Jennifer McGowan, author of “Maid of Secrets”, “Maid of Deception”, and the novella “A Thief Before Christmas” 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 can’t deny it! I would be Elizabeth I of England, to know her secrets and see the world the way she saw it. She was a shrewd and intelligent woman, whose success as Queen rested largely on her resourcefulness (and good choice of friends). It would be fascinating to learn more!
2. What year in history would you have liked to live in?
As long as I was rolling in bags of money, I’d like to live in London, in 1817–the Napoleanic wars were over, and Regency England was still going full tilt. I’ve fallen in love with far too many Regency romances not to be intrigued to see what that life was really like.
3. You’re having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?
Oh! This is so hard. I think it would be a Queen’s bash: Cleopatra, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Elizabeth I (of course!), Queen Victoria, and Empress Theodora of the Byzantine Empire.
4. What castle from the past or present would you like to live in?
Neuschwanstein Castle! I visited it once and was thoroughly enchanted. The place was absolutely ridiculous in size, but it is the ultimate in fairyland castles.
5. Two fellow historical fiction authors you’d like to go on a history themed tour of the world with?
There are so many options here! I would say anyone from the Corsets, Cutlasses and Candlesticks blog, but if pressed, I’d go with Katherine Longshore and Jessica Spotswood.
6. Who was more dashing and interesting, King Henry VIII of England or King Louis XIV of France?
Well, given the parameters, I will say King Louis XIV. The longest reigning European monarch EVER (72 years!), he was a champion of art and culture and built Versailles. While perhaps not the best steward of his nation’s coffers, there was no denying the man had swagger.
7. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favorite?
Anne Boleyn! Lovely and powerful and shrewd, she could do anything but the most important: bear a male heir for Henry. But she did give him Elizabeth, who became arguably one of the greatest Queens of all time.
8. English monarchy or French monarchy?
English! The French had beauty, but the English had grit.
9. What three novels could you read over and over?
When I find an author I love, I find I devour their entire body of work. So for this question I’d say anything by Julia Quinn (see love of English Regency Romances, above), particularly “The Viscount Who Loved Me”, and anything from Mary Balogh, particularly “Slightly Dangerous”. Anything that combines romance and history works for me! If I were straying away from romance, I’d have to rock it old school and say C.S. Lewis’s “Narnia” chronicles. They were a major discovery of mine when I was very young, and will always remain a favorite.
10. Tea or coffee when writing?
Coffee!!! Ever and always!
Jennifer McGowan’s official website: