Saturday, January 4, 2014

Daughter of the King by Carlene Havel and Sharon Faucheux: Character Interview


with Princess Michal

My guest today is Princess Michal, daughter of Israel’s first king and wife of the famous King David.  She is also the heroine of the novel, “Daughter of the King” by Carlene Havel and Sharon Faucheux.

How did your status as a princess affect your childhood? 

We lived well for our time, though not so sumptuously as modern millionaires.  As with every wealthy family of my era, there was a large cadre of servants in our household.  However, my sister Merab and I were assigned chores.  We learned to cook and embroider.  There were also disadvantages to being a princess.  For example, I was endangered by the constant fighting between my father’s army and surrounding peoples, such as the Philistines. There was no doubt our enemies would have tortured, maimed or killed every member of the royal family, including the children, if our soldiers failed to protect us. 

King Saul was known to have severe mood swings.  What was your relationship with him?

You may go ahead and state the situation clearly.  My father went through times when he was quite mad.  He could be perfectly rational one moment and completely out of control the next.  Since he ruled with absolute authority, those around him quietly coped with his erratic behavior.  I loved my father, but I never knew when he would burst into one of his rages.  I learned to stay out of his sight as much as possible, fearing he might harm me during one of his fits.  That may sound overly dramatic, but bear in mind Father came extremely close to killing my brother Jonathan.  It is a miracle he did not succeed in assassinating my husband.

Why did you decide to marry David?
This was not my choice to make.  In my culture, girls do not date, nor do we select whom we shall marry. According to our custom, my father chose David to be my husband and negotiated my marriage contract.  I was fortunate I was not given to someone in a distant city where the hand of the king’s daughter could seal a military or political alliance. According to the Law of Moses, no Jewish girl is to be married to an unbelieving foreigner.  Yet if you know much about King Saul, you realize my father frequently considered himself to be above the law.

Did you rebel against the concept of an arranged marriage?

Not at all.  This is our way of life, a custom every girl fully accepts.  Of course, after I fell deeply in love with David I dreamed of becoming his bride.  In fact, I am the only woman the Bible acknowledges as having romantic love for a man.  Perhaps you do not understand the difference between our cultures.  For us, marriage is how families are connected.  The bride and groom are merely tokens of each family’s pledge to be bound together.  Caring for one’s husband is a welcome bonus, certainly not a necessity. 

What was it that caused to fall in love with David?

If you have to ask, you must not know him.  I must admit, his looks were the first attraction.  He is still the most handsome man in the kingdom, and arguably the most charming.  Yet it is his character that holds my heart captive.  A braver man never lived.  Surely you know he was only fourteen when he volunteered to face the giant Goliath alone, in hand-to-hand combat.  His exceptional musical talent attracted the notice of everyone, including my father, who appointed him court musician. David’s tender sensitivity is revealed in his poetry—an enduring treasure, still appreciated after more than three thousand years.  Do you recognize these famous lines he wrote?  “The Lord is my shepherd.  I shall not want…”  I could go on and on.  How could I resist him?

King Saul gave you to another man after you were already married to David.  How could he do this? 

Legally, he could not.  As I mentioned before, Father flaunted the law when it suited his purpose.  He was an expert at convincing himself anything he wanted to believe simply must be true.  He made decisions for his own satisfaction, never considering the consequences anyone—even his own family—would suffer.  Since Father had every intention of murdering David, he assumed it was only a matter of time before I would be a widow.   I suppose all kings sometimes gratify themselves at the expense of others.  Still, it was a crushing disappointment for me to realize that my welfare was of so little importance to my father.

Do you still love King David, despite his affair with Bathsheba?  

How dare you provoke me, you foreign dog?  My husband’s rise from simple shepherd boy to the king who united Israel and Judah rivals any rags-to-riches story, true or imagined.  He is the richest, most powerful man in the world. Of course, women throw themselves at him.  King David’s reign is marked by justice, integrity, and wisdom.  Yet all you want to talk about is one sordid incident.  This interview is concluded. Never presume to contact me again.

A heartwarming story about the resilience of true love, inspired by a biblical account of greatness, courage, and foretold prophecy...

Princess Michal was the youngest daughter of Saul, the first king of Israel. In an age when fathers arranged marriages, Michal dared to fall in love with a handsome young musician named David, from the little town of Bethlehem.

As recounted in the Bible, Michal helped David escape from her insanely jealous father. King Saul punished his daughter with a forced marriage to a distant war lord. Princess Michal unexpectedly returns from seven years of exile to find a changed world. Most of her relatives are dead. David has become King of Judea. He has acquired six additional wives, one of whom is a princess from Geshur. Michal longs to have a son to reign over Israel and reestablish the rule of King Saul's heirs. But each royal wife has hopes of placing her own son on the throne.

Can Princess Michal's love for King David survive war, madness, infidelity, and betrayal?

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Carlene Havel writes Christian-themed romances and historical novels set in Biblical times. She's lived in Turkey, Republic of the Philippines, and all over the United States. Carlene worked for a banana importer, a software development company, and everything in between. She attended several colleges and universities, including one that--to her mother's surprise--granted her a diploma.
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