Book Spotlight: Aurelia by Alison Morton

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Publication Date: May 5, 2015 SilverWood Books

Series: Roma Nova, Book Four Genre: Alternative Historical Fiction

Late 1960s Roma Nova, the last Roman colony that has survived into the 21st century. Aurelia Mitela is alone – her partner gone, her child sickly and her mother dead. Forced in her mid-twenties to give up her beloved career as a Praetorian officer, she is struggling to manage an extended family tribe, businesses and senatorial political life.

But her country needs her unique skills. Somebody is smuggling silver – Roma Nova’s lifeblood – on an industrial scale. Sent to Berlin to investigate, she encounters the mysterious and attractive Miklós, a suspected smuggler, and Caius Tellus, a Roma Novan she has despised, and feared, since childhood.

Aurelia suspects that the silver smuggling hides a deeper conspiracy and follows a lead into the Berlin criminal underworld. Barely escaping a trap set by a gang boss intent on terminating her, she realises that her old enemy is at the heart of all her troubles and pursues him back home to Roma Nova…

Available at

Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the Author

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Even before she pulled on her first set of combats, Alison Morton was fascinated by the idea of women soldiers. Brought up by a feminist mother and an ex-military father, it never occurred to her that women couldn’t serve their country in the armed forces. Everybody in her family had done time in uniform and in theatre – regular and reserve Army, RAF, WRNS, WRAF – all over the globe.

So busy in her day job, Alison joined the Territorial Army in a special communications regiment and left as a captain, having done all sorts of interesting and exciting things no civilian would ever know or see. Or that she can talk about, even now…

But something else fuels her writing… Fascinated by the mosaics at Ampurias (Spain), at their creation by the complex, power and value-driven Roman civilisation started her wondering what a modern Roman society would be like if run by strong women…

Now, she lives in France and writes Roman-themed alternate history thrillers with tough heroines:

INCEPTIO, the first in the Roma Nova series

– shortlisted for the 2013 International Rubery Book Award – B.R.A.G. Medallion – finalist in 2014 Writing Magazine Self-Published Book of the Year

PERFIDITAS, second in series

B.R.A.G. Medallion – finalist in 2014 Writing Magazine Self-Published Book of the Year

SUCCESSIO, third in series

– Historical Novel Society’s indie Editor’s Choice for Autumn 2014 – B.R.A.G. Medallion – Editor’s choice, The Bookseller’s inaugural Indie Preview, December 2014

Fact file

Education: BA French, German & Economics, MA History Memberships: International Thriller Writers, Historical Novel Society, Alliance of Independent Authors, Society of Authors Represented by Annette Crossland of A for Authors Literary Agency for subsidiary and foreign rights.

Connect with Alison Morton

Website  Blog  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads  Amazon UK Author Page   Amazon US Author Page

Aurelia Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 11 Tour Kick Off & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, May 12 Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, May 13 Spotlight at Book Nerd

Saturday, May 16 Excerpt & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews

Sunday, May 17 Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Friday, May 22 Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Monday, May 25 Review at A Book Geek

Tuesday, May 26 Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Friday, May 29 Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, June 3 Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, June 5 Spotlight at Layered Pages

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Interview with Author Jeannie Ruesch

 

 Jeannie Ruesch

Stephanie: I would like to welcome, Jeannie Ruesch to Layered Pages.

Jeannie wrote her first story at the age of the six, prompting her to give up an illustrious, hours-long ambition of becoming a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader and declare that writing was her destiny. That journey to destiny took a few detours along the way, including a career in marketing and design.

Her first novel, a fairy-tale like historical romance, was published in 2009, but the darker side of life had always captivated her. So after a dinner conversation with friends about the best way to hide a dead body, she knew she had to find a way to incorporate suspense into her writing. (The legal outlet for her fascination.) Today, she continues writing what she loves to read – stories of history, romance and suspense. She lives in Northern California with her husband, their son and an 80 pound lapdog lab named Cooper.

Stephanie: Hello, Jeannie! Thank you for chatting with me today! Please tell me about your book, Cloak in Danger.

Jeannie: Thanks so much for having me today!  Here is the blurb for Cloaked:  Aria Whitney has little in common with the delicate ladies of London society. Her famous father made his fortune hunting archaeological treasures, and her rustic upbringing has left her ill-prepared for a life of parties and frippery. But when Gideon Whitney goes missing in Egypt, Aria must embrace the unknown—armed with only the short list of highborn men who’d backed her father’s venture, she poses as a woman looking for a husband. She doesn’t intend to find one.

