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10 questions with historical fiction author: Karen Cushman

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Karen Cushman, author of "Will Sparrow's Road", "Alchemy and Meggy Swann", "The Loud Silence of Francine Green", "Matilda Bone", "Rodzina", "The Ballad of Lucy Whipple", "The Midwife's Apprentice", and "Catherine, Called Birdy" 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?

Katherine Swynford, long time lover of John of Gaunt. She married the man she loved and lived for a long(ish) time. And she kept her teeth.

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

None of them. Too much violence, disease, distress.

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

Richard III, Saint Francis of Assisi, Alfred Einstein, Margaret Mead, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

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

Hearst Castle in California. It has central heating and bathrooms.

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

Kirby Larson, because she is my friend, and Rosemary Sutcliff, because she is my idol.

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

I'd pick Louis because he didn't lop off his lovers' heads, as far as I know.

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

Anne of Cleves because she survived.

8. English monarchy or French monarchy?


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

"Katherine" by Anya Seton about Katherine Swynford;, "Shadow on the Crown" by Patricia Bracewell about Emma of Normandy; "Song for a Dark Queen" about Boudica by Rosemary Sutcliff.

10. Tea or coffee when writing?


Karen Cushman's official website: