Sunday 11 July 2021

The Sunday Guest Spot - Erica Lainé

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

Hello Erica, 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 am retired and live in South West France with my architect husband and a lifetime collection of books. We both worked in HK for 20 years. I was awarded the MBE for my work there with the British Council, I was the project manager for big English language education projects  

Q. Where do you live?
A. In a tiny hamlet in a small commune in the department of the Dordogne. This is in Nouvelle Aquitaine which is the biggest region in France.

Q. If you had a choice to live anywhere – where would it be?
A. Maui, a Hawaiian island with wonderful beaches, huge pizzas and a laid back surfing lifestyle.

Q. Modern house, old cottage, castle or something else?
A. I live in a converted barn, which is all stone and ancient beams and I love that. If I lived in Maui I would choose a beach house with vast verandas.

Q. Cat,  dog or budgie?
A. Cat AND Dog 

Q. Are you a ‘dining room for dinner’, or a ‘tray on your lap in front of the TV’ person?
A. Definitely on the table because I am such a messy eater.

Q. TV preferences – documentary, drama, comedy, soap or thriller?
A. Drama and thriller, then documentaries and in 2020 a yearning for good comedy like never before.

Q. What was your first published novel about?
A. Isabella of Angoulême, the wife and widow of King John. It was a steppingstone into her life and a stepping stone for me as a writer.

Q. What was your last novel about?
A. Isabella of Angoulême, The Tangled Queen I wrote a trilogy. All about Anglo Angevin intrigues. 13th century treachery. Passion and politics.

Q. Do you write in one genre or several?
A. For books I have only written historical fiction. Short stories are anything and everything. Including sci fi.

Q. Have you ever considered exploring a totally different genre?
A.  Crime occasionally appeals.

Q. If you could, which two of your characters would you like to invite to spend an afternoon with you?
A. Isabella and her son Henry III. Because I want to know more about their relationship.

Q. Where would you go / what would you do?
We would go to Fontevraud Abbey to see her tomb. His heart was buried there too. We would walk the cloisters and mourn the loss of their earthly remains which were chucked in a river in the Revolution.

Q. How do you prefer to travel? Plane, boat, car?
A. Train! And buses. I love public transport and can find my way about London on many bus routes.

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. He looks blue with cold. I would see if he needed help and then discover he was frozen to death, The beginning of the crime story? 

We have a long-running Radio programme here in the UK called Desert Island Discs on which celebrities talk about their life and select eight of their favourite discs... so changing that slightly...

Q. If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what eight books would you want to find left in an abandoned hut? (There’s already a Bible, the Quran, and the complete works of Shakespeare)

1. All the Light You Cannot See by Antony Storr 
2.Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell
3. Cassells Chronology of World History
4.The complete collected edition of plays by Tom Stoppard
5. The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott
6. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
7. The Oxford Anthology of English Poetry Volumes 1 and 2 (tries to sneak in an extra book) 
8.Pax Britannica by Jan Morris 

Q. What sort of island would you prefer, and why? (e.g. Desert Island... Hebridean Island...)

A. Jethou, one of the very small Channel Islands. I could watch the shipping and remember the 18th century privateers 
Q. And you would be allowed one luxury item – what would you want it to be? (a boat or something to escape on isn’t allowed.)
A. A very large four poster bed.

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

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