Adam Willoughby, Earl of Merewood, finds London’s strangest new debutante fascinating, but when he catches her investigating his family’s secrets, he threatens to ruin her reputation. He doesn’t intend to enjoy it so much.

When their lustful indiscretion is discovered, Adam finds that he regrets nothing. But now, as her father’s enemy draws near, Adam must convince his betrothed that she can trust him with her own secrets…before it’s too late.

Stephanie: What genre does it fall under and what was your inspiration for your story?

Jeannie: Cloaked in Danger is a smooshing together of historical romance and romantic suspense, with a very unconventional heroine who doesn’t care much about the rules of London society.   I love the combination of history and suspense, and I’m always fascinated by the people that live on the edges of their world.  In Cloaked in Danger, there’s a melding of Aria’s world-view and the restrictions of London society, as well as a blurring of the line between the high society and the darker crime world in London.  I enjoy contrasts, I think — and that’s what inspires me to write.

Cloaked in Danger

Stephanie: How long did it take you to write your story and did you work with an outline or just write?

Jeannie: I am a plotter/outliner all the way.   My first step in writing a story is to build the outline all the way to the end.  So when I sit down to fill in the chapters, I know where I’m going, what’s next and my approximate page count.

Stephanie: Where there any challenging scenes or characters to write about?

Jeannie: Yes, absolutely.  This was a challenging book in the way that Aria, my heroine, goes through a tremendous amount through the book and I really wanted to honor the truth of that psychological place she was in.

Stephanie: How did you come up with your title?

Jeannie: The title was a blended effort with my editor and the amazing folks at Carina Press.  We threw out ideas and a bunch of different suggestions, and they came back with Cloaked in Danger. I loved it from the minute I saw it – it was perfect.

Stephanie: Have you learned anything new from writing your story?

Jeannie: I believe I learn something from every book I write, and the characters I build.  I think for all writers, we put little pieces of ourselves into our stories, sometimes without even realizing it.   And by the end of a book, I can look back at the characters and recognize what I’ve hidden inside – the parts of me, a memory, a trait of someone I love.  Also, I am always fascinated by why people do what they do — how our histories create our strengths, our weaknesses and I like to write characters who are flawed.   My heroine, Aria is very impulsive —and that’s not really meant as a strength. It’s a flaw in her character, one that’s built from the on-the-go world she lived in, one she inherited in some ways from her father and how he has reacted to things in his life.  I think every character I write teaches me something new.

Stephanie: What are some of the best compliments you have received about your book so far?

Jeannie: One reviewer said that Cloaked in Danger defied her expectations and caught her off-guard.  I was very happy to hear that, because I knew that mixing historical romance with romantic suspense would be tough for people to place.  In strictly historical romances, most other plots are subplots.  As I was writing the book, I believed the suspense plot needed as much presence and focus as the romantic connection, like you would find in modern romantic suspense.  Aria’s father is missing and her focus had to be on finding him and what she goes through in the process.  I didn’t want them to give up their goals just because they were having feelings for each other.  Another thing I like to hear is that my characters are unconventional because as I start to write,

Stephanie: What is up next for you?

Jeannie: I’m working on the next two books (writing my 3rd and plotting my 4th), as they are tied into Cloaked in Danger.  Adam, the hero in Cloaked has four sisters.  And two of those sisters are taking their turn in the spotlight in the next two books.  (My first book is about Adam’s sister, Blythe — titled Something About Her.)

Stephanie: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Jeannie: Keep writing, keep learning.  There are so many great tools, workshops, blogs and places to learn about your craft and hone your skills.  It’s well worth it to spend as much time as you can learning the “science” of writing fiction.   But that’s only one aspect of what makes writing magic —the rest is all you, your experiences, your thoughts, and the voice you want to share with the world.  Just believe in the fact that you have something worthwhile to share, because you do!

Stephanie: Where can readers buy your book?

Jeannie: Pretty much wherever digital books are sold, including:

Amazon Barnes & Noble | Kobo Chapters | Google PlayCarina Press

Praise for Cloaked in Danger

“Cloaked in Danger has all the elements readers crave— larger-than-life characters, a vivid and believable setting, heart-pounding romance and just the right amount of mystery. Don’t miss it! It kept me reading deep into the night.” — New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Novak

“In ‘Cloaked in Danger’ Jeannie Ruesch has crafted a taut, emotional thrill-ride through the streets of Regency London. Archaeological adventure and drawing room intrigue are combined in a story that will keep you reading late into the night. Jeannie Ruesch is an author to watch.” — RITA Award Nominated Author Elizabeth Essex

Monday, January 27
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Facebook Launch Party (3:00 – 7:00pm PST)

Tuesday, January 28
Interview at The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, January 29
Spotlight & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Spotlight & Giveaway at Book Reviews & More by Kathy

Thursday, January 30
Review at History Undressed
Interview at Layered Pages

Friday, January 31
Guest Post & Giveaway at History Undressed

Monday, February 3
Review at Closed the Cover
Review at The Most Happy Reader

Tuesday, February 4
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Wednesday, February 5
Spotlight & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf

Thursday, February 6
Review at Kincavel Korner
Review at I Heart Romance

Friday, February 7
Interview & Giveaway at Kincavel Korner

Publication Date: January 27, 2014
Carina Press
eBook
ASIN: B00F93X7ZI

Cloaked in Danger LBP Banner

Interview with Author Elizabeth Fremantle

Elizabeth F

Elizabeth Fremantle holds a first class degree in English and an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck College London. She has contributed as a fashion editor to various publications including Vogue, Elle and The Sunday Times. QUEEN’S GAMBIT is her debut novel and is the first in a Tudor trilogy. The second novel, SISTERS OF TREASON, will be released in 2014. She lives in London.

For more about Elizabeth and her future projects see www.elizabethfremantle.com.  You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Hello Elizabeth! Welcome and thank you for chatting with me today. Please tell me about your book, Queen’s Gambit. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about your story.

Elizabeth Hello to you, and thank you so much for hosting QUEEN’S GAMBIT on your blog. I’m obviously delighted that you have heard such good things about it. When you launch a first novel it’s impossible to imagine how people will react, so the lovely things people have said are a source of great joy.

QUEEN’S GAMBIT tells the story of Katherine Parr, the wife who ‘survived’ Henry VIII, describing the period from when she first catches the eye of the King until the demise of her disastrous fourth marriage. It is told from three points of view: that of Katherine Parr, her doctor Robert Huicke and her maid Dot Fownten, giving a prism of perspectives on the Tudor court at a time of great turbulence.

When did you fist become interested in this period and when did you know you wanted to write your story?

I have always enjoyed reading history and read Jean Plaidy voraciously as a child, which is when the seeds were sown for my own historical fiction. It was when I first read Stephan Zweig’s two wonderful historical biographies (of Marie Antoinette and Mary Queen of Scots) in my early twenties that my desire to discover more about the lives of women from history was born. However having studied English as a degree, I felt I wasn’t qualified to write about history. So my first (unpublished) novels were contemporary fiction but I failed to find my voice, until I decided to try my hand at writing the past. Once I began work on QUEEN’S GAMBIT everything seemed to fall into place – it was as if I’d unlocked something in myself and began to realize that much of what I had learned reading English was also history. It all comes down the study of texts.

Queens Gambit

What is some of the research you did and what fascinates you most about the royal court surrounding this story?

So much of my research is textual and there are some extraordinary biographies of Katherine Parr but I also explored renaissance etiquette books, recipe books and social histories as I felt it was of great importance to create as close to an authentic world for my characters to inhabit. I spend a great deal of time wandering around old houses and castles, trying to imagine myself back in time. A course I took in Tudor and Stuart clothing, looking at all aspects of dress, from its construction to its symbolic value, was invaluable as I have used clothing to represent the restricted lives of women in the book. Research is an on-going process and inspiration can come from the most unlikely places. A documentary series about Amish women, for example, gave me insights into the lives and beliefs of Tudor women, as they operate under some of the same social restrictions.

As for the court, it is the constant sense of impermanence and danger that I find particularly fascinating. These people, however privileged, were living on a constant knife-edge and I wanted to articulate that in QUEEN’S GAMIT.

You have certainly done a lot of research and I’m sure it’s paid off. I love visiting old homes and hope to visit castles one day. I often wonder at times how the people at court could stand it for so long and the pressure they were constantly under….

Katherine Parr is my favourite among King Henry’s wives.  What sets your book apart from others about her? And were there any challenges writing about her?

Katherine Parr was a gift in the sense that her life is a perfect narrative arc with drama, romance and ultimately tragedy. I have tried to show her as the vibrant, politically astute and intelligent woman she was, rather than the dull nursemaid that history has remembered her as. But one of the things that interested me most about her is the essential contradiction in her character, in that she, a clever, canny woman, makes a disastrous decision in the name of love. For me this is what makes her story resonate with modern women.

To be honest, I have never read another novel about Katherine Parr, only historical biographies, so I am not the person to ask about comparisons, but each novelist will have created her in her own particular way. What I have tried to do is get beneath her skin and understand how she might have thought and felt (how might it have truly felt to be the wife of such a tyrant) whilst adhering as much as possible to the historical facts as we know them.

What is the most challenge thing to write about Historical Fiction and what advice would you give someone who is considering writing in this genre?

I suppose the challenge is getting the balance of fiction and history. For me it was important to remain faithful to history but it is the inner worlds of characters that make for good fiction and creating characters, even those based on real people, is an act of imagination. I find having a restrictive framework of history to work within forces you to explore different narrative possibilities more deeply, but it can be frustrating at times. In QUEEN’S GAMBIT, for example, a main character dies half-way through the narrative – that is something I couldn’t change and had to find a way for that death to make sense within the arc of the story.

My advice is to do all your research, then set it aside and write your story without trying to pack it full of evidence of your knowledge. One of the greatest complements I have received is that QUEEN’S GAMBIT wears its research lightly.

How long did it take you to write your story? Will you write others that take place in this period?

From start to finish QUEEN’S GAMBIT took about eighteen months but it came at the end of a ten-year period of writing fiction (an MA in Creative Writing and three unpublished novels). I had said to myself that I would have to stop if I didn’t find a publisher for it. Happily it has worked out for the good and I have realized that the wilderness years all contributed to honing my skill as a writer.

I have written the second in my Tudor trilogy. SISTERS OF TREASON is out next year and is about the two younger sisters of Lady Jane Grey, a pair of girls who were born dangerously close to the throne at a time of great instability. It begins in Mary Tudor’s bloody reign but when Elizabeth comes to the throne things become increasingly difficult for the Grey girls. In SISTERS OF TREASON, though we don’t revisit any of the main characters from QUEEN’S GAMBIT we are reacquainted with some of the characters in the background, and of course the two Tudor princess, watching their rise to the throne and the consequences of this.

Tough question. What are your thoughts on the Reformation and how the Church of England was established?

I find it impossible to have a straightforward opinion on this because in many ways the Reformation was a force for good, in that it counteracted a deeply corrupt Catholic church and offered ordinary people a way to think, read and learn about faith in a personal and intimate way. Some of the violent acts perpetrated in the name of religious reform though, were unconscionable. But then again religion and politics were inextricably linked in those days and faith was used as a means to control people. You only have to think of the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition or the 280 odd Reformers who were burned in Mary Tudor’s reign to understand that terrible things were done in the name of both Catholicism and reform, but such acts were political at heart. It does make me deeply sad though, when I visit the ruins of the great monasteries and abbeys in England and wonder about the violent erasure of a tradition that had persisted for centuries and all the beauty and tradition that was lost forever.

I agree with you. How often do you get a chance to read for pleasure and what is the name of the book you have just read?

All reading is a pleasure for me, even if it is work, but I am on holiday at the moment, with a stack of novels on my Kindle to read without having to make notes.  The book I am reading today is Blood Royal by Vanora Bennett, about Catherine de Valois and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

Are you a paperback or r-reader sort-of gal?

Elizabeth: I have a reader for convenience and for reading when I’m traveling but I do prefer a good paperback if I’m honest.

Same here. I love my e-readers but prefer a paperback. Do you write reviews for all the books you read?

If there were time enough…

Also, if I particularly enjoy a book I often want to share that with other people even if it’s just via a Tweet. I don’t think wholly negative reviews are helpful, unless there is something very specific to say. But then I’m a writer so I would think that.

Where is your favourite reading/writing spot in your home?

I have a study, filled to the gunnels with books and I sit at my desk beside the window to write, with my dogs by my side to keep my company. As for reading, my favourite place is in bed, in the morning!

