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10 questions with historical fiction author: Marissa Doyle

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Marissa Doyle, author of "Betraying Season", "Bewitching Season", "Courtship and Curses", and "Charles Bewitched" 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?

I think I would want to be one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting. It wasn't the most scintillating job, but think of the people you would have had the opportunity to meet and observe!

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

Oh, my. Probably 1814, though 1837 would be a close second. 1901 would be pretty interesting, too.

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

Awww...just five? Sigh.

Okay...Napoleon Bonaparte, Queen Victoria, Teddy Roosevelt, Bess of Hardwick, and the Reverend Sydney Smith...and if you'll allow me two more so that I can use all my good china and have a table of eight, add in Eleanor of Aquitaine and Benjamin Franklin.

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

Another toss-up between two houses that no longer exist...either Richmond Palace, which sounded like a perfectly delightful place (if you spot me indoor plumbing!) or Carlton House, the Prince Regent's London house which DID have indoor plumbing. Of course, if Chatsworth should happen to come onto the market... :)

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

First of all, my dear friend and blogging partner, Regina Scott...and Madeleine E. Robins, author of the wonderful "Sarah Tolerance" historical mystery series.

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

That's a very interesting question, because "dashing" and "interesting" are two very different qualities. I think Louis was the more complex character and interesting to me as a writer and person who thinks obsessively about history...but Henry's the guy who got me interested in history, back when I was about eight years old and watching "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" on Masterpiece Theatre...so I'm not sure I can answer that question!!

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

I think I admire Catherine of Aragon the most--her final letter to Henry, written on her deathbed, says everything about her nobility of soul...but I think I'd most enjoy hanging out with Anne of Cleves, who managed to take a horrid situation and turn it into a reasonably pleasant one and become esteemed by her adopted family--even, eventually, by her ex-husband.

8. English monarchy or French monarchy?

Well, that one's easy: I can recite the complete list of English kings from the Norman Conquest, but not the French.

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

Hmm. Definitely "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" by Susanna Clarke--I just love it and already have read it multiple times, despite the fact that it's a doorstop of a book. And then there's Georgette Heyer, who is probably the best mood-lifter ever...I can't decide between "The Grand Sophy", "The Unknown Ajax", or "Cotillion" for my favorite. And last, a thoroughly delightful book (and series) by Maine author Van Reid called "Cordelia Underwood", or the "Marvelous Beginning of the Moosepath League", set in 1890s Maine and probably best described as a Dickens story written by an American and without the bloated prose. (What, me? Opinionated?) :)

10. Tea or coffee when writing?

Coffee, decaf, in one of my enormous mugs that everyone else in the household knows not to touch because they're Mom's writing mugs.

Marissa Doyle's official website:

http://www.marissadoyle.com/

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