This week’s Inheritance Books are from romance and fellow cake aficionado, Jenni Fletcher. Welcome to Inheritance Books, Jenni. Have a biscuit. Why don’t you set things off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I’m from Aberdeenshire, but now live in East Yorkshire with my family. I spent seven years at university studying English and never wanted to leave so becoming a writer seemed like a good solution. I could happily spend every day in a library, although I spent a couple of years working in various admin jobs, writing in my spare time. My favourite hobby is baking and, because I have to do exercise occasionally, I like mountain biking and hiking. I also teach creative writing part-time.
Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?
My mother gave me her copy of Here be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman when I was fifteen. She was a history teacher so there were always a lot of historical novels in our house, and she knew I liked the Medieval era. It’s all about King John and Llewellyn the Great and I remember being absolutely engrossed, reading until 3am on a school night. Katharine by Anya Seton was the first historical novel I ever read, but Here Be Dragons is the one that made me fall in love with the genre. Fortunately, my mum also had most of Penman’s other novels so they kept me busy for a while. Then we got to have discussions about Simon de Montfort and Welsh history over cake – I was that kind of rebellious teenager!
That sounds like a lovely discussion to get into. Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?
I’m a bit wary about recommending books to other people because I think we should all read whatever we want, BUT having said that,The Crimson Rooms by Katharine McMahon is one of my all-time favourites so I’d leave it as an example of just how wonderful and thought-provoking a book can be. It’s a combination of historical (it’s set just after WWI and looks at the psychological and practical impact of the war on women), crime (there’s a murder), and romance novel (with a truly gorgeous, but very flawed hero). It also has a sad ending, which is absolutely necessary to the plot and I’m so glad that the author wasn’t forced to write a happy one. I think you can tell when that’s happened and it can undermine the whole book. Fortunately, in this case there’s a sequel (The Woman in the Picture) which allows for a HEA eventually. So this is my ‘you really should read this book, book‘ – I hope to write one just like it someday.
Oh, and if I’m allowed just one other, Horton Hears a Who by Dr Seuss. It’s my favourite book to read to my children at bedtime and I quote it way too often.
Oh, sneaky, getting an extra book in! But who doesn’t like Dr Seuss?!
Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Jenni. All the best with your new book … and huge congratulations for being shortlisted for a RoNA award with Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquess.
You can find out more about Jenni on her website, or tweet pictures of cake to her on Twitter (@jenniauthor). Her latest book The Unconventional Countess is available to buy now.