Stephanie: I to have my desk by the window. It’s a beautiful spot to write. There is a beautiful Maple Tree right outside my window and just beyond that great big Holly Bushes….and love all my books around me and my dog loves to sit beside me when writing.

 Elizabeth it was a pleasure chatting with you! Thank you!

 

Interview with Author Anna Belfrage

S: I would like to introduce Anna Belfrage to my site today. Hey Anna, thank you for this interview. I recently read The Prodigal Son and enjoyed it very much. You touched upon some subjects that I am interested in, such as how interrogations with suspects were conducted and how people during that time were treated because of their faith. But first of all please tell the audience a little about your story.

Anna: Hi Stephanie! Before we immerse ourselves in your questions, let me say thank you for hosting me today. And I was glad to hear you enjoyed The Prodigal Son as this is a book that for a number of reasons lies very close to my heart.

The Prodigal Son is very much about faith – and love. Matthew Graham is a devout member of the Scottish Kirk, and when his beliefs, his ministers, are threatened he must of course ride to the rescue – despite risking his life. Alex Graham, Matthew’s wife, is not as enthused. Not only does she find it difficult to comprehend or sympathize with certain aspects of Matthew’s faith (predestination is a major bone of contention), she is also very upset by the fact that he repeatedly places himself – and thereby by extension his family – in grave danger. If she’d loved him less she might have left him, but seeing as living without him is the equivalent of living with a heart ripped into shreds that is never an option. (Phew; she had me a bit worried there, let me tell you!)

The Prodigal Son

S: I can see why she had you worried there…Oh, and may I add your title to your story is fitting.

I really like how you have developed Matthew’s and Alex’ relationship.  Is there anything challenging in writing about them, considering Alex is from the future? She seems to adapt pretty well to the time period and I really do admire her spunk!

Anna: So do I! Alex tends to rise to a challenge rather than deflate like a pricked balloon. As to the adapting, I think most human beings are good at surviving in a new environment, it is one of the reasons we’re relatively successful as a species (if success is to be calculated based on the sheer amount of individuals, that is). Alex is a modern woman who has been raised to believe in herself and handle her own problems – excellent qualities in a time traveler, I think! As to the challenges, Alex is very headstrong, so now and then she sets off in the total opposite direction than I intended, but usually to good effect. The fact that she is born in 1976 is not particularly difficult for me to handle; her values lie close to my own on most matters, her reasoning is often very modern and therefore quite familiar. The challenge lies in having her subtly change, because as the years pass she will be influenced by how the people around her live, talk and act. Matthew sees the changes in her much more than she herself does, but seeing as he is generally quite pleased by the fact that she becomes somewhat less opinionated, somewhat less independent, he isn’t about to tell her. Having said that, Matthew loves his wife for being all those things she is, including stubborn and wilful, capable of expressing her own opinion, and fiercely protective of him and her family.

S: What was some of the research involved for the religious aspects to your story and what are your opinions of Charles ll and the Church of England of that time?

Anna: It helps to have read the Bible, I think. I have also read a lot about the Scottish Kirk and the Scottish Reformation. And if you’re going to read about the Reformation, you inevitably end up reading about Calvin and Huss and Martin Luther. Of the three, I prefer Martin who seems to have had a penchant for enjoying life. Calvin I’m not so sure – and he is the stronger influence on the Scottish Reformers. But even Calvin, who does come across as a rather dour and serious man, did now and then make the point that God expected us to revel in his creation, enjoying everything from the bright green of a summer lawn to the wet nose of a dog.

Otherwise, religion and politics go very much hand in hand during the 17th century – well, they seem to have done that throughout the ages. The religious persecution suffered by the Covenanters in Lowland Scotland as depicted in my novel was no about faith; it was about power. Religion in general makes an excellent pretext, because it’s difficult to fault someone for fighting for their faith, isn’t it? But when Gustavus Adolphus, the Swedish warrior king that led the Protestant forces in the Thirty Years’ War, pillaged and sacked Prague, I don’t think he was muttering the Lord’s Prayer, no, he was counting silver and gold, drunk on the euphoria of being the winner.

As to Charles II, I believe he learnt the hard way that religion was quite the incendiary stuff. Once he was restored, I think he was far more interested in keeping his throne – and his head – than in making any sort of religious statement. I also believe he was a man who considered matters of faith to be private, something between the person in question and God – a bit like Elizabeth I, who was also reluctant to meddle in what she considered very private issues.

