A little about me ...
Joanna lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge with her family, a medium-sized mutt and a faux Himalayan cat.
She writes Historical Romances set in England and France during the Napoleonic Wars. She's fascinated by that time and place - such passionate conviction and burning idealism ... and really sexy clothes.
Joanna Bourne: Q&A
We're visiting today with Joanna Bourne who wrote The Spymaster's Lady, My Lord and Spymaster, Forbidden Rose, and The Black Hawk.
Let me ask some personal questions, if I may.
Sure 'nuff. Shoot.
When you were working overseas, you lived in a lot of different countries. Where? And which one did you like best?
England, France, Germany, Nigeria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. I liked Paris best of all the places I ever lived. I don't necessarily want to live in any city. I love being in the country. But if there were a city to live in ... it would be Paris.
So why aren't you writing about all those exotic places?
I am writing England and France. It's just England and France two centuries ago. That's plenty exotic enough for anybody.
Why do you write historicals instead of contemporary? What draws you to the past?
There's some themes and stories that play better if you put themin the long-ago and far-away. If I didn't write historical, I'd probably write fantasy or Science Fiction. Can it be I just don't like the real world all that much?
Let's get to the important questions. If you were reincarnated as a animal. What would it be?
Ah. Well. Now that's one of those burning issues I ponder a lot.
Ok. A sea otter. That's the life. No worry. No possessions. Just floating around in the kelp beds, eating abalone. They seem to really enjoy themselves.
What's your great indulgence? What's the luxury you'd hate to live without?
A wood fire. I've lived so any places I couldn't have one, and I do love it. Love the smell. Love the heat radiating out to touch you. Love the sound. Love the moving color and light.
If you could be any person in history, who would you be?
Ooooh. Leesee. Ninon de L'Enclos, maybe. Now that was a lady with staying power. There's that Dorothy Parker poems about her primping at the mirror ...
So bring my scarlet slippers, then,
And fetch the powder-puff to me.
The dear young men, the poor young men --
They think I'm only seventy!
What are three things you absolutely want to do that you've never had a chance to?
I want to see the Northern Lights. I want to bake perfect bread. I'd like to live in a house overlooking the sea.
What's your favorite comfort food?
I'm a starch junkie, when it comes to comfort food. Think mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, grits -- did you know you can't buy grits for love or money in San Francisco? Or at least, I couldn't find any near the Marriott where the RWA National Convention was held -- pumpkin pie ...
Do you have any superstitions about writing? Anything you HAVE to do or have with you?
Not really. I like noise and movement and people when I'm working. Coffee shops are good. You ever think about how many books would never have been written without coffee shops? There should be some sort of memorial plaque they hand out.
Anyhow, dead stillness distracts me. And I hate good music playing in the background. Good music pulls at my mind.
What's your favorite movie?
This isn't really a fair example, because I don't watch many movies. The on-screen experience is too overwhelming. I'd rather have the emotional separation of words on a page. But I think the movie I most enjoyed was the first Star Wars movie. Simple classic story. Tight. Fast. Beautiful visuals. Looking at the old classics, I liked High Noon.
But, as I say, I'm not a good judge of movies and I haven't seen all that many.
Your favorite TV shows?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is pleasing me right now. Intelligent work that is simply great storytelling. Firefly. I'm sort of a groupie. Dead Like Me. I've liked a good bit of Leverage, though I haven't seen them all. Dr. Who, as always. And the new Sherlock Holmes.
You talk about your dog and cat.
They're pound specials. Previously owned pets, as it were. The dog is a collie mix of some kind. Collie-husky ...? She's a champion hair-producer at any rate. Her goal in life is to be within twenty-four inches of me at all times, day and night.
The cat looks like a Himalayan. It might even be ... who knows? Not the brightest crayola in the box, that cat. She (a) helps out by sitting on whatever papers I most need; (b) tries to trip me on the stairs; (c) goes to the door and cries to get out, then skitters away in panic when I open the door. The usual cat modus operandi.
There used to be a goldfish as part of the household, but he just kept getting bigger and bigger. When he hit nine inches long, we finally had to find some nice people with a fishpond, out in the deep country and set him free.
According to his new peeps, he fit right in and is having a ball.
Thank you very much.
My pleasure. What a very great number of things I never much thought about before. I'm feeling all mind-stretchy.