Sherry Jones, author of “Four Sisters, All Queens”, “White Heart”, “The Sword of Medina”, and “The Jewel of Medina” answers 10 questions about her favorite time period in history, her favorite figures from history, and the age old question of coffee or tea.
1. If you could go back in time and be any figure from history, who would it be
I’d be the first woman, Eve. And yes, I still would have eaten the apple — knowledge is a wonderful thing — but I definitely would not have shared it with Adam. What a wuss, to blame her for his own weakness.
2. What year in history would you have liked to live in?
You know, when it comes to women’s rights, we’ve never had it better. I choose now.
3. You’re having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?
I’d go for the religious figures — Jesus, Muhammad — plus some literarati: Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Parker, Truman Capote. What a stimulating conversation we’d be sure to have!
4. What castle from the past or present would you like to live in?
I’d like to live in a castle from the future — probably way more comfortable, and with a lot more light.
5. Two fellow historical fiction authors you’d like to go on a history themed tour of the world with?
Who could keep up with me? That’s what I’d want to know, haha! I’ve got a lot of energy, and that’s never more true than when I travel. I think Michelle Moran would be right up my alley — she’s lots of fun, as smart as heck, and she’s into France at least as much as I. Mitchell James Kaplan is one of my favorite people, a true friend and an intensely interesting man — and he speaks French, having lived in Paris (I am green with envy!!!). Christopher Gortner is a hoot, witty and snarky and sly, and would also be great fun. He’d want to go to Spain, I’m sure — which is a breathtaking country. So, I guess that’s three.
6. Who was more dashing and interesting, King Henry VIII of England or King Louis XIV of France?
The Sun King, of course. What a hottie! I love that great mass of dark hair, and his gorgeous face. And he was such a stylish dresser, and an intelligent man. Then, on the other hand, there’s Henry, that fat, babyish, petulant misogynist. It’s a no-brainer, really.
7. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favorite?
Anne Boleyn would be the most fun to write. She set her sights high, went for what she wanted, and ran over everyone who got in her way. What chutzpah! But whom do I most admire? Catherine of Aragon, for her dignity and fortitude in the face of Henry’s bad behavior. She was a class act, all the way.
8. English monarchy or French monarchy?
I’m sure I was French in a former life. I adore French kissing, French food, French films, the City of Paris, the beautiful French language — and French nobility, so over-the-top in every way, whether it was religious fanaticism in the Middle Ages or pre-Revolutionary indulgence.
9. What three novels could you read over and over?
“Wolf Hall,” for its beautiful writing. To me, the sequel felt redundant — too much of a good thing, I suppose.
“House of Mirth,” the first book that ever made me cry.
“Anna Karenina,” such a complex tale with truly remarkable characters.
“Middlemarch.” Oops! That’s four. ;)
10. Tea or coffee when writing?
Rost House Coffee — with honey and cream. Pots and pots of it, preferably with chocolate babka, a delicious egg bread containing swirls and chunks of chocolate.
Sherry Jones’s official website: