Sunday 9 May 2021

Sunday Guest Spot - Christina Courtenay

Continuing our Sunday Series
of taking a look at some fabulous authors!

Hello, Christina, welcome to our Discovering Diamonds Guest Spot. Along with my readers and visitors I love to hear from authors who write wonderful stories. There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book,  box of chocs and glass of wine to hand!

Q. Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself...
A. I’m half Swedish, half British, and I love history, archaeology (the armchair variety), reading, dogs and chocolate. I write timeslip and time travel romance set in eras I particularly like – the Viking age (because of my Scandinavian heritage), the Regency, the English Civil War and the early 17th century. When I’m not writing, I love to try my hand at gardening (which I do very badly) and various handicrafts such as weaving, crochet and cross-stitch (which I’m slightly better at). Being a Leo I’m bossy, creative and sometimes impulsive, but hopefully not too much so.

Q. Where do you live?
A. I live in a tiny village in Herefordshire, five minutes from the Welsh border. My house is surrounded by fields that usually contain a lot of sheep which don’t belong to me, but to a local farmer. It’s lovely and peaceful and although I like to visit London from time to time, it’s always a relief to get back to the countryside.

Q. If you had a choice to live anywhere – where would it be?
A. I can’t quite make up my mind – the ideal would be to move around several times a year. Apart from our current house, I’d love to have one place in Scotland, one in Sweden, and one in Japan. Oh, and one in Mallorca for some summer sun and swimming. Sounds greedy, I know!

Q. Modern house, old cottage, castle or something else?
A. Definitely old – no later than Edwardian – and preferably some sort of castle or manor house. It would have to have lots of big rooms with high ceilings, beautiful cornicing and marble fireplace surrounds, plus large windows so it’s light and airy. Any other period details would be a plus and, if possible, a walled garden.

Q. Cat,  dog or budgie?
A. Dogs plural – love them! An ideal pack would consist of a Tibetan spaniel, a rough collie, a Pekingese, a Griffon Petit Brabançon, a pug, a French bulldog and a Griffon Bruxellois, and maybe a couple of rescue greyhounds.

Q. Are you a ‘dining room for dinner’, or a ‘tray on your lap in front of the TV’ person?
A. It can be fun to have proper dinner parties and go all out with lovely table settings and so on, but for every day I prefer a tray on my lap in front of the TV.

Q. TV preferences – documentary, drama, comedy, soap or thriller?
A. Costume dramas (with happy endings, NOT like Sanditon!), Scandi Noir crime series and programmes about history like Time Team, which is sadly gone.

Q. What was your first published novel about?
A. Trade Winds was a historical romance set in 1731 about a Scottish man who goes to Gothenburg in Sweden to try and make his fortune. He ends up joining the first ever journey of the Swedish East India Company to the Far East, and finds both love and adventure along the way.

Q. What was your last novel about?
A. The Runes of Destiny is the story of Linnea, a twenty-first century woman who travels back in time to the Viking age. When helping out at an archaeological dig, she uncovers an exquisite brooch, but blacks out after reading the runic inscription. She wakes up surrounded by men in Viking costume, who seem to take re-enactment very seriously. Lost and confused, she finds herself in the power of Hrafn, a Viking warrior who claims her as his thrall and takes her on a journey across the seas to sell her for profit. Setting sail, she confronts the unthinkable: she has travelled back to the 9th century. Linnea is determined to find a way back to her own time, but there’s a connection forming with Hrafn and she has to decide what it is she really wants.

Q. Do you write in one genre or several?
A. It’s really one genre – romance – but I have tried my hand at several sub-genres within that: historical romance, timeslip, time travel and modern YA.

Q. Have you ever considered exploring a totally different genre?
A. I did when I wrote a series of YA books – it was fun not to have to do a lot of research but just sit down and let my imagination soar.

Q. If you could, which two of your characters would you like to invite to spend an afternoon with you?
A. Killian Kinross from Trade Winds and my latest hero Hrafn Eskilsson from The Runes of Destiny.

Q. Where would you go / what would you do? I think I would just like to sit and chat with them and feed them 21st century food (all the things they’ve never tasted like chocolate and ice cream) – I have a feeling I’d enjoy their company immensely. Killian has a very naughty streak and a great sense of humour, whereas Hrafn is very serious, so it could be fun to watch their interaction.

Q. How do you prefer to travel? Plane, boat, car?
A. I hate all forms of travel to be honest, but a really nice train like the Orient Express would be good!

Q. You are out for a walk. You see a chap sitting on a wall, looking right fed up – but there’s something odd about him... What? And what  do you do?
A. I would ask if he’s lost and if there’s anything I could do to help. If I find that he’s a time traveller, I’d be in seventh heaven! But if he’s odd in a creepy way, I’d run a mile.

Click HERE (and scroll down to 'C') to find our  reviews of Christina's books  on Discovering Diamonds

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