I am delighted that this week’s host is the fabulous Anne Allen, author of the The Guernsey Novels series. She has invited some fascinating guests and her menu sounds delicious.
1. Name 10 living authors you would invite for Sunday Lunch and why them?
This could be quite scary! The thought of 10 big name authors gathering chez moi for an afternoon of culinary delights and intelligent conversation is outside my usual, more hermit-like experience. But I’ll be brave…and have plenty of alcohol beforehand and for the duration.
Robert Goddard @RobertGoddardUK A master of weaving fascinating stories around real historic events should have plenty of conversational tidbits to throw into the pot. His mysteries, verging on thrillers, keep me turning the pages as I follow the various threads. I’m always left wondering how much of the story was real and how much imagined…
Philip Pullman @PhilipPullman Although aimed at young people, the fabulous His Dark Materials kept me enthralled in his parallel world with daemons to keep people company. Brilliant idea! I’m looking forward to reading The Book of Dust Vol1. La Belle Sauvage. I’d love to know where the ideas come from for these stories.
Mary Higgins Clark I think Mary and Robert Goddard will get on like a house on fire. Mary’s mysteries can be as complex as Robert’s, but with more emphasis on relationships. Definitely someone I could learn from for my own books.
Erica James @TheEricaJames Erica writes books to curl up with when you want to shut away the world and be transported to sunnier climes such as Greece or Italy, where she lives. I wonder if she’d invite me over to Lake Como for a visit? An extra glass of vino for her, I think.
CJ Sansom @CJSansomAuthor What can I say! Shardlake, the lawyer turned detective in Tudor England offering a vivid, sometimes too realistic view of that turbulent time. The question to ask him is, will there be any more, please?
Katie Fforde @KatieFforde The only one of my guest who I’ve met and on more than one occasion. As the President of the Romantic Novelists Association, of which I’m a member, Katie must be constantly attending events up and down the country and I do hope she can fit our lunch into her schedule. Another writer to curl up with when wanting to escape the problems of everyday, it was one of her books, Restoring Grace, which provided some of the inspiration for my first novel, Dangerous Waters. It featured an old house which needed renovating and had a hidden secret and I pinched that idea, putting my own spin on it, naturally!
Joanne Harris @JoanneChocolat Her books need little introduction, and again it was one of hers, Coastliners, which inspired me to set my first book on Guernsey as her island reminded me so much of ‘mine’. Thank you, Joanne.
Clare Mackintosh @claremackint0sh Clare is the new girl on the block, as it were. Her third psychological suspense has just been released and is on my TBR pile. I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns of her first two after coming across her at the Guernsey LitFest. She might want to huddle with Mary and Robert Goddard.
Charles Palliser. I view Charles’s writing as a cross between Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope. His seminal work, in my view, is The Quicunx, not to be read in a hurry. I’ll need to ask him to explain one or two points I wasn’t quite sure about…
Robert Harris @RobertHarrisAuthor . Absolutely love the way he brings history to life in Pompeii and the Cicero Trilogy. I’ve always been interested in ancient Rome and Robert brings it alive in full technicolour.
2. What would you cook and why?
To be honest, I’m not great at cooking for large numbers as I never get the quantities right. Assuming there’s no dietary issues, I’d prepare a whole salmon, poached; cooked chicken pieces; various mixed salads and plenty of freshly baked crusty bread. To follow I’d be tempted to pick a selection of desserts from the local Waitrose and add cheese and biscuits. I think we will all be so busy talking that the food will be incidental, right?
3. What drinks would accompany the meal?
A light wine, either rosé or white, lager for the men, fruit juice for those not wanting to imbibe and a selection of teas and coffee to round off.
4. What games would you play?
Hmm, I’ve never been keen on party games and somehow I ‘m not sure my guests would be too fussed either. Full of food, drink and general bonhomie, I think we’d be happy to spend time putting the world to rights.
About Anne Allen
Anne was born in Rugby to a Welsh father and an English mother. As a result, she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learned to love the sea. Now she is based in Devon to be near her daughter and two small grandchildren. Her restless spirit has meant many moves, the longest stay being in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns. Her younger son is based in London – ideal for city breaks.
By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist who long had a desire to write and Dangerous Waters, her first novel, was published in 2012. It was awarded Silver (Adult Fiction) in TheWishingShelfAwards 2012.
The Guernsey Novels by Anne Allen
All the stories take place predominantly on the island of Guernsey and are linked by characters popping up from one book to another. They provide an ongoing story of a ‘village’ spread, so far, over 6 years. Each book is standalone with fresh new lead characters with their own links to the German Occupation during World War 2, having an impact on the present. The Guernsey Novels are a mix of mystery, family drama, and love story and influenced by the author’s love of the island where she spent many happy years. Guernsey itself is always a main character in the books, offering a gorgeous backdrop to all the sorrows, joys and tragedies she describes.
Fans of the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society novel, will love The Guernsey Novels by Anne Allen.
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