I rather like Charles II. He seems to have been brave and upright, cautious and diplomatic. Yes, he had an eye for the ladies, but he also seems to genuinely have liked women and enjoyed spending time with them, even out of bed. I like how he treated his wife, despite her being barren, I like how he took care of his bastards and their mothers. I do think he should have intervened in the persecution of the Covenanters, but he had other pressing issues to sort, first and foremost his rather bad finances. Some people argue that Charles II was a closet Catholic. I find this plausible as his mother was a devout Catholic, his brother converted and his wife was Catholic. Ultimately, I think Charles II was intelligent enough to realize the differences between the various Christian factions were rather insignificant.

I’m not sure I have an opinion about the Church of England back then. With the restoration came a lot of returning churchmen, and being human I guess they could, at times, be quite vindictive. I’m not sure that should be allowed to reflect on the Church of England as a whole and the religious conflicts between the Anglican Church and the Scottish Kirk was yet again about power, not faith. The Scottish Kirk was ruled by an independent body of men (the General Assembly) while the Church of England was under the control of His Majesty the king.

S: I do not know a whole lot of Charles ll and from just reading your book, I would like to know more. Yes, I did learn about him in school, but that wasn’t enough.

I admire Alex’s acceptance of Matthew’s son, Ian and that has taken sometime….which is understandable because of the situation. How do you think things would have gone if she wasn’t so forthcoming? 

Anna: That was never an issue. Alex has had a soft spot for Ian since she first met him as a laughing four-year-old. While there are moments when she succumbs to bouts of jealousy on behalf of her children, she is also sorry for Ian, who is a confused and conflicted child due to his uncertain parentage. Alex’ major issue with Ian is his mother, Margaret. She isn’t too happy to have this constant reminder of Matthew’s ex-wife in her home.

S: Well, I applaud Alex. And I so understand her issues with Margaret. That woman even rubs me the wrong way. Was the way people were treated during interrogations the norm of that time and when did that all change?

Anna: Using force to extract a confession was very common during interrogations – well into our own times. If we’re going to be precise, force is still used during interrogations, especially when there is suspicion of rebellious activity. Things began to change late in the 17th century, what with The Bill of Rights introduced in 1689. There was a heightened perception of the individual that would continue to grow throughout the coming century, culminating in the American and French Revolution, both of which inspired new declarations of human rights.

S: I agree… Who is your favorite character in your stories?

Anna: Alex is very close to me, but I have to say Matthew .First of all, I imagine him as being very pleasing to the eye, but there is so much more to this man. I like his understated humor, his steadfastness, his convictions, and the stubborn streak in him that Alex finds enervating. I also like that he allows himself to be vulnerable, that he admits to being frightened, that he recognizes how dependent he is on his Alex.

I also have quite the soft spot for Magnus, Alex’ father – and for Mrs. Parson. Both will reappear in the future books.

S. I need to read your earlier books in this series. I would like to know more about Magnus. He has intrigues me so far of what I have read of him. I am partial to Alex. She is a wonderful character and so complex. What is your next book project and how far will you take this series? 

Anna: I have a good friend who once told me there are three things one should do in life: one should plant a tree, have children and write at least one book. Well, I’ve done the tree, the kids and now I’ve done the books, but I can’t quite seem to stop!  The Graham Saga consists of eight books – so maybe you can imagine just how many more adventures I have lined up for Alex and Matthew. The books are all finished – well, finished in the sense that the story is there, but there’s plenty of editing left to do.

S: Your friend gave you good advice! I love your series and really can’t wait to read all of your novels. So far I’ve read two. Will Alex be pulled back into the future eventually? 

Anna: Really, Stephanie! I cannot answer that question, I think 😉

S: I figured you wouldn’t but I had to ask anyways! Lol. How long did it take to write The Prodigal Son? 

Anna: About four months – mostly at night. But that was draft one, and prior to publishing we were at draft twelve or so.

S: Four months isn’t bad at all. Who designed your book cover? 

Anna: It’s beautiful, isn’t it? All the covers for The Graham Saga have been designed by Oliver Bennett who works at GB Print in the UK. I’m very lucky to have found him and his charming colleague, Barry.

S: It sure is! Oliver did a fabulous job! Thank you, Anna for this wonderful and insightful interview!

 

About the Author

anna belfrage

I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.

I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favorite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.

I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.

For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s WEBSITE.

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