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10 questions with historical fiction blogger: Diana Leigh

Diana Leigh runs Book of Secrets.
Courtesy of Diana Leigh

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. Diana Leigh from Book of Secrets answers 10 questions about the genre she so loves.

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

"THE WIND FROM HASTINGS" by Morgan Llywelyn, about Edyth, the wife of King Harold of England. It got me hooked on historical fiction novels with strong female protagonists.

2. What are your favorite historical fiction novels?

"THE CHAPERONE" by Laura Moriarty, "MY NOTORIOUS LIFE" by Kate Manning, "THE RED GARDEN" by Alice Hoffman, "QUEEN’S GAMBIT" by Elizabeth Fremantle, and "THE CONQUEST" by Elizabeth Chadwick are at the top of my favorites list.

I also love novels with dual time periods, where characters from the past and present are somehow connected. A few of my favorites are "BLACKBERRY WINTER" by Sarah Jio, "THE SECRET KEEPER" by Kate Morton, and "WILDFLOWER HILL" by Kimberely Freeman (my favorite book ever!).

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

My blog as been “book reviews only” for a while now, so I don’t have direct contact with many authors. However, I’ve worked with many publishers of historical fiction. I was thrilled to get on a publisher’s audiobook reviewers list recently. I’ve found a couple new favorites through them. (Kate Manning’s "MY NOTORIOUS LIFE" was brilliant on audio!) I’m also lucky to work with Amy Bruno at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

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

Actress Louise Brooks, at least during her career in silent films. How exciting to have been the trend setting “It Girl” of the Roaring Twenties and to have witnessed that amazing decade!

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

Hmm… I don’t have a particular year, but I’d say either the 1920s, the Victorian Era, or the Gilded Age.

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

Queen Elizabeth I, John William Waterhouse, Louise Brooks, King Richard III, and Edgar Allan Poe.

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

This may sound odd considering its notorious reputation, but I’d say The Tower of London. Its halls are filled with a thousand years of fascinating history and intriguing secrets.

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

Definitely Katherine Parr. She was a true Renaissance woman, a scholar, and an author. Plus, she helped get Mary and Elizabeth back in the line of succession to the throne, and she was clever enough to outsmart Henry and survive.

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

Both. It’s easier reading on my Kindle or Nook, but I still love holding paper books and admiring the beautiful cover art.

10. Tea or coffee when reading and reviewing books?

Coffee! Peppermint Mochas are my favorite.

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