A Layered Pages Interview with Helen Hollick

Found this at Layered Pages and though you guys might enjoy meeting Helen Hollick.

Interview with Author Helen Hollick

I would like to introduce Author Helen Hollick, winner of the BRAG Medallion…

Helen, I would like to begin by asking you about your reading interests. What was the last truly great book you’ve read?

The last book I read from cover to cover without much of a pause was Elizabeth Chadwick’s Lady of the English. I was fascinated because, although I know a little about the war between Stephen and Matilda, I had absolutely no idea that Adeliza, widow of Henry I had even existed. It was a great thrill to read a beautifully written novel, and learn some accurate history at the same time.

Have you ever read a book and afterward wish you’d never read it?

Yes. I used to plod on, hoping that something would get better, but I now rarely continue reading books that have not grabbed my interest by page 50 – my sight isn’t so good and I have too big a “to be read” pile to waste time reading something that has not enticed me into the story. What is also disappointing is to read a good, exciting, novel only to find the end falls flat!

What were your favorite books as a child?

Mostly pony stories. I so desperately wanted a pony of my own – reading about ponies was the next best thing. Jill’s Gymkhana by Ruby Ferguson was always my favourite. I was given it as a birthday present (I think I was about 9) I still have the book (and I still enjoy reading it!)

What is on your night stand?

I am reading Jenny Barden’s debut novel Mistress of the Sea

Of the books you have written, which is your favorite?

This is an unfair question LOL! It’s like asking a mother which one of her children is her favourite! The Kingmaking is special because it was my first published novel; Harold the King (entitled I am the Chosen King in the US) is favourite because Harold is a hero of mine. The Forever Queen is special because that is the first of my books to hit the bestseller listings, and Sea Witch is a favourite because I put my soul into writing it. So if I had to choose I’d pick…. Um….

I recently read, Sea Witch and enjoyed it very much! Please tell your audience a little about it.

Sea Witch is a blend of Sharpe meets Indiana Jones with a mix of Hornblower and Pirates of the Caribbean. It is the first of a pirate-based adventure fantasy series: with the fantasy being on the “plausible” side (as opposed to something magical like Harry Potter). I planned the series as an adventure romp at sea, with romance, action, a touch of mystery and a journey for my two main protagonists – Captain Jesamiah Acorne and his girlfriend/wife, Tiola. Think of it as a sailor’s yarn – fun to write, fun to read. I wrote Sea Witch because I loved the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie (and Jack Sparrow swept me off my feet). I wanted to read something that was similar, but all the sea stores were straight historical nautical fiction – Patrick O’Brian, C.S. Forrester, Julian Stockwin. Great books, but there’s not much “romance” and no fantasy – Jack Aubrey and Hornblower are wonderful characters but they aren’t Jack Sparrow! I couldn’t find a “pirate fix”…. So I wrote one myself.

Read the rest at: Layered Pages: Interview with Helen Holllick


Related Articles

History a'la Carte 9-27-12

So many great historical articles to share this week!

I got to post with Kim Rendfeld this week about my ‘favorite’ day of the week!


This is the Way We Wash the Clothes…in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries

26 Wednesday Sep 2012

By Maria Grace

I love wash day, don’t you? Ah, no, that’s what I thought. I don’t really either. But at least we can be grateful that, thanks to the modern conveniences of the washer and dryer, it is no longer nearly so arduous as it was for our ancestors.

Today, we gather the laundry and sort it, more or less, less if you’re one of my teenage sons. If it is a good day, we check for stains, pretreat the stains, then throw it in the machine. Later we wander back to switch it to the dryer, muttering under our breath because the washer doesn’t have a buzzer to let us know it is done. At the sound of the buzzer, we return to dry, sweet smelling laundry, ready to fold and put away. Oh the horrors of it all!

How our 18th and early 19th ancestors century would envy us. For them, laundry definitely did not take place on a weekly basis and when it happened, it was a multiday, all hands on deck experience. The ladies of the house, unless they were very high born, would work alongside the servants (at least until the Victorian era, when more shunned the activity) in order to get the enormous task finished.

