Suzanne Palmieri, author of “Empire Girls”, “I’ll Be Seeing You”, “The Witch of Belladonna Bay”, and “The Witch of Little Italy” 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?
Wow! What a great question… I think it would depend. For example, I’d love to be Lady Bird Johnson so I could try to influence some of the social policy that happened back then… But also, Dorothy Parker! My goodness how I’d love to be her for a little while. And then there’s my own great grandmother, who came to this country from Italy in 1898. It would be such an honor to stand on the deck of that ship, watching America come into view. To feel and absorb that incredible strength she had. I never knew her, but I miss her every day.
2. What year in history would you have liked to live in?
I can’t choose! I change my mind all the time, (depending on what I’m writing!). It also depends on WHERE I would choose to be. Right now, if I had the choice, I’d like to live in the early 1900’s. The book coming out next May has a large part that takes place in Louisiana between 1900 and 1902. I’m loving the romantic, gothic, eccentric lifestyles!
3. You’re having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?
Paul Newman(because, um… LOVE!). E.E. Cummings (because I want to hear him speak) Abigail Adams (because she’s probably my favorite historical woman ever… maybe…) Jimi Hendrix, and Sylvia Plath. Can you imagine that dinner party? Ha!
4. What castle from the past or present would you like to live in?
I know this sounds crazy, but I’m not a castle kind of girl. I like small and cozy places. But if I HAD TO, I’d loveto live in Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England. Because I fell in love with it while I watched “Brideshead Revisited on PBS when I was 13. Then I fell in love with the idea of the home again when I read the book.
5. Two fellow historical fiction authors you’d like to go on a history themed tour of the world with?
Elizabeth Gilbert and Daniel Silva!
6. Who was more dashing and interesting, King Henry VIII of England or King Louis XIV of France?
Henry, hands down.
7. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favorite?
Anne Boleyn! I mean, it was said she might have been a witch, so… she’s my girl.
8. English monarchy or French monarchy?
It depends on the era. And I’d prefer to be part of a noble Scottish family… But, okay, England.
9. What three novels could you read over and over?
“The Mists of Avalon” (Marion Zimmer Bradley), “The Witching Hour” (Anne Rice), and “Dandelion Wine” (Ray Bradbury)
10. Tea or coffee when writing?
Suzanne Palmieri’s official website: