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. Heather Rieseck of The Maiden’s Court answers 10 questions about the genre she so loves.
1. What was the first historical fiction novel you ever read?
My standard answer is “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory, because this is the first actual title I can remember and the first novel I read knowing that there was such a genre as historical fiction. However, if I think hard about it, it was probably one of the novels by Ann Rinaldi, possibly “The Fifth of March” or “A Ride into Morning” – I loved reading her novels!
2. What are your favorite historical fiction novels?
Among my favorites are: “Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana de Rosnay; “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak; “The Heretic Queen” by Michelle Moran; “New York” by Edward Rutherford; “Thirsty” by Kristin Bair-O’Keefe.
3. Who are some historical fiction authors you have interviewed or worked with?
Some of my favorites – who I have had the opportunity to meet with in person at Historical Novel Society in 2011 were Kate Quinn, C.W. Gortner, and Michelle Moran. They are wonderful people in person and so funny! Other authors who have been great to work with on the blog are Christy English and Christine Trent. I have had pretty good luck working with most authors.
4. If you could go back in time and be any figure from history, who would it be?
Probably one of the Ancient Egyptian queens – my gut says Cleopatra, but I don’t want to die by poisoning myself. Maybe Hatchepsut – she is considered to be the most successful Egyptian queen.
5. What year in history would you have liked to live in?
I would probably pick 1776 in America – I would love to get wrapped up in the Revolutionary spirit and really feel/know what it means to fight for something you believe in with your heart and soul.
6. You’re having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?
The first two are easy and require no thinking: Dolley Madison (First Lady to America’s 4th president) and Nefertari. I have always been a huge admirer of Dolley Madison for her strength and have loved what I have learned about Nefertari and would love to learn more about this period in Egyptian history. The other three are harder…probably…Hypatia; Pocahontas; and maybe Alexander the Great (just to have at least one man there!).
7. What castle from the past or present would you like to live in?
I haven’t really thought much about this one – probably Neuschwanstein in Germany. I think it is so unique looking and has gorgeous scenery. Also, I love that it was the inspiration behind Sleeping Beauty’s castle – which is my favorite Disney film.
8. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favorite?
Hands down Anne Boleyn. I think mostly because there is so much drama, upheaval, and allure around her. I find her story to be the most interesting of them all because she had so much power – I mean, she got Henry to change the religion of the whole country because of her!
9. Do you read traditional books or use an E-Reader?
A little bit of both. I immensely prefer traditional books to any other format – I love the experience that you have with a book: looking at the cover art, feeling the pages pass by, the texture of pages, smell of the book etc. I have been using my Kindle more often. I also listen to books on audiobook – probably more often that on my Kindle.
10. Tea or coffee when reading and reviewing books?
I don’t typically drink or eat anything when reading/reviewing. I tend to read before bed after brushing my teeth and review in the morning and I don’t usually eat/drink that early. If pressed, I would say tea, but I seem to go through phases with drinking it.