~Welcome to the podium at Yet Another Period Drama Blog, Maribeth! Have some tea and a biscuit to calm your nerves and tell us a little bit about yourself. Name, general age-ish (feel free to be as vague as you like), favorite type of weather, least favorite color, favorite way to relax in the evenings, and what got you started blogging. Ready, steady, go!
Ah, thank you for the tea and biscuit, that’s quite delightful. And thank you for asking me for this interview--I’m quite honored!
My real name is Maribeth, although I do go by the pseudonym “The Patriette” on Tumblr, just so ya know. I’m 22 years old, making me older than every Jane Austen heroine except Anne Elliot. I love cool, crisp autumn afternoons and dislike chartreuse. Currently, my favorite ways to relax in the evenings are to write Superman fanfiction OR watch Sherlock--though one could argue that the latter isn’t at all relaxing and never will be.
My initial reason for blogging is a little embarrassing because my behavior at that time is a now a source of consternation for me . . . but here goes. I started my blog in order to support my preferred presidential candidate in late 2011, and unfortunately my enthusiasm for “the cause” got out of hand. In spite of this I learned a lot from the experience, and by the time the election was over I was happily blogging about my own life and interests. Now I don’t talk about politics AT ALL and for that we are all eternally grateful. It’s NOT your stereotypical stay-at-home-daughter blog devoted solely to arts-and-crafts and one’s singlehood, but hopefully it’s funny, fun, and an encouragement to others.
~And it totally is. People, go check out her blog! So now that we know a little bit more about you, let’s ask some bookish questions. Tell us about three books that you loved when you were little-- that is, under ten or so.
Hmm. Well, my favorite book when I was really little was Go, Dog, Go! It was a Dr. Seuss book and my dad read it to me over and over again. When I was a little older two of my favorites were Sarah, Plain and Tall and an abridged version of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne.
~Ooh, I had Go, Dog, Go! memorized when I was a wee young thing. :D You are, I believe, a writer as well as a reader. What genre of book do you write? Tell us a little about it.
I always feel a little sheepish when I’m asked about my book’s genre. I’ll tell them something like, “Well, it’s science fiction--but it’s not like Star Trek, it’s more like Star Wars, but without the monsters.” And then they look at me like I’ve lost my mind, hee-hee! Actually, the genre is called “space opera,” which, according to Wikipedia, “is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes romantic, often melodramatic adventure, set mainly or entirely in outer space.”
My story, to be brief, is about two young people--a soldier and a princess--who fight against the political and moral decay in their galaxy. There’s a big prophecy that revolves around the princess (and maybe around the soldier? But I shall not give away too many spoilers . . .) and there’s an allegorical High Emperor who represents Jesus, and plenty of battles. So far I have complete drafts of the first two books; the third book is in pre-production.
~If you could recommend just one biography to someone, what would it be?
Hmm . . . I’m torn between biographies of Anne Boleyn and Raoul Wallenberg . . . but I think I’m going to recommend Wallenberg: Missing Hero by Kati Marton, only because some of the situations in any Anne Boleyn biographies may be a bit heavy for younger readers. Either character is well-worth researching, though. Wallenberg was a hero of the Holocaust who was, interestingly enough, inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, while Queen Anne is probably the most maligned heroine of the Reformation.
~I remember being quite pleased when I first visited your blog and found you were a fellow Anne Boleyn fan... now I want to check out that biography! :D What are some of your favorite quotes about books?
“Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.”--G.K. Chesterton
“Books! People never really stop loving books. 51st century. By now you’ve got holovids, direct-to-brain downloads, fiction mist, but you need the smell. The smell of books, Donna--deep breath!”--the Tenth Doctor
“My mind is my weapon . . . and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”--Game of Thrones (which I have NOT read, but I saw this quote on Pinterest and absolutely loved it)
And even though this is more about storytelling in general, my all-time-favorite quote about literature is this one from G.K. Chesterton: “Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be defeated.”
I just finished The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which, in my opinion, is the finest of the Sherlock Holmes novels. YES, I would definitely recommend it! You’d have to read at least A Study In Scarlet first in order to get the necessary background about Holmes and Dr. Watson, so it’s not really a stand-alone. The mystery, however, was brilliantly told and Sherlock and John were especially heroic.
~Did you discover any good new authors in the last year? Which of their books did you like best?
I discovered Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and have thoroughly enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes stories. I also discovered N.D. Wilson and his philosophical/theological masterpiece, Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl.
~Quick! First inspirational quote from a book, off the top of your head!
“Remember that all worlds draw to an end, and that noble death is a treasure which no one is too poor to buy.”--from C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle.
~What is your favorite period in history to read about?
World War II. It’s fascinated me since I was little, thanks to my dad’s interest in it, and many of my historical heroes come from that time period (like King George VI & Queen Elizabeth, Raoul Wallenberg, Corrie ten Boom, Douglas MacArthur, and Winston Churchill).
~What would be your response to someone who told you she never read books?
“What is it like in your funny little brain? It must be so boring.”
~GIVE THE GIRL POINTS FOR A SHERLOCK QUOTE. *high five* If you were going to be stuck in an airport for three days and could only bring three books with you (and no other source of entertainment), what three books would you choose?
The idea of being stuck in an airport for three days and with only three books is enough to send shivers of horror up my spine. I’d take my Bible, of course . . . and then I’d take Les Miserables and probably one of the Lord of the Rings books. I’m a fast reader so I’d need to take some books I know I couldn’t possibly finish in three days.
~What is the best children’s book you’ve read (not reread) in the last few months? We all know there’s no shame in reading good children’s literature-- come on, spill.
None. Honestly and truthfully. Sorry!
~If you could have a fictional side character over for tea in the nearish future, who would you choose and why?
As of March 2014, I’d have to say John Watson. I think we’d get on splendidly, and I reckon he could teach me a thing or two about having patience with difficult personalities. Ahem.
~Quick, name a book you love that begins with B.
The Borrowed House by Hilda van Stockum. (I know the book title technically begins with “The,” but they stick the “The” at the end of most book indexes, don’t they? Borrowed House, The.) It’s a World War II novel about a German girl living in Holland, which gives it an interesting perspective, and the characters are so vivid!
~And now... recommend six titles for the lovely readers of this blog. Any titles. Six of ‘em. Do it. Now. (No, I’m not bossy.)
The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter (One of my favorite books ever! Set post-World War I, about a young soldier who finds a new life purpose on the coast of California. I’ve read this one several times and my mom read it aloud to our entire family last summer.)
Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery (my new favorite book in the Anne series)
The Giver by Lois Lowry (another of our family’s favorites about a dystopian community where the government runs everyone’s lives)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (a delightful epistolary novel set in post-World War II, but not recommended for younger readers)
The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (probably my favorite of the Narnia books)
Anne Boleyn: A New Life of England’s Tragic Queen by Joanna Denny (ah-ha, got my chance to put in a plug for this one! Not for younger readers, but it’s the best biography of my heroine I’ve read so far.)
Thanks so much for joining us today, Maribeth! Isn't she fabulously fun, peeps? You can go check out her blog here-- if you're fond of a good witty read about great books, great movies, great musicals and great fictional characters, you're in for a real treat!