Please enjoy this post and be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post. One winner will receive a copy of The Prodigal Son and another winner will receive a Kindle eBook bundle of Books One - Three.
Take it away, Anna...
First of all, thank you dear Amy for allowing me to post on your blog! I wish I could say I’ve kept it short and sweet, but you know me too well by now to believe that, so I might just as well confess straight off that this is not short. Nor is it all that sweet, but I hope you’ll find it entertaining anyway. When I was a child, I ran around with a wooden shield and sword, pretending to be a knight. Other children ran around playing at being fire-fighters, or doctors, or astronauts, or… Now and then, I’d be able to round up enough of my friends for a couple of hours of playing at being Robin Hood, or crusaders – or Spanish conquistadores – but mostly they’d prefer their games and I’d stick to mine.
We were all time travelling in a fashion, but where my contemporaries were time travelling FORWARD – to impending adulthood – I always time travelled backwards. I still do, and while I haven’t gone to the lengths one of my dearest friends has done (she has driven from stone circle to stone circle in Scotland, hoping that maybe, maybe the stones will sing for her and transport her two hundred years backwards in time – blame Diana Gabaldon for that), I tend to approach old monoliths, absurdly symmetrical rock formations and all sorts of crossroads with certain caution. After all, you never know; maybe those time nodes I write about do exist, places where the warp of time is frayed and fragile, thereby allowing the unsuspecting person to fall to another time, another place.
The romantic me would welcome being jettisoned hundreds of years backwards in time. The romantic me would prefer if such a time journey also shaved some decades off my own age, allowing me to land young and fresh wherever I ended up. Once there, the romantic me of course assumes a number of adventures, all of them ending with a happily ever after with the man of my dreams. (As a side-note, it must perhaps be clarified that I am very happily married to a man who is grounded in the here and now, but who finds my imaginative excursions into the past entertaining rather than weird. Lucky me!)
The rational me is less enthused by the prospect of ending up in, let’s say, the 16th century. It would be dirty and cold, it would be cramped and smelly, there would be lice and mice, the bread would taste of yeast and mould, the food would be depressingly similar day after day, and, as a woman, I’d be at the mercy of my man. Hmm. So why, one wonder, does the concept of travelling through time exert such a pull on me?
For a start, it is pretty obvious that the romantic me is stronger than the rational me. Also, being a modern woman raised in a home where both parents made it clear that only the sky was my limit, I am probably deluded enough to assume that IF I were to end up in Tudor England, I would probably succeed in changing things in my immediate surroundings so as to find them acceptable. My man would not hit me – he wouldn’t dare! – he would value my opinion, he would, by some miracle, be very much into baths and be rich enough to change shirts every third day or so.
The knowledgeable reader is already chuckling; I am describing an anomaly, as men in Tudor times didn’t wash much more than face and hands on a daily basis, rarely cleaned their teeth, wore their clothes well beyond their laundry date, and as a matter of course disciplined their wives – if it was considered necessary. Okay, so we skip Tudor England and go to… Ah; there’s the rub! Wherever you go, female emancipation is a relatively novel concept, with most traditional societies built around the concept of the man as the head of the family.
Of course, in real life I believe the women played a far more central part than that of being an obedient and meek spouse. Life was tough, requiring a couple to work as a team to ensure the survival of their children – and of themselves. Also, I do believe most people strive for some sort of accord in their domestic arrangements, if nothing else because it makes home life so much nicer, and so the pragmatic man married to a firebrand woman would strive to channel that energy rather than douse it.
Since some years back, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will probably never time travel – not in real life. Which is why I have Alex Lind, the heroine in The Graham Saga, do so in my stead.
“Thanks a lot,” she mutters.
A modern woman, well-educated and successful, Alex is yanked out of her time (2002) and propelled through time, landing at the feet of a most surprised Matthew Graham. Adapting to an existence in the 17th century is tough – and being a computer expert is of no obvious value.
“Tell me about it.” Alex studies her hands, her dirty apron, and grimaces in the direction of the lowing cows.
“I could write you back,” I say.
Alex raises her brows. I nod, defeated. I could write Alex back to her time, but that would mean separating her from Matthew, and that, dear reader, would be an amputation neither of them would survive. Not now, not now that they have found each other and moulded together, two halves combining into a perfect whole.
“Mind you, he’s a tad old-fashioned at times,” Alex says, smiling in the general direction of her husband, a silhouetted shape against the orange evening skies. As if he heard her, Matthew straightens up, raising one arm in a wave. Alex is already on her feet, moving towards him with the grace and speed of a swallow in flight.
So far, I’ve published three books in The Graham Saga. In celebration of this, I am offering the latest as a paperback giveaway, and all three of them (one complete set) as Kindle books.
The Graham Saga
Book One: A Rip in the Veil
Book Two: Like Chaff in the Wind
Book Three: The Prodigal Son
About the Author
I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.
I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.
I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.
For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s WEBSITE.
Passages to the Past has two lovely giveaways courtesy of Anna. Both are open internationally and ends on August 16. To enter, please complete the form below. Good luck!
- One winner will receive a paperback copy of The Prodigal Son
- One winner will receive a Kindle eBook Bundle of all three books
a Rafflecopter giveaway