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10 questions with historical fiction author: Anna Belfrage

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Anna Belfrage, author of "A Rip in the Veil", "Like Chaff in the Wind", "The Prodigal Son", "A Newfound Land", "Serpents in the Garden", and "Revenge and Retribution" answers 10 questions about her favorite time period in history, her favorite figures from history, and the age old question of coffee or tea.

1. If you could go back in time and be any figure from history, who would it be?

That's like asking a chocoholic what color M&M they want... Actually, I'm not sure I want to be any of my favorite historical persons, because most of them ended up dead far too soon, but one person I would definitely want to meet is Alexander the Great. And Charles I of England. And Joan of Arc. (See why I don't want to be these people? One died young, one was beheaded, the other was burned to death...)

2. What year in history would you have liked to live in?

I would not have wanted to stay all that long, but I would have liked to live for some years in 17th century Providence (present day Annapolis). Preferably as well-to-do as Kate Jones in my books is - otherwise life could be pretty harsh.

3. You're having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?

Joan of Arc (I have a thing about brave women) Edward III of England (so that he could explain to Joan just why he felt entitled to the French throne) Charles II and Oliver Cromwell (and boy would they have a lot to talk about) and Thomas Jefferson, because I believe this particular gentleman would be more than adept at navigating the very choppy waters my other guests would cause.

4. What castle from the past or present would you like to live in?

The Alhambra in Granada - nice weather, fantastic architecture and a view to die for! No wonder Boabdil stopped and wept when he left this little gem of a palace back in 1492, evicted by the armies of Ferdinand and Isabella.

5. Two fellow historical fiction authors you'd like to go on a history themed tour of the world with?

Sharon K Penman and Pamela Belle - that way we can do everything from Medieval England to the English Civil War.

6. Who was more dashing and interesting, King Henry VIII of England or King Louis XIV of France?

Louis XIV - he was definitely the far more dashing of the two, especially as the year progressed, and he had the added benefit of not chopping off so many heads.

7. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favorite?

I'm not a major fan of the Tudors, but the wife who has always impressed me by her combination of naivité and pragmatism is Anne of Cleves, who actually achieved a cordial and respectful relationship with Henry after their divorce. Plus she was a mean cook...

8. English monarchy or French monarchy?

English, any day. But that may also be due to more familiarity with all those English dudes...

9. What three novels could you read over and over?

"Here be Dragons" by Sharon K Penman, "The Moon in the Water," by Pamela Belle and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Hemingway.

10. Tea or coffee when writing?

Tea! Black, no sugar and no fake fruity flavors. But I don't mind a cookie or two!

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