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Monday, 1 October 2012

Medievalist Roseanne Lortz chooses her Desert Island Books

Welcome to my blog today the last of my Desert Island guests Roseanne Lortz - a medievalist and historical fiction enthusiast. She will be minding my island whilst I am a guest at the following blogs: Dizzy C's Little Book Blog where you can read and extract of THE GILDED LILY and enter to win one of two copies,and at Hoydens and Firebrands with my post on the fascinating Old London Bridge

Roseanne says, "Ever since I was a little girl, I've always had one or two half-finished stories in the works. When I was around eleven years old, I presented my version of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" fable to our homeschool group. It was renamed "The Ant Who Cried Wolf," and I had rewritten the characters as ants, aphids, and ladybugs. The story was well-received, and one of the ladies there said it would be a shame if I didn't turn out to be a writer when I grew up.

It wasn't until I went to college that I knew I wanted to write about history. Mr. Chris Schlect, my history professor, inspired me with a love of historical research and primary sources. During my senior year, I wrote a hundred page thesis. While my fellow classmates groaned and agonized over their theses, I found (to my surprise) that writing mine was a lot of fun! I savored my sources, raced through my writing, and even derived a mysterious satisfaction from formulating footnotes. Loving to write stories and loving historical research turns out to be a great combination for writing historical fiction.

I'm afraid Rosanne will have to stop being a mum to her three boys for a while and enjoy a bit of relaxation under my shady palm trees. Can't be bad!

Here are Rosanne's choises:
For classics, I would choose "The Brothers Karamazov" by Dostoevsky. It's long--which would be a plus since I'm going to have plenty of time on my hands. The story is beautifully crafted, the characters are memorable, and (in case my misfortunes cause me to wax philosophical) it deals with timeless issues like the problem of evil in the world.

For contemporary books, I would choose "The Big Over Easy" by Jasper Fforde. It's one of his Nursery Crime books and features Detective Jack Spratt trying to solve the mystery of who did in Humpty Dumpty. It is chock full of hilarious allusions to classic nursery rhymes, and I figure if I'm going to be marooned indefinitely, I might as well have something to laugh at.

For nonfiction, I would choose C.S. Lewis' autobiographical book "Surprised by Joy." His description of the innate human longing for joy is one of the most beautiful and true things I have ever read.

Great choices, Rosanne. Surprised by Joy is a classic and one I might consider taking myself. After all, on a Desert Island there would be plenty of time to consider the human condition. Details of Rosanne's latest book are below, or visit her blog


A tale of arms, of death, of love, and of honour. Set against the turbulent backdrop of the Hundred Years' War, I Serve chronicles the story of Sir John Potenhale. A young Englishman of lowly birth, Potenhale wins his way to knighthood on the fields of France. He enters the service of Edward, the Black Prince of Wales, and immerses himself in a stormy world of war, politics, and romantic intrigue. 

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