Jeannie Ruesch, author of "Cloaked in Danger" and "Something About Her" 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?
This is a tough question! And my answer is based on who I'd most like to interact with, and that would be Queen Elizabeth I. I don't think I would want to BE her, however -- I'd want to be someone close to her, so I could watch her, observe what she does and who she is. Fly on the wall perhaps? As long as I could keep notes. ;) That would be fascinating to me.
2. What year in history would you have liked to live in?
Given the lack of plumbing and modern day comforts, I admit to being very spoiled by those. Not sure I'd like to live permanently in history. :) But to visit? So many options: 1776 to truly understand the Revolution and what drove it, what drove America's forefathers. 1558-1559 during Elizabeth I's coronation as Queen. 1863 to hear Lincoln give the Gettysburg address. 1942 when Jackie Cochran put together the Woman‘s Flying Training for the United States. I could go on. There are so many eras that interest me, so many moments of history that I would love see, feel and hear for myself.
3. You're having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?
Queen Elizabeth I
WWII female pilot Jackie Cochran
And yes, I realize I have 4 women and good ol' Ben, but I think he'd be a hoot to have dinner with, and I can only imagine the conversations that would occur with this group! Each of these people were so contemporary in their own eras, so different and I love reading about characters who defied expectations in their era.
4. What castle from the past or present would you like to live in?
I wouldn't be picky, truly -- but I think Leeds Castle in Kent would be a tremendous place to live! Gorgeous surroundings, beautiful inside. And it has such great history— as a royal residence (Henry VIII renovated it for his first wife, Catherine of Aragon), a prison, a private home. Yup, I could handle living there. ;)
5. Two fellow historical fiction authors you'd like to go on a history themed tour of the world with?
A history-themed tour of the world? Let me just soak that in for a moment. *Sigh* So cohorts to bring with me... Tracey Devlyn, since she writes thrillers and I'm guessing we'd be fascinated by the same things -- dungeons, dark alleyways. And Brenda Novak has delved into the darker side of historical romance as well, and I know we'd have a great time!
6. Who was more dashing and interesting, King Henry VIII of England or King Louis XIV of France?
I'm all for Henry VIII -- as long as I'm not one of his wives. ;) I have a long standing fascination with the history of Great Britain, so I think I'd always lean toward that direction. But I think Henry is fascinating. He changed the face of the world with the extremes he went to in order to have Anne Boleyn for his wife.
7. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favorite?
Let's see. To be headed, or not beheaded... Sorry, bad pun. Probably Catherine Howard, poor girl. She was young and stupid.
8. English monarchy or French monarchy?
English of course. Stiff upper lip and all that. ;)
9. What three novels could you read over and over?
One of my favorite historical fiction novels was "The Diary of Anne Boleyn". I loved that behind-the-scenes type feel. But I also love historical romance, and Bertrice Small wrote some of my favorites -- "Skye O'Malley" (and the entire series) set in the times of Elizabeth I. I love the connections and history she laces into her stories. One of my favorite novels is a historical romance called "Whitney My Love", by Judith McNaught. Her ability to make you feel for the characters, to take them with you as though they were good friends long after you finished the book -- I admire that ability.
10. Tea or coffee when writing?
Coffee definitely. Tea is something I drink when I'm snuggled up on the couch, with the rain outside, a blanket over my lap and digging into a good book. When I write, I need to feel the energy inside. So usually lots of water (which forces me to get up every so often) and coffee.
Jeannie Ruesch's official website: