graphics, but I’ve been waiting for the Hello Kitty stickers that go with them so I can plaster them all over Pretty Michal’s face.
The experience? Well, it was awesome. I got to be a princess for a while, then an angry, jealous, abandoned wife. I romped with a Philistine prince, beat up a few of David’s wives [those scenes ended up on the cutting room floor, but I did get in a headlock and a chokehold]. But beware of me and the shears. Did David ever wonder why I cut his hair before he went off to war and personally moisturized and bathed him? Read my book and guess who my grandmama was.

I have already read it and you have to wait for my review to find out about what I thought of the book. But what has been the general reaction to the book so far?
Oh, that’s right. You did already read it. I will expect a full report on Michal’s famous (fictional) grandmother. The reaction? Easy. Go to Goodreads or Amazon. The hotties love it and the others? Well, here’s quoting one of them “A confounding story overall...”

I have seen your dream cast in case it is turned into a motion picture. But can you tell us more about your personal experiences and motivations behind shaping up the characters the way you have done it?
Do you really, really wanna know? Okay…  all the old fashioned Bible commentators (all men) hate Michal. Oh, she was only the princess who saved David’s life, a fact they conveniently forget. But what an unsubmissive wife. She should never have been jealous of David’s popularity with the women, nor dared to censure him. Every sermon about Michal portrayed her negatively. She didn’t really love David, she lied to her father, she had sex with her second husband, she didn’t want to return to David, she was a prisoner in his harem, she hated him and wished her father had killed him, she called him a dirty old man. Blah, blah, blah.
Well, darnit, when someone is so universally hated by preachers and prudes, there must be something behind it. So naturally, my writer’s mind started clicking and I found a significant clue. 2nd Samuel 3:5 told me that David loved Michal after all. He loved her so much, he gave her a pet name and hid her inside the genealogy, the one almost all Bible commentators (except for Mathew Henry) claim she was omitted from because of her great sin of yelling at David and calling him a dirty old man. The second clue was when David instructed his son Solomon in Proverbs 5:18-19 to rejoice with the wife of his youth. The third clue is God’s insistence that men respect and not mistreat their covenant wife (Malachi 2:14-15). Everything fell into place and the rest is fiction. I wrote Michal’s Window to vindicate this maligned woman and give her a place among the heroines of the Bible. She singlehandedly saved the line toward Jesus Christ when she defied her father and let David escape from her window. Sorry you asked? :)

Not really. I always love to know more about plots & characters. You have also published ‘Your Daily Bible Verse’. How did you come up with it and how are the verses correlated to the dates? I am curious to know what my birthday & anniversary may turn up!
Whenever something bad happens, we Christians lean on Romans 8:28. When we’re having a bad day, it’s Romans 8:28 day. My mind is given to strange associations and while others were thinking chapter and verse, I thought month and day. So I began looking up verses to fit each day of the year. I would wake up in the morning and look at the book. Ah, today is October 4, a Romans 10:4 day. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” This would be the memory verse (or the attempt at memorization) and the thought for the day. Obviously some days had many candidates and other days less so. January 1 has 66 possibilities. December 31? Not that many. But thankfully, God provided several choices for each combination.
It’s a fun little book, a devotional, and a great gift.

Now tell us about your latest release – Broken Build. I have read the blurb and it feels quite different from Michal’s Window.
Broken Build is a fast paced, hard-hitting book. The basic question it asks is, “What would it take for a man to love the woman who destroyed his life?”
From the very first page, Broken Build takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride. I don’t like simplistic answers or easy-to-love characters. Broken Build will stretch you to the limit and have you consider what you would do if you saw a different side to a person you vilified and hated for tearing your life to pieces.

How would you introduce Jen Jones and Dave Jewell to Michal’s Window Fans and to those who are new to your writing?
I’d say, jump in and read the sample. Form your own opinion. Don’t have preconceived notions about this book based on Michal’s Window. The tone, feel, vibe, and language are so different you might think it was written by a different person. I am actually incapable of reproducing Michal’s lyrical in Jen’s gritty potty-mouth. Nor can I transplant David’s notion of possessive love into Dave Jewell’s erratic mood swings.

Now that you are on an Indian Blog – tell me, what do you think is the best ‘thing’ about India?
That’s easy! The people. No stereotyping, of course, but Indians are a joyous people and full of life. Sure, I can find some dour ones, especially if I look at the management in my former job. But for the most part, Indians are emotional, enthusiastic, and fun loving. Add the fantastic food, tea, sweets, bright colored clothing, and turmeric. Yes, love the turmeric. Too bad I had to delete it from Michal’s Window. I couldn’t take that much liberty. But the entire dream cast of Michal’s Window is Bollywood, except for dour David. And Kunal Kapoor! Wow! Just perfect. So definitely the people.
I love India and both Michal’s Window and Broken Build are specially priced at 49 INR.

What else should I have asked you?
I’m pretty crazy about my new male hero, Lucas Knight. He is a triathlete and that means hot, Hot, HOT! The lucky lady, Maryanne Torres (@TorresMaryanne), has a very emotionally challenging story arc, but she’s paired up with a sweetheart of a man. I can’t wait to share their story with you in about a year.

Oho... I am already curious... Why do we have to wait? I hate it when you authors do that to us!

Thanks so much, Debdatta, for having me muck up your blog. I apologize in advance if you lose droves of followers and find yourself left with only little ol’ me. But for now, let me congratulate you on five hundred blog followers! And may all your followers buy my book!

Thank you for being here and trust me the pleasure was all mine...

You all heard the lady... Go buy her  books now 

Here’s a really cute “Buy My Book” video from my latest crush, Macca!

Stalk Rachelle


  1. Hi Debdatta! Thanks so much for the interview. My "crush", Chris McCormack, is competing in the 2013 Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii on Saturday, Oct 13th.

  2. +JMJ+

    I, too, have noticed the Michal hate (although I hadn't realised it came mostly from male commentators) and have wondered why. Common sense would tell you to give a bit of a break to a legal/sacramental/covenant/rightful/first/etc wife if she gets a bit upset that her husband racks up a harem. While I'm usually content to look at the Old Testament figures through allegorical lenses, I find that I've always made an exception for Michal. Perhaps it's because I empathise with the emotional pain she must have felt when David started "cheating" on her--even though the cultural acceptance of polygamy meant that he wasn't really "cheating." (But try telling that to a broken heart.) And it doesn't even seem to be a meaningful pain, in the sense that God eventually made something out of it. Or perhaps it's because Bathsheba got to give birth to David's heir and thereby "won" the "wife war." But Rachelle is right that if Michal had not saved David all those years before, the line would not have continued with him. And yet she is overlooked and unfairly disparaged, especially by the commentators who should know best. It doesn't seem right.

    1. Thanks for understanding. We are conditioned to hate Michal because she was a princess, privileged and hence snotty. But when we actually read her story in the Bible, we find she is brave, outspoken and long-suffering. Actually, in many religious circles, women are not supposed to comment on the Bible, hence most of the Bible commentaries are written by men. But even religious women are not sympathetic to Michal because she lied to her father about why she let David escape.

      Hello? Did anyone realize that what she did was high-treason? She might be the daughter of the king, but in those days, your head was removed if you let the king's enemy escape. Besides, her lie wasn't any worse than the lie Rahab told when she let the spies escape, and she had more reason to sympathize with David since he was her husband, than Rahab had for the spies who were the enemy. But Rahab gets more sympathetic treatment because her line leads up to Jesus Christ, whereas Michal is not because she dead ends as far as having male offspring is concerned. And to the Bible commentators that's all a woman is worth.

      Anyway I get way too worked up where Michal is concerned. And I'm just happy that people will read my fictionalized version and cheer for her.

  3. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

    1. Yay! glad you ended up here. Watch Debdatta's blog. It only keeps getting better.