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10 questions with historical fiction author: Liz Trenow

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Liz Trenow, author of "The Last Telegram", "The Forgotten Seamstress", and "The Poppy Factory" (available August 28, 2014) 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?

Right now, it would be the artist and silk designer Anna Maria Garthwaite, in 18th century London, because the main character in my next novel is loosely based on her life, and very little is known about her private life. So being her would save a lot of research!

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

As above: it would be 1745 and Anna would be at the height of her fame.

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

Martin Luther King, Millicent Fawcett (one of the UKs first feminist campaigners), Jane Austen (see below) the WW1 poet Siegfried Sassoon (whose poems remind us of those millions who have given their lives in war) and Oscar Wilde (who would make us all laugh).

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

Orford Castle, on the Suffolk Coast in East Anglia, UK, a Norman keep with the most wonderful views in one of my favorite parts of the world.

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

Hilary Mantel and William Boyd

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

Henry was a fat selfish misogynist and murderer, Louis was vain, pompous and deeply unlikeable. So both were very interesting but dashing? Neither!

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

The first, Catherine of Aragon because she held on the longest, and retained her dignity to the end.

8. English monarchy or French monarchy?

English of course. They are still hanging on in there!

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

"Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, "The Testament of Mary" by Colm Tobin and "The Regeneration Trilogy" by Pat Barker.

10. Tea or coffee when writing?

Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon (what else would you expect from a Brit?)

Liz Trenow's official website: