This week’s Inheritance Books are from fellow ChocLiteer Laura E James. If you haven’t read any of Laura’s books before, I’d say they are immersive and harrowing romances – a bit like Jodi Picoult, but British. I’m a fan.
Hi Rhoda and thank you for inviting to chat about my Inheritance Books.
It’s a pleasure! Take a seat. Would you like a cuppa? Or a slice of cheesecake?
Now that we’re comfy, please, tell us a bit about yourself.
I write romantic fiction for Choc Lit and due to submitting short stories about chocolate and cakes for the fab Choc Lit anthologies, I’m learning to bake cupcakes and muffins. I pride myself on not poisoning anyone with my cooking. I’m not known for my domestic skills and if I lived the life of Riley, I’d employ a chef. And possibly a gardener. Maybe a masseuse.
Which book have you inherited from the generation above? Why is it special?
My mum was such an avid reader, I have many of her books on my shelf. What immediately springs to mind however, is a collection of small, blue, hardback classics, published by Oxford University Press. They include titles such as Gulliver’s Travels, Robinson Crusoe, and Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales. I was intrigued by these books ‒ they were perfect for me to hold in my child-sized hand, but as the pages were fragile, I was allowed to look at the books under supervision only. I’ve never lost my love for fairy tales. Or for the joke about the only person who gets their work done by Friday is Robinson Crusoe …
The book that sits nearby is A. A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young. I loved this. My mum would read poems from it, our favourite being about Mary Jane, called Rice Pudding, which also happens to be my favourite dessert. Mum and I were inspired to make up our own funny rhymes. We spent many times at the kitchen sink, washing the dishes, coming up with daft limericks and songs. Maybe that’s why I’m most comfortable writing in my kitchen.
Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?
Enid Blyton’s The Folk of the Faraway Tree has stayed with me since the first time I turned page one. What marvellous characters and adventures ‒ Moonface, Dame Slap, Saucepanman ‒ and this incredible tree, where all these folk reside, and where the land at the top changes on a regular basis. Who wouldn’t want to go there? An absolute classic and one I have already passed to my daughter. I reserve the right to borrow it at short notice.
I read these to my daughter last year. The new editions have been updated to account for 21st century tastes, so Dame Slap is now Dame Snap and no one gets punched. They’re still just as magical as they always were.
Thanks for sharing your Inheritance Books with us Laura, best of luck with your new book.