Author Interview: Helen Hollick
I would like to introduce Author Helen Hollick, the winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion.
Read the entire interview at:
Helen, I would like to begin by asking you about your reading interests. What was the last truly great book you’ve read?
The last book I read from cover to cover without much of a pause was Elizabeth Chadwick’s Lady of the English. I was fascinated because, although I know a little about the war between Stephen and Matilda, I had absolutely no idea that Adeliza, widow of Henry I had even existed. It was a great thrill to read a beautifully written novel, and learn some accurate history at the same time.
Have you ever read a book and afterward wish you’d never read it?
Yes. I used to plod on, hoping that something would get better, but I now rarely continue reading books that have not grabbed my interest by page 50 – my sight isn’t so good and I have too big a “to be read” pile to waste time reading something that has not enticed me into the story. What is also disappointing is to read a good, exciting, novel only to find the end falls flat!
What were your favorite books as a child?
Mostly pony stories. I so desperately wanted a pony of my own – reading about ponies was the next best thing. Jill’s Gymkhana by Ruby Ferguson was always my favourite. I was given it as a birthday present (I think I was about 9) I still have the book (and I still enjoy reading it!)
What is on your night stand?
I am reading Jenny Barden’s debut novel Mistress of the Sea
Of the books you have written, which is your favorite?
This is an unfair question LOL! It’s like asking a mother which one of her children is her favourite! The Kingmaking is special because it was my first published novel; Harold the King (entitled I am the Chosen King in the US) is favourite because Harold is a hero of mine. The Forever Queen is special because that is the first of my books to hit the bestseller listings, and Sea Witch is a favourite because I put my soul into writing it.
So if I had to choose I’d pick…. Um….
I recently read, Sea Witch and enjoyed it very much! Please tell your audience a little about it.
Sea Witch is a blend of Sharpe meets Indiana Jones with a mix of Hornblower and Pirates of the Caribbean. It is the first of a pirate-based adventure fantasy series: with the fantasy being on the “plausible” side (as opposed to something magical like Harry Potter). I planned the series as an adventure romp at sea, with romance, action, a touch of mystery and a journey for my two main protagonists – Captain Jesamiah Acorne and his girlfriend/wife, Tiola.
Think of it as a sailor’s yarn – fun to write, fun to read.
I wrote Sea Witch because I loved the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie (and Jack Sparrow swept me off my feet). I wanted to read something that was similar, but all the sea stores were straight historical nautical fiction – Patrick O’Brian, C.S. Forrester, Julian Stockwin. Great books, but there’s not much “romance” and no fantasy – Jack Aubrey and Hornblower are wonderful characters but they aren’t Jack Sparrow! I couldn’t find a “pirate fix”…. So I wrote one myself.