Read more at: This is the Way We Wash the Clothes…in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries « Kim Rendfeld.


Other great history reads this week:

History A'la carte 9-6-12

Old books

photo credit: Zsuzsanna Kilian

There are so many great history articles coming out each week that I can manage to share them all on Thursdays. So I’m trying out a new feature. Each Thursday I will post links to the articles I have read and shared for the week in the hopes that you all might  enjoy them as well.

In the comments let me know which ones you like best and what is your favorite newly learned ‘fact of the week’. For it it was learning about the discrepancy in the death count for the Great Fire of London. I also was thrilled to learn that archery was an equal opportunity sport in Georgian era.


The Book Rat: In Defense of: Lady Russell ~ guest post from Maria Grace

Misty at the Book Rat hosted me this week as part of her Austen in August event.   Hop on over and check it out.

In Defense of: Lady Russell ~ guest post from Maria Grace

Earlier this week, you got to read an excerpt and enter to win a copy of Maria Grace’s Darcy’s Decision; today Maria is back, and she’s asking one specific question:Was Lady Russell Really at Fault?

Of all the characters in Persuasion, I have a feeling that Lady Russell is one of the least loved. I think many readers believe Lady Russell is at fault for persuading Anne to refuse Wentworth’s first proposal. It seems so clear, she is class conscious, snobby and should not have interfered in Anne’s life so freely. However, a closer look at the text suggests that perhaps there might have been more to Lady Russell’s advice than class-consciousness and indifference to Anne’s wishes. What possible motives might Lady Russell have had that would justify her near disastrous advice to Anne?

via The Book Rat: In Defense of: Lady Russell ~ guest post from Maria Grace.

My secret indulgence

So last week I had to confess to my secret addiction to office supplies.  This week I’ll fess up to my secret indulgence.

Diet friendly indulgence

Doesn’t this look good?

I love Coke floats, but the waistline doesn’t.  So I came up with this to satisfy that craving with a whole lot less impact on the way my jeans fit! LOL   It’s quick and easy:

In a 20-oz glass, fill one third with ice.  Add 3-4T of fat free half and half, 2 T sugar free coffee syrup in your favorite flavor.   Give it a good stir and then fill the glass–S-L-O-W-L-Y with your favorite diet cola.  It will foam up rather impressively.

I think it tastes like a float after the ice cream has started to melt into the soda.  Give it a try and tell me what you think.

New things afoot!

With the release of my new book, I decided it was time for a facelift here as well.

Under Construction sign

Just about everything is going to get a spit shine and a bunch of new stuff is about to preview.

Soon I will have a newsletter available for subscribers, with a very special freebie for all who sign up.

I will be posting more often and each day will have a theme. I won’t post seven days a week, but posts will follow the theme of the day they are posted.  The tentative schedule looks like this:

  • Monday: My stuff

  • Tuesday: Technology

  • Wednesday: Exclusive Web Writings

  • Thursday: History goodies

  • Friday: Promotions and Book news

  • Saturday: Meet the Staff

  • Sunday: Guests for dinner

Monday is pretty explanatory, Tuesdays will feature neat tech/geeky stuff that will be interesting and useful to  non-geeks. I am planning to dabble in some flash fiction and add more exclusive content to the site here. That what Wednesdays will be all about.  Thursday will be all about great history content.  Book news, book releases, giveaways and events, both mine and other authors’, will star on Fridays. Saturdays will introduce my ‘editorial staff’ and on Sunday I hope to entertain guest bloggers.

I am excited for all the new changes and to have more opportunity to interact with all of you.  The newsletter sign up should be live later this week.

Keep tuned for all the great things to come.

Nook files problems

It has just come to my attention that the Nook file from BN has problems with it.  I have pulled it off sale at BN until the problem can be resolved.  If you purchased the BN Nook file and have problems with it, please use the contact page and get in touch with me so I can get you a properly working file.

My deepest apologies for the problems with this. I will do everything I can to get properly functioning files to everyone who has made a purchase from BN.