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10 questions with historical fiction blogger: Carrie Slager

Carrie Slager runs The Mad Reviewer.
Carrie Slager runs The Mad Reviewer.
Courtesy of Carrie Slager

The world of historical fiction features great authors and great bloggers and book reviewers who help promote the wonderful novels written by these fantastic historical fiction writers. These bloggers and reviewers have a passion for historical fiction and are proud to promote the works they read and enjoy. Carrie Slager from The Mad Reviewer answers 10 questions about the genre she so loves.

1. What was the first historical fiction novel you ever read?

It’s hard to say because I’ve actually been reading historical fiction from the age of 9. If my memory serves me well I’d have to say the first one was "Doomed Queen Anne" by Carolyn Meyer. It’s aimed a tween audience. If we’re talking about the first ‘adult’ historical fiction novel I ever read then it would be "The Twice Born" by Pauline Gedge.

2. What are your favorite historical fiction novels?

"The Collector of Dying Breaths" by M. J. Rose, "The Twice Born" by Pauline Gedge, "House of Dreams" by Pauline Gedge, "The First Man in Rome" by Colleen McCullough, "The Josephine B. Trilogy" by Sandra Gulland, "The Skystone" by Jack Whyte and "The Serpent and the Pearl" by Kate Quinn. There are just too many good historical fiction novels to choose just one!

3. Who are some historical fiction authors you have interviewed or worked with?

So far I’ve only had the pleasure of interviewing the self-published authors Andrew Levkoff and John Heldt. My blog has only been around for two years and I haven’t really started reaching out to many historical fiction authors, something I mean to remedy soon. I would love to interview historical fiction authors Kate Quinn, Sandra Gulland, Jack Whyte and M.J. Rose, though.

4. If you could go back in time and be any figure from history, who would it be?

If we’re talking about near history, I’d definitely be Shirley Verrett, an opera singer who sung both mezzo-soprano and soprano parts. I love opera with all my heart but have absolutely no talent, so it would be nice to possess such extraordinary talent combined with such a strong stage presence and acting skills.

If we’re talking about less recent history it would have to be a toss-up between Hatshepsut and Cleopatra VII. Hatshepsut ruled in a time of great peace and prosperity in Egypt. Living as her would be worth it solely on the basis of learning about her famous expedition to Punt. At the same time, being Cleopatra VII would be fascinating because even though she lived a rather tragic life, she had immense power and the love of two of the most important men of the time. She was worshiped as a goddess but she was also able to conduct a military campaign and play the game of politics well.

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

Without modern medicine I’d be dead right now so I’m not all that inclined to live in the past. If I absolutely had to choose a year in history to live in it would have to be 1066 in Normandy. According to family legend on my mother’s side we’re descendants of one of the aristocrats who came over to England with William the Conqueror so it would be nice to meet my supposed ancestor and see what he was like.

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

This is a tough one but if I had to choose just five they’d be Julius Caesar, Ramses II, Princess Zhao of Pingyang, Giuseppe Verdi and Josephine Bonaparte. Needless to say, this clash of egos would likely end in a brawl!

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

I would live in Château de Pierrefonds in France because it is a gorgeous castle that’s actually intact to this day.

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

I’m going to be controversial and say Anne Boleyn. She some severe personality flaws, but I admire the sheer ambition that led her from being the second daughter of a minor nobleman to Queen of England. Even though she was not rich, did not have titles and was not beautiful by the standards of the time she caught the eye of one of the most powerful monarchs in Europe at the time. Anne Boleyn ultimately failed but her mark on history is undeniable.

9. Do you read traditional books or use an E-Reader?

I broke down and bought a Kindle Paperwhite several months ago but traditional books are still my favorite. There’s nothing like the feeling of a book in your hands, even if E-readers are more convenient for bloggers like me who request e-ARCs.

10. Tea or coffee when reading and reviewing books?

Neither. I hate coffee and I’m not a big tea drinker. If I had to choose one I’d pick tea, though.


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