Usually, I have more than 5 questions for an author, but as Anne travels the internet, I was asked this time to only ask a max of 5. Plus, with all of the writing she is doing on top of her book and those edits, I can say I don’t blame her one bit!
So, welcome Anne to Serendipitous Readings, possibly you will be interested in what I had to ask her recently and what she had to say back!
You were raised in Denmark, Immigrated to the United States, You now live in Quebec, and consider Siena your second home, are there any other places where you would like to call home? Anyplace that you have been dying to visit yet, but haven’t had the opportunity? – Right now I can’t imagine living anywhere other than Canada, although I always do feel very much at home both in the US and Europe. When I was younger I had a dream of trekking through the Sahara, but I’m not sure I have the courage anymore. I would love to travel in the far North, although I would rather not travel through grizzly bear territory. Maybe a cruise to Alaska …
Why a Shakespearean tale set in Italy? What was it that made you want to do historical fiction, with many different drafts of Romeo and Juliet among a present day mystery, suspense, thriller all rolled into one? - I wish we could ask Shakespeare why so many of his plays are indeed set in Italy. There is something magical about Italy, I think, and as an author I was drawn to the idea of mentally living in that beautiful country while I wrote my story. As for the combination of many genres, well, those are the kinds of books I like to read myself. And I knew that once I embarked upon a retelling of the Romeo & Juliet-story, it had to become partly an historical novel, and then, when I introduced the treasure-hunt into the mix, it became what I would call an “adventure” novel.
What is your favorite part about the book? Was there a special item in it that have you remembering fondly to a specific day or memory? - I have a few favorite scenes, which I very much enjoyed writing. One of them is the balcony scene with Romeo and Giulietta, where I really felt they were talking “through” me, so to speak, and another is the scene where Julie and Alessandro have a long conversation at Fontebranda. It is such a playful scene, with so much emotion rippling just beneath the surface, and it was quite difficult to keep it short, because they just kept talking and talking … Apart from that, it was always lots of fun to write Janice’s dialogue, because she is such a wild card. Overall I would say I had a rollicking good time writing the book in general, and that I would write a sequel any day.
If you could go back to the 14th century, would you, what would you do while you were there? - Well, first of all I think I would be very unromantic and hide in a barn throughout my stay, hoping not to catch the bubonic plague or get killed by highway gangs. If I couldn’t hide, I would probably try to find Maestro Ambrogio at work on a fresco somewhere and just sit and watch him. I might also try to experience the Palio horserace, probably from a spot in Piazza del Duomo, hoping that I would be a lot taller than my medieval buddies and actually able to see the finish line. Howsoever tempted I might be to taste the local wine and food … I had probably better not.
Who are your favorite authors and why? - I love the classic, British tone of Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, and P. G. Wodehouse; I can read those again and again, simply to enjoy their turn of phrase. For a more modern voice, but equally exquisite, I am a great fan of Sara Gruen and absolutely love her new book, “Ape House”, which made me laugh out loud many times. As far as adventure books go, I was very inspired by Katherine Neville’s classic, “The Eight”, and pretty much devoured Jane Johnson’s recent book, “The Tenth Gift”.
So, check out The Savvy Reader for all of the other Canadian Blogs she will be visiting, and if you haven’t caught my review, it is here.
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