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. Leisha O'Quinn of RoloPoloBookBlog.com answers 10 questions about the genre she so loves.
1. What was the first historical fiction novel you ever read?
I have no idea but the genre was a natural fit for me. I remember loving age/grade-level appropriate biographies in elementary school and I studied art history in both my undergraduate and graduate programs. Pure history is too dry for me so I latched on to historical fiction and have never looked back.
2. What are your favorite historical fiction novels?
I adore two specific types: 1) anything involving British royalty and especially the courts of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and; 2) anything involving art and artists. If pressed, I am all about any of Philippa Gregory and Susan Vreeland’s titles.
3. Who are some of your favorite historical fiction authors?
Philippa Gregory was an early find and she just sucked me right in. Gregoryhas a smooth and easy writing style that appeals to me as well as a knack for well-written dialogue. It’s often hard to make history fun and/or entertaining but Gregory has managed to do so time and time again. I am an art historian by day which means I am also a very big fan of Susan Vreeland’s work!! For me, Vreeland’s work is like a gift; she writes art historical fiction – how cool is that?
4. If you could go back in time and be any figure from history, who would it be?
There is no one in particular that comes to mind but I would definitely want to be someone awesome! (Who wouldn’t, right?) It wouldn’t have to be someone famous, infamous or even wealthy but someone who made an impact on the world. I’m good with quietly awesome!
5. What year in history would you have liked to live in?
HA!! I am totally a girl of my time and place and a seriously big wimp. I
love indoor plumbing, taking baths/showers more than once a year, getting my groceries all from one location, and getting my hands on virtually any book I want with ease and very little expense. With that being said, I would love to drop in for a visit during all kinds of times and places in history. I would make an excellent Time Lord (Lady?)
6. You’re having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?
1. Martin Luther, seriously!! Though I am not an over-religious individual I am fascinated by Luther and what he accomplished. He risked everything for what he believed in, it cost him dearly and, he changed the world.
2. Albert Einstein. He was brilliant and that hair . . . .
3. Leonardo da Vinci. Again, genius. By all accounts Leonardo had very little regard for most of humanity and he rebelled against everything. Somehow he managed to escape excommunication and managed to be one of the single-most successful and important men of his time and place. There’s a reason we are still teaching him in art history classes!!
4. Joan of Arc. Yet another fascinating rebel! She heard voices, she led and army and her convictions cost her everything. That kind of humility and self-sacrifice is humbling.
5. Elizabeth I. Virgin Queen, my butt – I want the real story!
7. What castle from the past or present would you most like to live in?
My Master’s research took me (and my amazing husband!) to Ireland so I am totally OK with any Irish castle someone wants to bestow on me. Additionally, my students and family know me as The Queen (I didn’t ask for the crown but it so fits) so it’s really only natural that I should have a castle.
8. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favorite?
My immediate and sarcastic answer is the one who lived. My honest and terribly cliché answer is Anne Boleyn. That woman had moxie all the way to the bitter end and was ridiculously intelligent. In many ways, she has always seemed to me to be a woman born far, far ahead of her time and place and that is interesting to me.
9. Do you read traditional books or use and E-Reader?
I was reluctant to move away from my beloved paperbacks, but once I made the switch to an E-Reader there was no turning back. I have an iPad, whose name is Sheldon (after the "The Big Bang Theory" character!) that I am addicted to.
10. Tea or coffee when reading and reviewing books?
Neither! My favorite time and place to read is late at night in bed when my family is safely and quietly tucked into bed and sound asleep. I have a tendency to pile up my reviews and write in marathon sessions. When the marathon begins I like to test the theory “Can a girl really ever consume too much Dr. Pepper?” So far, the answer is no!