Rifle native self-publishes first novel
Becca M. Ketelsleger, a Rifle native, has self-published her first novel on Amazon, “Noble Warrior.” The historical fiction novel is a re-imagining of the Knights of the Round Table with heroine, Noble, quite literally fighting to save her father’s life.
Ketelsleger was born in Rifle and graduated from Rifle High School. She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice (forensic psychology) at Seattle University. After she graduated, she returned to the valley for a little bit before moving to Salt Lake City, Utah. She currently works as a law assistant.
Ketelsleger sat down with the Post Independent to discuss her inspiration for “Noble Warrior,” what the publishing process was like and what her future in writing holds.
Post Independent: Have you always written historical fiction? What draws you to that particular genre, and why did you set “Noble Warrior” within its parameters? How much research went into the process?
Becca Ketelsleger: Historical fiction has always been my favorite genre to both read and write, and particularly anything having to do with medieval times. The tale of King Arthur has always been fascinating to me in all forms — whether it be the recent movie “King Arthur” with Clive Owen, the classic film “Camelot,” “Mists of Avalon” by Marion Zimmer Bradley, or the original lore. I have read some scholarly articles on the time period and whether or not Arthur is a legend or a historical figure, but most of my research has just been reading as much literature as I can on the subject.
PI: Does your background in criminal justice and psychology influence your writing? I notice throughout Noble Warrior there are different musings about human relationships and how we maneuver through the world.
BK: I do feel as if my interest in psychology has played a huge part in this novel. To me, the most important thing in Noble Warrior has always been the characters and their relationships. Without fully realized characters and relatable relationships, I believe that this novel would just be words on a page instead of a compelling story. My favorite relationship in the novel has always been Noble and Leonard, but I feel like at some point we have all been through the different conflicts and camaraderie that Noble experiences with those around her.
PI: The heroine of the novel is Aceline Grosipan/Sir Andrew Banidere; where did you draw inspiration for her character? And which iteration of her is more fun to write: Aceline or Andrew?
BK: I grew up being very much a tomboy, and usually was surrounded by more males than females due to my participation in the Rifle Boy Scout troop. To me, I find the dynamic of a woman living in a man’s world very interesting, especially when no one knows she is a woman. At the end of the day, Noble is Noble, and there are no different iterations of her. My deepest hope for this character is that she captures all of the facets of strong, independent women today.
PI: What has the self-publishing process been like, and would you recommend it for other budding authors out there? Is it a relief to finally get that first novel out into the world?
BK: The self-publishing process has been wonderful. Amazon has made the process very simple and easy to succeed with. My deepest regret is not having a professional edit the manuscript, as I know that there are numerous typos in the finished product. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing. I have sold nearly 40 copies in less than a month and hope that the momentum keeps up.
PI: For Becca M. Ketelsleger, what does a typical writing day look like? What are your “rituals” and common practices? Are you listening to music? Guzzling coffee?
BK: My typical day writing does involve a lot of coffee! I work best sitting on my porch, in the still of the early morning. That is when I feel the most dedicated to the story that I’m creating. I also think that you just have to grab onto inspiration when it strikes. The perfect day for writing might not produce the perfect work, and the most hectic, horrible day might leave you with one sentence of pure genius. Love of your work is key.
PI: Now that “Noble Warrior” is published, are you already looking ahead to another novel? If so, any early details you can offer here on that?
BK: There are some other stories in the works. My goal for my next novel is to have a broader scope of characters and narrators. I understand Noble so well and have been in her head for so long that I’m excited to share some other voices with the world.
PI: Anything else you want to tell readers about yourself or the book?
BK: The last thing that I would like to add is that I really do believe that there is something for everyone in this story. There are battle scenes and love stories, but more than that, there are people who could be your neighbor, or your parent, or you. To me, this story is ultimately about life and that how we live it and the people in it matter.
“Noble Warrior” can be found on Amazon in either Kindle or print edition.
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