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10 questions with historical fiction author: Celia Rees

Celia Rees is the author of "The Fool's Girl", "Blood Sinister", "Sovay", "Pirates, "Witch Child", and "Sorceress".
Courtesy of Celia Rees

Celia Rees, author of "The Fool's Girl", "Blood Sinister", "Sovay", "Pirates, "Witch Child", and "Sorceress"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 a tough one because I'd know what my end would be! I'd prefer to be able to inhabit an individual at a particular moment in time. Elizabeth 1st, for example, when she heard that she was queen. It must have been wonderful to have people suddenly kneeling at one's feet.

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

Again, that is a difficult one but I would have liked to have been alive during the French Revolution, a dangerous but exciting time when the world changed forever. Writing fiction is a way of 'being present'. I guess I realized that particular dream in "Sovay".

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

William Shakespeare, Mary Wollstonecraft, Emma Goldman, Camille Desmoulins, Benjamin Franklin. I think the last four would have quite a bit in common. I'm sure Shakespeare would mix in and, anyway, I'd talk to him.

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

Kenilworth Castle at the time of Queen Elizabeth. Or Castle Perilous. Or Castle Dracula (but maybe not overnight).

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

Mary Hoffman and David Mitchell

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

I'm British, so I have to go for Henry VIII. I've never really liked Louis XIV and the French Monarchy. A natural distrust based on all those centuries of animosity (see Q. 8)

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

Anne Boleyn - by a mile!

8. English monarchy or French monarchy?

English - of course!

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

I don't read novels over and over but I could re-read Sarah Water's "The Night Watch" and Hilary Mantel, "Wolf Hall" and "Bring Up the Bodies" to remind me what really fine writing is like and not to be afraid.

10. Tea or coffee when writing?


Celia Rees' official website:

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