Continuing our Sunday Series
of taking a look at some fabulous authors!
Hello Patricia, 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 a wife, a mother, a reader and a writer. I grew up in California, and I enjoy travel, gardening & tennis. I have raised two strapping sons and penned three novels. I hate to cook.
Q. Where do you live?
A. My home is in the charming neighborhood of Rockridge in Oakland, California.
Q. If you had a choice to live anywhere – where would it be?
A. Somewhere in England’s Lake District.
Q. Modern house, old cottage, castle or something else?
A. My maiden name was Leavens, & there’s a lovely manor called Levens Hall in Kendal that I wouldn’t mind claiming.
Q. Cat, dog or budgie?
A. Cat, although no pets just now.
Q. Are you a ‘dining room for dinner’, or a ‘tray on your lap in front of the TV’ person?
A. Back garden in summer; dining room in winter.
Q. TV preferences – documentary, drama, comedy, soap or thriller?
A. All. My tastes are eclectic.
Q. What was your first published novel about?
A. Emma of Normandy, the twice crowned queen of England, from 1002 to 1005.
Q. What was your last novel about?
A. Emma of Normandy, from 1012 to 1017.
Q. Do you write in one genre or several?
A. Just the one, so far!
Q. Have you ever considered exploring a totally different genre?
A. Medieval fantasy.
Q. If you could, which two of your characters would you like to invite to spend an afternoon with you?
A. Queen Emma and her rival Elgiva.
Q. Where would you go / what would you do?
A. I would take them into San Francisco, to the famous bar at the top of the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill with its view over the city. We would sip cocktails and talk about our sons.
Q. How do you prefer to travel? Plane, boat, car?
A. Car. I like to see things up close.
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 is clearly a man out of his own time, dressed as he is in Renaissance garb. I recognize a young Will Shakespeare, so I sit down beside him and ask what’s wrong. “I’ve written a play called Edmund Ironside,” he says despondently. “My first. Everyone hates it.” I nod sagely because I’ve read the play, which dramatizes the same events as my newest novel. His play is awful, but a writer has to start somewhere. I place my hand on his knee and whisper, “Let that one go and start again. Whatever you do, don’t give up. You’ll get better. Trust me.”
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. Lord of the Rings, Tolkien
2. Persuasion, Austen
3. The Poems of Robert Frost
4. War & Peace, Tolstoy
5. Game of Kings, Dunnett
6. Wild, Strayed
7. Robinson Crusoe, Defoe
8. Lord of the Flies, Golding (I’m sensing a pattern toward the end, here.)
Q. What sort of island would you prefer, and why? (e.g. Desert Island... Hebridian Island...)
A. Corfu! I want to hang out with the Durrells.
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 chef to prepare all my meals.