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, Cryssa Bazos to our Sunday Brunch today🍴
🍴Good morning Cryssa, What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch?
Thank you for inviting me! As this is a special brunch, it would not be complete without a dish of Eggs Benedict. I’ve brought my favourite version with smoked salmon and spinach, but we’ll have to tuck into it fairly soon.
🍴Would you like a pot of English breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz?
I was going to say a pot of English breakfast tea, but since you’re offering Bucks Fizz, how can I refuse? Many here in Canada call it Morning Glory.
🍴Where shall we eat brunch – around the kitchen table, in the formal dining room, or outside on the patio?
I do favour outside dining whenever the weather is good. I love gardening, and I can’t help exploring other people’s gardens. I hope you don’t mind if I snoop around a bit?
🍴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?
I am a big fan of Loreena McKennitt. All her music is atmospheric and stirring. She’s my go-to for when I’m writing, but her song The Highwayman (the Albert Noyes poem to song) was on an endless loop while I was writing my first novel, Traitor’s Knot. The main character, a highwayman, also made his appearance in “Honour of Thieves”, my story in the anthology Betrayal.
🍴Which of your literary heroes (dead or alive) are joining us for Sunday Brunch today?
I’ve brought my all-time favourite authors who feed my love of adventure, suspense and wonder. Allow me to introduce Alexandre Dumas, Daphne du Maurier, Mary Stewart, J.R.R Tolkien and Lucy Maud Montgomery. The Three Musketeers was the first historical fiction novel I ever read and introduced me to the 17th century. Daphne du Maurier is a master of characterization and building suspense. The King’s General is one of my absolute favs especially as it takes place during the English Civil War. I grew up with Anne of Green Gables and the heroine lives in a special corner of my heart. Mary Stewart is best known for her romantic suspense but I love her Merlin trilogy the most.
🍴Which favourite book will you bring to Sunday Brunch?
I was late for brunch because I couldn’t decide between a few old favourites. In the end, I brought The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart. It’s about the early life of Merlin, and Stewart brings to vivid life fifth century Wales. She portrays Merlin as a flesh and blood man who has the gift of the Sight. Although it was categorized as fantasy, I feels more like historical fiction.
🍴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 do read for pleasure when I’m writing but tend to avoid reading fiction set in my period so as not to be influenced. I love all historical fiction and most of its sub-genres, particularly historical fantasy and historical romance. My TBR pile and wish list is pretty vast. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I haven’t read Bernard Cornwell’s Uhtred series even though it’s been one of my favourite film productions. The first book has been unread on my kindle for far too long. I’ll have to rectify that.
🍴What’s the oldest book on your book shelf?
That would be the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I picked up the set of paperbacks at a yard sale when I was young. They were in good shape when I purchased them but with all the reading I put them through, they’re now barely held together by duct tape.
🍴Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
History has always been my inspiration. When I read about the past, story ideas jump out at me. When I’m stuck, I dip back into research for inspiration. A new angle, an interesting detail always surfaces and fuels my imagination.
🍴Have you a favourite place to settle down to write and do you find it easier to write in winter or summer?
My favourite place to write is the library at Hart House in the University of Toronto. When I especially need to lock myself in my story without interruptions, I make a trip down there. The reading room is a beautiful room built of stone, with wall to wall wooden shelves, long wooden tables and, naturally, old books. Winter is best for writing. There are too many distractions in my garden where I like to work during the summer.
🍴When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so how do you bring back focus on your writing?
For every other aspect of my life I work well with deadlines, but for some reason my Muse is allergic to them. When I find her wavering and scrolling social media, I use a playlist to get us both in the mood. Writing to music helps me dig deeper into my story.
🍴Give us four essential items that a writer absolutely needs?
An understanding (and forgiving) family; a support group of like-minded writers; a quiet and distraction-free writing nook; and lots of books (fiction, non-fiction, anything that inspires or instructs directly/indirectly on writing craft).
🍴What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress?
I’m working on the third book in my standalone series called Rebel’s Knot. I can’t confirm a publication date yet but it will be within the first half of 2021. The story is set in 17th century Ireland during the Cromwellian invasion. This book is linked to one of the main characters of my second novel, Severed Knot, where the heroine was seized by the English and transported to Barbados as an indentured servant. In Rebel’s Knot, this event propels her brother on a campaign of vengeance against the English.
Barbados 1652. In the aftermath of the English Civil War, the vanquished are uprooted and scattered to the ends of the earth.
When marauding English soldiers descend on Mairead O’Coneill’s family farm, she is sold into indentured servitude. After surviving a harrowing voyage, the young Irish woman is auctioned off to a Barbados sugar plantation where she is thrust into a hostile world of depravation and heartbreak. Though stripped of her freedom, Mairead refuses to surrender her dignity.
Scottish prisoner of war Iain Johnstone has descended into hell. Under a blazing sun thousands of miles from home, he endures forced indentured labour in the unforgiving cane fields. As Iain plots his escape to save his men, his loyalties are tested by his yearning for Mairead and his desire to protect her.
With their future stolen, Mairead and Iain discover passion and freedom in each other’s arms. Until one fateful night, a dramatic chain of events turns them into fugitives.
🍴 Cryssa,where can we follow you on social media? 🍴
♡ More about Cryssa ♡
Cryssa Bazos is an award-winning historical fiction author and a seventeenth century enthusiast. Her debut novel, Traitor's Knot was the Medalist winner of the 2017 New Apple Award for Historical Fiction, a finalist for the 2018 EPIC eBook Awards for Historical Romance. Her second novel, Severed Knot, is a B.R.A.G Medallion Honoree and was a finalist for the 2019 Chaucer Award.
Thank you for taking part in Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo
Follow us Twitter @jaffareadstoo #SundayBrunchwithJaffareadstoo