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, Christina Courtenay to our Sunday Brunch today🍴
🍴Welcome, Christina. What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch?
I’ll bring a huge platter of sushi – all kinds except for eel and mackerel – it’s the perfect food for lunch any day! For those who don’t like fish, there will be vegetarian ones, although I suppose I’d better bring some homemade bread as well with butter and various types of cheese just in case.
🍴Would you like a pot of English breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz?
None of the above, thank you – I’d prefer a Coke with ice and lemon, please. Or some elderflower cordial or homemade lemonade.
🍴Where shall we eat brunch – around the kitchen table, in the formal dining room, or outside on the patio?
I’d prefer the kitchen table – it will be more comfortable and informal, and kitchens are usually cosy and warm. I hate eating al fresco as there are always insects and you get the sun in your eyes.
🍴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?
Anything by Def Leppard – I love their songs – or a selection of upbeat 1980s pop songs.
🍴Which of your literary heroes (dead or alive) are joining us for Sunday Brunch today?
I think it has to be my latest hero Hrafn Eskilsson, a Viking trader who has just returned from a very long journey to what he calls Miklagarðr (present day Istanbul). He has a lot to tell us about his adventures, I’m sure!
🍴Which favourite book will you bring to Sunday Brunch?
Whichever Georgette Heyer book I can first lay my hands on – I love all her stories and never tire of them!
🍴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!
Yes, I read a lot in the evenings and long into the night – once I start a book I can never stop until I reach the end. (Thank goodness for Kindles so that my husband can still get to sleep.) There are some books I feel I ought to have read but haven’t got round to – like Anna Karenina – and maybe one day I will? But I prefer more light-hearted stuff and if I like the look of a book, I’ll make time for it no matter what.
🍴What’s the oldest book on your book shelf?
I still have some of my favourite children’s books (I’m a hoarder so never throw anything away unless I have to) and some old first edition Heyer books, but I think the oldest books I own are probably A Thousand and One Nights (it’s a series of four bound volumes given to me by my grandfather).
🍴Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
Inspiration can be sparked by anything – a place, a house, a sound, an item – and for me it’s usually houses or things like castle ruins. However, now that I’m writing about the Viking era, I have been getting lots of ideas from the research I’ve done. I start off with a vague outline and once I dig deeper into the history, I start to see lots of possibilities. It does really help to visit the places in the story as well as there are some things, like sound/smell/touch, you can’t find by reading about it. Being there will spark new plot possibilities, which is always good.
🍴Have you a favourite place to settle down to write and do you find it easier to write in winter or summer?
I write on my laptop so I can sit anywhere. I have a bad back so I’m often found on the floor leaning against the sofa with a huge cushion behind me – I find chairs very uncomfortable for any length of time. Also, my very elderly dog likes me to be down on his level. His dog bed is right next to me wherever I am.
🍴When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so how do you bring back focus on your writing?
If I know I have a deadline I’m usually very focused. It’s easy to become distracted by social media and I sometimes have to make myself stop looking at Twitter or whatever, but I can be very disciplined if I have to. As soon as I’m into my story, I forget everything else and I find that the best way to immerse myself in the imaginary world is to read the last chapter I wrote and just carry on from there.
🍴Give us four essential items that a writer absolutely needs?
A laptop, an internet connection, great author friends and lots of chocolate! (My stories are mostly fuelled by Bourneville and the occasional Ferrero Rocher).
🍴What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress?
My latest novel is The Runes of Destiny, a Viking time travel story where Linnea, a 21st century woman, travels back in time to the Viking age. She’s taken captive and finds herself in the power of Hrafn, a Viking trader, who claims her as his thrall and takes her on a journey across the seas to sell her for profit. Although lost and confused, Linnea is determined to find a way back to her own time, but there’s a connection forming with Hrafn. Can she resist the call of the runes and accept her destiny lies here …
I’m now working on the sequel, Whispers of the Runes, which features Hrafn’s brother Rurik and Linnea’s best friend Sara. They get caught up with the so-called Great Heathen Army that rampaged through Britain in the 870s AD and have to stick together to survive.
🍴Christina, where can we follow you on social media?🍴
More about Christina
Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014). The Runes of Destiny (time travel published by Headline 10th December 2020) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).