Welcome to Hannah Interviews the first in an occasional series where I interview authors I admire. The questions in each interview are based on the Proust Questionnaire and I hope they will offer an insight into each author and their books. For the first interview I am delighted to welcome the award-winning, bestselling historical novelist Ellie Midwood. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait. Ellie’s books have been recognized by the New Apple Awards and Readers’ Favourite Awards. Over to Ellie, and I hope you will enjoy the interview.
What are your favourite qualities in a man? – I like the so-called type A men: driven, hard-working, always trying to improve themselves; who are passionate about what they do; who can be both sensitive and yet firm and who of course will treat their girlfriend/spouse as an equal partner.
What are your favourite qualities in a woman? – Same as in a man, actually, haha 🙂 I like women who are strong, independent and can stand for themselves.
What do you appreciate the most in your friends? – Our discussions about history and politics that last for hours; that we challenge each other and help each other broaden our horizons; that they’re incredibly sweet, honest people; that we always have each other’s back; and that they don’t get mad if we don’t speak for weeks when I’m on my writing spree 🙂
What is your main fault? – Arrogance, I’d say. Every Leo’s fault, I have to note in my defense 🙂
What is your favourite pastime? – It’s simple: reading, writing, doing my research and yoga.
What is your idea of happiness? – In a physical sense – a remote cabin somewhere in the Alps with no people around where I can write my novels while enjoying the nature. In a more vague sense – if all people would stop fighting for their ideas and live in peace without trying to impose their laws/ideas/policies etc on everyone else. Simple like that, just living and minding their own business and contributing to the society in which everyone can coexist peacefully. That would be my ultimate idea of happiness.
If not yourself, who would you be? – Honestly, I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. I’m perfectly happy with my life/career choice/time that I live in etc. Maybe I could remain myself but travel back to the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s though? That would be amazing, because I’ve always been fascinated with that period of time.
What is your favourite colour and flower? – The flower is easy: I adore lilies! As for the color, it’s a tricky question. To wear, I love black, white and blush; I prefer gray/white colors for the interior of my apartment; and I like blue just to look at. So it depends I guess.
Who are your favourite painters and musicians? – I love French Impressionism, so all the painters belonging to the movement would be among my favorites. As for musicians, I love classical music, so Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, Tchaikovsky and other composers are on my permanent “to listen” list 🙂
Who are your favourite prose authors and poets? – I can’t enumerate all of them because the list will be too long, haha! Russian classics writers of course: Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky; Irene Nemirovsky and her wonderful novels about France; Fitzgerald and his incredibly beautiful language; Nabokov; Hemingway; Maupassant; Remarque – I really can go on and on! I’m not that much into poetry to be honest, but Charles Baudelaire wrote poems about quite unorthodox ideas for his time that I loved.
Who are your favourite heroes in fiction? – Elie Wiesel’s protagonists both in “Dawn” and “Day”. Those were novels unlike “Night”, so they considered to be fictional characters, however he wrote them with such raw emotion and feeling that I couldn’t stop thinking about them long after I finished both stories.
Who are your favourite heroines in fiction? – The “Anonymous” protagonist from “A Woman in Berlin” that tells a story of the atrocious rape of Berlin by the Red Army in 1945. That was actually a real diary of a real woman, and that made me admire her willpower and strength even more. I love tortured, broken characters who went through hell in their lives and yet remained so incredibly human. Those are my personal heroes.
Thank you, Ellie. You can learn more about Ellie’s books by following this Amazon link.