London Book Review

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Lin Wilder : The Reluctant Queen The Story of Esther | London Book Interview

Reluctant Queen is a nail-biting novel derived from a biblical and historical account that tells a story of an orphan girl who managed to save the Jewish nation from extinction. Esther was chosen, and so were her people.

Lin Wilder has a doctorate in Public Health from the UT at Houston. She began writing fiction after leaving her position at UMASS Medical Center. Consequently, she received many awards for her two-series novels.

1. Of all the stories in the Old Testament, what made you write Queen Esther’s story?

From the beginning, the subjects of my novels appear in my head. I don’t choose them, they choose me. In previous attempts to explain this comment, I’ve learned, further elaboration doesn’t clarify. I think one either understands the statement or not.

2. How did you research your book, Reluctant Queen?

The research was extremely challenging at first. In the afterword of the book I explain more but briefly, our understanding of the Greco-Persian Wars are biased because the historians of the events were Greek. Therefore it took extensive searching to reveal the Persian side of things. When I did, other sources appeared and I had more than I could contend with.

3. How long did it take you to write Reluctant Queen?

Once I got going, the actual writing took about nine months.

4. What’s the most difficult part of writing this one?

The toughest part of writing the story of Esther occurred when I sent the completed book to my four reviewers. The feedback from two of them required major a rewrite. Their criticism was valid I knew but the realization of the magnitude of the rewrite needed is at first paralyzing. For about a week, I could do nothing. But I did pray. Suddenly, I got it and within a month had it done for the editor to critique.

5. How extensive is your preparation and research about this book?

I think this question is the same as the second.

6. In your opinion, is the historicity of the Book of Esther fictional or not?

Yes, I think Esther and King Xerxes’ story is historical, I don’t believe these were fictional people.

7. What do you hope for your readers to gain after reading this book?

I wouldn’t change anything in the story. I considered continuing it for a few chapters following the death of Haman but decided that it ended at the right place.

8. If there’s one thing you would like to change in the story, what would it be?

Interesting question, what would I hope my readers gain. But I’d hope the readers of this and other ancient novels gain an appreciation of the universality of human experiences. Also, the understanding that chronology is often just footnote. And that those who’ve gone before us even thousands of years before us, faced precisely what each of us does: much of the place and circumstances of our lives are not our choice. Our choice is what we do with the life we’ve been given.

9. Who do you most want to read this book?

Who would I like to read it? It would be lovely if someone read it and decided to do a film about her. But honestly, I think those who should read it are led to it in that mysterious way things happen.

10. Would you consider writing a sequel to Reluctant Queen?

Esther’s story doesn’t lend itself to a sequel. However, once I complete Plausible Liars, the fifth in the Lindsey McCall medical mystery series, I’ll head back into the ancient world. This time with the story of the early life of King David. The tile? One Smooth Stone.

Get this book on Amazon. Grab your own copy now!

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