Hello my dear friends! We are back! And I am delighted to welcome back first time guest Amanda McCabe! She is another generous soul who offered to help us celebrate ten years of blogging. Whew – ten years! We’re trying … Anyway! Amanda chose to answer my silly questions, so I hope you enjoy!
What was your favorite book as a child? (Why?) And what is your favorite book now?
The first book I remember reading for myself was a picture book about a princess who grew REALLY long hair, and it became a total mess! I don’t remember the title, but I do remember the illustrations, very 1960s. I also loved the Eloise books, a girl who got to make mischief in a fancy hotel was, I thought, living one’s best kid life. It’s so hard to narrow down favorite books now! But I’ve found myself doing lots of re-reading in this weird year, so Austen, Jane Eyre*, old-school romances, English mysteries set in country houses. If I could only read one book forever, this might sound weird, but it could be War and Peace. An old teacher of mine said it has “all genres of book in one” (which it does!), so it would keep me busy for a long time
If you could create any movie mash up – which films would you combine?
Jane Eyre and a Christie novel! She’d make a great detective
What inanimate object would you eat if it was safe to do?
Interesting question!! When I was a kid, there was a beautiful old Victorian house down the street from my grandmother that looked like it was made of whipped cream icing. It seemed like it would be very yummy
What is the first thing you learned how to cook? Do you have a go-to dish? And/or a signature dish? (What makes it so?)
My husband would say I never did learn to cook, lol. It’s true that I’m not great at it (not enough patience), but he’s wrong because I’ve managed to learn to make a few reasonably tasty dishes to keep myself alive, and I enjoy baking. Thank heavens for slow cookers! The first thing I learned was a lemon pudding pie from my grandmother (a wonderful cook), and I make a nice hummus dip to take to parties
What was your first job? What is/was the most interesting job you’ve had?
My first job was a summer gig in high school, helping out at an assisted living center at lunchtime! I loved meeting the people and hearing their stories. My favorite job was at a bookstore (of course!), but I’ve also worked in a university library, a public library, at a newspaper, and announcing at a classical music radio station. I’ve actually had almost all enjoyable (to me, anyway) jobs with nice people, which is lucky
Which fairy tale would you most like to be in? And the least?
Though I loved reading fairy tales as a kid (my mom found me a beautifully illustrated volume of the real Grimms fairy tales, and I loved its gruesome details!), but I’m not sure I ever wanted to live in one until the Disney movies. Of course I love Beauty and the Beast and her library! Belle is so brave. Cinderella always seemed a bit dull to me, but I’ve come to appreciate her fashion sense and her kindness. And they’re rich inspiration for writing
What is the most embarrassing thing to happen to you at a conference?
I’m not sure! I tend to be shy at conferences, too scared to say anything too embarrassing, lol, but I often feel mortified at being tongue-tied. And I want to go all squealy fan-girl at least once a day. Sigh–I miss conferences this year
What is the coolest thing that has ever happened to you at a conference?
Winning an award!! It’s easy to get beset with doubts writing alone all day, and a minute of validation doesn’t last long, but it’s so nice while it’s happening. And hearing that someone besides my mother reads my books. (except my mom doesn’t often read my books…)
You’re an actor or participant in a TV show for a season. Which show are you picking and what is your role?
I’d like to be an investigator on Midsomer Murders! The murders are so bizarre, but they’re so nonchalant about it. “She was killed getting crushed by a giant wheel of cheese? Hmmm.” It would be hard not to giggle, though. Or maybe Downton Abbey, even though it’s off the air. I’d LOVE to wear those clothes
What is the most interesting or oddest “fun fact” you know? If you do research for your books, what’s the most interesting thing you’ve come across?
One thing I’m always amazed by is how many “modern” words are very old! I first realized this studying Chaucer in college. Language fascinates me. (But you couldn’t use many of those words in historical fiction, many readers would assume you were “incorrect” and would send salty emails about it). I also have found, when researching 16th century everyday lives, that they had an interesting sleep cycle. (as an insomniac, I may have to try it). They would go to sleep soon after sundown, sleep a few hours, then get up for a few more hours, think, have sex, hang out, whatever, then go back to sleep until morning, as opposed to our “lie down and get 8 hours sleep straight” idea, which doesn’t work for some of us!
You must become a mythological creature. What combination of 3 or more animals are you? How are you put together? And what would your new mythological creature name be?
Fascinating!! I had to turn to my D&D playing husband for help here. I decided on sphinx (because I like mysteries), mermaid (I like swimming and sea chanties!), and fairy because I like sparkly wings.
*Sorry to interrupt but I just had to say this kindle copy of Jane Eyre is only $0.60 right now, which is a price I don’t think I’ve ever seen for any ebook.
Anyway, thanks for playing, Amanda! I know you’re all curious what the prize is … and I have to let you know, I’m intrigued! And wish that I could enter :P. Amanda is giving away a “French themed gift basket!” *Grabby hands*
And how do you enter to win? Answer her question: If you could travel right now (even through time) where would you go???
*ETA: due to the shipping costs etc the gift basket is for US only. Thank you for your understanding!