Fantasy and historical fiction author Kate Forsyth, who has written an incredible number of books for adults and children (including the recent Bitter Greens which has received rave reviews), stumbled across The Raven’s Heart and said it was ‘One of the best books I’ve read all year‘. No, I didn’t pay her for that comment. We don’t even know each other, though I’m now reading her book ‘The Puzzle Ring’ featuring Mary Queen of Scots, and enjoying it a lot.
Kate’s a great and active blogger, and she interviewed me recently for her blog. If you want to know my answers to questions like ‘Where do you write and when?’ ‘Are you a daydreamer?’ and ‘Have you always wanted to be a writer?’, then check out her blog post. Here’s a short preview and you can follow the link at the end to visit the full post.
INTERVIEW: Jesse Blackadder, author of ‘The Raven’s Heart’
Monday, August 27, 2012
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have had a lifelong fascination with Scotland and its history, fairy tales and folk tales, as a consequence of all the stories my grandmother and my great-aunts told me as I was growing up. My grandmother’s grandmother was a Scottish woman called Ellen Mackenzie who left Scotland as a young girl to emigrate to Australia. She brought with her a head stuffed full of stories, which were told to her daughter, who told them to her daughter, who told them to me.
One of my favourite stories was always that of Mary, Queen of Scots, and I often retell her life history to my audience at festivals, conferences, and schools. My own novel ‘The Puzzle Ring’ is partly set in Scotland during the last dramatic days of Mary’s rule.
I have, as a result of my fascination with this queen and this period of history, read everything I can find on her, including and especially novels. There are surprisingly few. Philippa Gregory’s ‘The Other Queen’ is one (not her best book, in my opinion), plus Jane Yolen wrote a brilliant children’s book called ‘The Queen’s Own Fool’ which I highly recommend.
However, one of the best books I have read set during this dangerous, bloodthirsty and dramatic time is by an Australian author, Jesse Blackadder. I wrote a review of her novel, last month, writing “‘The Raven’s Heart’ is a fabulous, dark, surprising historical novel, with a hefty dose of mystery, intrigue, and passion.”