Mary Ellis, author of “The Lady and the Officer”, “The Quaker and the Rebel”, “Romance on the River”, “Love Comes to Paradise”, “A Little Bit of Charm”, “Living in Harmony”, “A Marriage for Megan”, “Abigail’s New Hope”, “Sarah’s Christmas Miracle”, “A Plain Man”, “The Way to a Man’s Heart”, “Never Far From Home”, “A Widow’s Hope”, “An Amish Family Reunion”, and “Always in My Heart” answers 10 questions about her favorite time period in history, her favorite figures from history, and the age old question of coffee or tea.
1. If you could go back in time and be any figure from history, who would it be?
I would pick Amelia Earhart, the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo. Although she only lived 40 years, she knew true love and achievement in her chosen career. Amelia was beautiful, brave, and adventurous–the world’s darling at the time. What else could you ask for?
2. What year in history would you have liked to live in?
I suppose I would pick 1899. The world was rapidly changing at the end of the nineteenth century. Technology was making great strides, but fashion and culture maintained Victorian standards. I love steampunk, most of which is set during transitional period.
3. You’re having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?
You couldn’t ask a history buff a more difficult question. Only 5? I’m going to break plenty of hearts! Since my recent series of romances is set during the American Civil War, I’ll restrict my answers to that time period. I would invite John Singleton Mosby, (a dashing cavalry raider), General Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Clara Barton, and Rose O’Neill Greenhow (a Confederate spy). I’m not sure how these folks will get along, but there will be plenty of lively repartee.
4. What castle from the past or present would you like to live in?
I would love to live in Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England, the real life home of Earl and Lady Carnarvon. It’s where they film portions of “Downton Abbey”. I wasn’t able to visit it during my last trip, but it’s certainly on my bucket list!
5. Two fellow historical fiction authors you’d like to go on a history themed tour of the world with?
I believe I would pick Diana Gabaldon and Julia Quinn. They write great stories in different settings than mine, so I would see some new and fascinating sites.
6. Who was more dashing and interesting, King Henry VIII of England or King Louis XIV of France?
I would have to pick King Louis XIV. I believe he had a “gentler” touch with women in general, wives in particular.
7. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favorite?
I suppose my favorite is Jane Seymour. When I read the six bios, I tried to imagine which I’d like to be. Since I don’t care for executions, and don’t wish to be embarrassed by annulments, I suppose I choose Jane Seymour. She did give Henry a son, Edward. but then died 2 weeks after his birth, one week after the christening. Henry had been preparing his own tomb at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, which is where Jane was buried. She is the only wife to be buried with him.
8. English monarchy or French monarchy?
English monarchy. I’ve visited England and found it delightful! And of course, I can’t get enough of “Downton Abbey” on PBS!
9. What three novels could you read over and over?
Let’s see….that would be “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell and “North and South” by John Jakes. And I have read them several times each.
10. Tea or coffee when writing?
An easy question…coffee and lots of it. I like tea for relaxing during the evening, but I need caffeine when I’m at work.
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