Bookmark and Share

Monday, 15 October 2012

Author Eliza Graham reveals her Desert Island Books and love of cakes

Today is the last of my Desert Island Posts. Today I'm not touring the blogosphere but actually really touring the Cumbrian landscape on my way to Cleator Moor Library to give a talk about THE GILDED LILY. Cleator Moor is one of the more remote towns in the county, up near the west coast, so it will take me almost two hours to drive there. On the way I'll have the company of Radio 4 and some spectacular scenery. Just looked out of the window and it's raining - but hey, you can't have it all! If you'd like to see where I have been touring lately, why not visit Hoydens and Firebrands for my post on Old London Bridge, or Historical Tapestry for my post on The Smell of Old Coffee Houses.

Eliza Graham lives in Oxfordshire and is the author of four novels blending historical and contemporary themes. Eliza's first novel, "Playing with the Moon" was a smash hit in Germany where she has sold over 100,000 copies. Her latest, THE HISTORY ROOM, was published in May and combines reborn dolls and the Prague Spring in the setting of an English boarding school.
Eliza's first young adult novel, BLITZ KID, will be published this month as a Kindle e-book. Look out for further information.

Over to Eliza:
For my classic novel, I would choose OUR MUTUAL FRIEND by Dickens. It was one of my A level novels and I've loved it ever since. It's a big novel in every sense of the world: a little messy in times, but full of life and insight. The descriptions of the murkier parts of Victorian London would probably make me look around my beautiful desert island with relief. 

For my contemporary novel, I would choose I CAPTURE THE CASTLE by Dodie Smith, even though it's not that contemporary, having been written in the fifties and set in the thirties. The descriptions of the novelist father imprisoned in an old castle dungeon to make him finish his novel would scare me into using the desert island as a chance to write, write, write. It's such a very English novel, too, that it would make me feel a little bit of home was with me.

For non-fiction I was going to select The Book of Common Prayer because, as a cradle Catholic, I had no exposure to its beautiful language. Each image is almost a novel in its own right. But now I'm going to crack and reveal my true greedy self and ask if I can choose Mary Berry's Book of Cakes (with a magic supply of equipment and ingredients). I'll be very healthy on that island, what with all the fish and tropical fruit, so a bit of indulgence on cake is in order.   

(Hope Eliza leaves me some of that cake when she goes!)


  1. It's 9:30 a.m. Houston time and I'm longing for the cake on the cover of the Baking Bible. I'll join you on the desert island, Eliza!

    Dee, best of luck as you continue with your book tour. Without a doubt, readers are having fun meeting you and hearing a discussion about "The Gilded Lily."

  2. I loved I Capture the Castle! Not as well known as it deserves to be.

    Have you tried Mary Berry's special apple cake? It's wonderful. You'll have to do a lot of swimming to burn off all those calories, Eiza!

  3. Hi Ann and Frances. Maybe we should do afternoon tea next time we have an MNW get-together. For those who don't know about MNW - it is Macmillan New Writers and we blog at

  4. Oh, apple cake sounds divine. OK, tea party for MNW authors, I think. And yes, if I'm doing a lot of swimming and building shelter, etc, I totally NEED lots of cake.

    Thanks for hosting me, Dee!