On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo
🍴I'm delighted to welcome, author, Anna Belfrage to our Sunday Brunch today🍴
🍴Good morning, Anna. What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch?
Oh dear: I am a big fan of pancakes but should probably steer clear of those (and the syrup that goes with them) which is why I’ll go with a nice creamy omelette.
🍴Would you like a pot of English breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz?
Tea please. No sugar, no milk.
🍴Where shall we eat brunch – around the kitchen table, in the formal dining room, or outside on the patio?
I am something of a kitchen person, so if I get to choose, we’ll settle down around your kitchen table. Besides, it is my experience kitchens not only draw people but also their pets, so I am assuming we will have cat company as well.
🍴Shall we have music playing in the background? And if so will you share with us a favourite song or piece of music that makes you happy?
My children would tell you that nothing gets me moving quite as fast as “It’s raining men”, but when enjoying a good meal, I prefer something less energetic. My grandfather played the cello, which has left me with a permanent fondness for Liszt’s Liebestraum.
🍴Which of your literary heroes (dead or alive) are joining us for Sunday Brunch today?
Ah. Literary as “in books”? If I am to choose among my own protagonists, I’d have to include Alex Graham. Seeing as the poor woman fell three centuries back in time to land in the late 17th century, she’d be delighted to sit in a modern home, eating modern food (especially if you have something chocolaty) Other peeps I’d like to join are John Marshal (William Marshal’s father) as depicted by Elizabeth Chadwick, Llywellyn Fawr as depicted by Sharon Penman, Kristin Lavransdotter (Sigrid Undset’s medieval power lady), my very own Adam de Guirande, Helen Hollick’s Jeasamiah Acorne and, last but not least, Scheherazade from Thousand and One Nights.
🍴Which favourite book will you bring to Sunday Brunch?
Here be Dragons by Sharon Penman. The copy I have is so worn the spine has been taped repeatedly, the pages dog-eared and blotched. This is the book that inspired our entire honey moon and I can’t quite count the number of times I’ve read it.
🍴When you are writing do you still find time to read for pleasure? And is there a book you would like to read but haven’t had time for …yet!
I read a lot for pleasure, but I tend to avoid the genre/period I am presently writing in. So when writing about medieval Wales, I’d steer clear of others (like Sharon Penman or Ellis Pargeter) while submersed in my own WIP. A book that has been on my TBR for quite some while is Educated by Tara Westover.
|Windmill Books 2018|
🍴What’s the oldest book on your book shelf?
Probably my copy of The Lord of the Rings (yet another carefully taped and repaired book)
🍴Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
Historically, usually when I am doing research for one of my blog posts. It is strange, really: I set off researching the Aragonese Crusade, am distracted by the sad story of the unnamed bastard of Roussillon, end up deep into an article about Alfonso X and his wife, and then suddenly I am back with Eleanor of Castile and her marriage to Edward I. At least I have a lot of fun! I am also very inspired by visuals: a sheet flapping in the wind, the sunlight on dewy grass, a horse moving effortlessly through its meadow. Then, of course, I have those stories I’ve always wanted to write. His Castilian Hawk, my latest release, is set during Edward I’s invasion of Wales, and I’ve known for years I wanted to write something set in that period.
🍴Have you a favourite place to settle down to write and do you find it easier to write in winter or summer?
I like my kitchen table, which hubby says is a big no-no as I have a good desk with a much better chair than our wooden kitchen chairs. But I like having the tea kettle close by!
🍴When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so how do you bring back focus on your writing?
No. I am very much like a machine when working towards a date. I think it’s my professional background that has me very organised and time conscious. I do thorough back-planning to deliver as promised.
🍴Give us four essential items that a writer absolutely needs?
Tea. Chocolate. A supportive and very patient partner. A vivid imagination
🍴What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress?
Ah. My latest novel is His Castilian Hawk and is the story of Robert FitzStephan and his new wife, Eleanor d’Outremer: It is 1282 and Edward I amasses his forces, determined to crush Wales underfoot and wipe every Welsh princeling out of existence. Not everyone agrees with his harsh intentions. Eleanor (Noor to friends and family) will do what she can to keep one innocent child safe despite the risk to herself and her husband, the king’s loyal captain Robert FitzStephan. Will Robert stand by his king or will he do whatever has to be done to protect his young wife, his very own Castilian hawk?
As I seem incapable of writing stand-alone novels, my work in progress, The Castilian Pomegranate, features Robert and Noor and their adventures in medieval Spain.
🍴Anna, where can we follow you on social media? 🍴
Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.
More recently, Anna has published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. While she loved stepping out of her comfort zone (and will likely do so again ) she is delighted to be back in medieval times in her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love
Thanks so much, Anna, for joining us for Sunday Brunch