Thursday, 6 June 2019

A June Novel Conversation with Anna Belfrage's Jason

To be a little different for our brief June Break
Let's meet a character...

Meet Jason
 (Portrait of a young man by Titian)

Q: Hello, I’m Helen the host of Discovering Diamonds Novel Conversations, please do make yourself comfortable. Would you like a drink? Tea, coffee, wine – something stronger? You’ll find a box of chocolates and a bowl of fruit on the table next to you, please do help yourself. I believe you are a character in Anna Belfrage’s novel entitled A Torch in His Heart. Would you like to introduce yourself? Are you a lead character or a supporting role?  
A: Is that a Barolo? If so, I’d love a glass of wine. Helle keeps on telling me I am something of a wine snob, and I guess she is right. But hey, seeing as I’ve lived through the development of wine from its first, rather sour, manifestation in Georgia aeons ago to this day, I feel entitled to be selective. Anyway: my name is Jason—Jason Morris—and I am one of the protagonists, Helle being the other. I am a multi-reincarnated man who has spent life after life searching for Helle, the woman I first met three thousand years ago and have never been able to forget. Probably because things ended so badly that first time round…

Q: What is the novel about?
A: Love, I guess. Of the undying kind. *grimaces*. Or maybe it’s about atonement. I wasn’t exactly the knight on a prancing white horse the first time we met, Helle and I, all those years ago. 

Q: No spoilers, but are you a ‘goodie’ or a ‘baddie’? (Or maybe you are both!)
A: I am a goodie. When it comes to Helle, I would lay down my life for her. Problem is, she’d be mad as hell at me for doing so, especially seeing as this is the first time since our first life that we’ve met up in the same time frame.

Q:  Tell me about another character in the novel – maybe your best friend, lover or partner … or maybe your arch enemy!
A: I just have to mention Nigel. He’s my best friend, one of those scarily intelligent people whot balance on the borderline of being weird. Well, ok, Nigel is weird—or at least he cultivates the image, what with all his piercings, his odd wardrobe and his ever-changing hair-dos. But Nigel is first and foremost a person who always holds my back. Always—even when he doesn’t like what I’m doing. People that loyal don’t exactly grow on trees.

Q: Is this the only novel you have appeared in, or are there others in a series?
A: This is the first in a series called The Wanderer. In total, three books. Well, Anna is already jotting down notes for a fourth, but as I hear it she’s planning to do things a bit differently this time, have someone else take over the protagonist role after the third book. Sounds perfectly fine to me—what with all the stuff she puts us through, Helle and I are bloody exhausted after book one. Imagine just how tired we’ll be after three books!

Q: What is one of your least favourite scenes you appear in?
A: Any scene in which Sam Woolf –our nemesis through time—and I appear simultaneously is a bad scene. But there is one when he gate-crashes our table at a restaurant which I particularly dislike, as he makes a hell of a lot of insinuating comments about Helle and her sexual preferences. 

Q: And your favourite scene?
A: Ahhh…what can I say, after three thousand years waiting for her, dreaming of holding her close, inhaling her scent, at last I have Helle in my arms. There were days when I thought it would never happen, you know. *sighs* Days when I thought one fruitless life after the other searching for her was what I’d been condemned to, like Ahasverus, the ever-wandering Jew. Days of deep despair, of a loneliness that froze my soul, even. *shakes himself*. No matter: no need to dwell on that now, right? Not when I’ve found her again—at last!

Ahasverus, the ever-wandering Jew
Q: Tell me a little about your author. Has she written any other books?
A: Oh, yes. Anna has published fifteen books to date. Her first series, The Graham Saga, consists of nine books (so far) and tells the story of reluctant time-traveller Alex Lind and her 17th-century husband, Matthew Graham. Her series The King’s Greatest Enemy is a four-book series featuring the loyal knight Adam de Guirande and his adventures as Roger Mortimer and Queen Isabella manage to depose Edward II and take over the reins of England—for a while.

Q: Is your author working on anything else at the moment?
A: She is always working on other stuff. As I mentioned above, she is working on a contemporary spin-off to my story, but she has also finished the first book in a new medieval series set in England and Castile in the closing decades of the 13th century and is toying with the ideas of a new time-travel series.

Q: How do you think authors, such as your author, can be helped or supported by readers or groups?
A: Reviews. Reviews, reviews. It is so difficult to stick out in the veritable floodtide of new titles, but a couple of well-written reviews always help. Also, Anna says writers should be better at supporting each other, by offering guest posts and doing interviews. *winks*. Like you do, Helen. BTW, Anna says any time Jesamiah wants to pop by and talk pirate talk with her, he is welcome. *leans forward*. Is it true that he uses those poncey blue hair ribbons as a weapon?
[Helen: it is true. There's no ponce about an efficient garrotte!] 

H: Thank you Jason it was a pleasure talking to you. Would your author like to add a short excerpt? 

J: She most certainly would! Below is an excerpt describing the first time I set eyes on Helle after all those centuries looking for her. *clears his throat*. Very emotional moment, let me tell you.  

H: And while she is doing that… chatting is thirsty work, would you like a refill of that drink…?

J: Yes, please!  And thank you, Helen, for having me over. It has been a pleasure.


Jason leaned back against the wall, watching the people around him. Pub patrons spilled out on the pavement, little groups of mostly men discussing the markets while sipping at their beer. On the opposite side of the street was a sandwich shop, an Italian place that did excellent business, to judge from the number of people going in and out. One of those people was blonde. One of those people stepped out into the sun holding a paper bag. One of those people was Helle. Jason’s stomach contracted so fast the beer he’d recently drunk came hurtling back up.
“Shit!” He steadied himself against the wall, swallowing repeatedly to rid his mouth of the sour taste of beer and bile. There, on the other side of the street, was Helle. For the first time in eons, she was within touching distance, and it made his vision blur, his breathing catch. His Helle—close enough to hail. She was standing in a patch of light, looking up and down the street as if undecided where to go. Sun gilded her curls, brushed her cheek, and when she turned her head, he caught a glimpse of her profile. The line of her jaw, the elegance of her neck, the contours of her breasts, pressing against the fabric of her shirt—she looked remarkably the same and yet totally different.
He debated whether to run across the street, make himself known to her, but resisted, his stomach lurching. Detachedly, he analysed his trembling hands, the sudden outbreak of cold sweat along his spine. He was scared—shit scared, to be correct. After all these years, he’d finally found her, and now he couldn’t quite work up the nerve to go to her. Jason licked his lips, watching her stride down the street. She still moved with that feline grace he remembered—back straight, legs gliding over the ground—and with every step her hips swayed, a gentle shifting from side to side that left him breathless and hot. 
Steve appeared beside him. “Ready? We’ve got that phone conference in fifteen minutes and—”
“You can handle it.” Jason cut him off, eyes on Helle’s back. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.” With that he was off, walking as fast as he could to keep her in sight.
“Jason!” Steve called after him. In response, Jason lifted his arm and waved. Not now
She came to a halt by one of the more modern buildings on Cannon Street. A revolving sign proclaimed this to be the headquarters of Woolf & Partners. He frowned. He’d never had any dealings with that company but recognised the name as one of the more innovative brokers around, with a reputation for being able to dress up any corporate corpse into something resembling a blushing bride. A lucrative business, to judge from their offices.
He returned his attention to her, noting how she slowed her pace as she approached the entrance as if she was in two minds about entering. She half-turned, and her eyes were just as blue as he remembered them, her brows as dark and elegant. He staggered back, took a couple of breaths in an effort to calm his racing pulse and stepped towards her. Too late; she was almost at the door, that head of bright curls clearly visible among the suits. Very softly, he called her name. She turned on her heel, brows pulled together as she scanned the teeming pavement. Jason squared his shoulders, but before he could call out her name again, she was gone, disappearing into the dark foyer.

CONNECT WITH Anna Belfrage
Buylink A Torch in His Heart:

< Previous    next >

2nd June  Annie Whitehead and her character, King Penda
3rd June  JJ Toner and his character, Ruth
4th June  Richard Dee and his character, Andora Pett
5th June  Richard Tearle and his character, Ulfus
6th June  Anna Belfrage and her character, Jason
7th June  Cryssa Bazos and her character, Iain Johnstone
8th June  Susan Appleyard and her character, King Richard III
9th June   Alison Morton and her character Conradus Mitelus

Novel Conversations, in conjunction with Indie BRAG appears on Helen Hollick's Blog Let Us Talk of Many Things on the first Friday of every month, showcasing a variety of Indie authors and their characters


  1. An intriguing concept and a breath-taking excerpt, another one for my list. Thanks for a great interview. Sharing far and wide. Richard Dee.

  2. Thank you, Richard! And Jason says to tell you that breath/taking doesn't even come close :)

  3. What a fabulous premise for a series - historical fiction with a definite twist! It was fun meeting Jason, thank you!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the premise - but I'd be a bit doubtful re labelling as it historical fiction. Jason very much lives in the here and now, no matter how present his past always is

  4. We haven't met yet, Jason, but I guarantee that we will! What an interesting fellow you are!

    1. "Interesting? You can say that again." Jason smiles. "I look forward to deepening our acquaintance."

  5. Oh, what a long and twisting road love has to travel down. Good luck, Jason!


Thank you for leaving a comment - it should appear soon, but due to the high rise of unsuitable nuisance spam I am sometimes having to vet comments before they are posted. If you are having problems, contact me on author AT helenhollick DOT net and I will post your comment for you. That said ...SPAMMERS or distasteful rudeness will be stamped on, squashed, composted and very possibly cursed - if you spam my blog, next time something nasty happens to you just remember that I DID warn you...