Alison Stuart, award winning Australian author, spoke to Renée about her latest book, And Then Mine Enemy: A Romantic Saga of the English Civil War (Feathers in the Wind). Alison has published seven full length historical romances and a collection of short stories. She tends towards writing about soldier heroes in history, a combination of interests drawn from her varied career as a lawyer in the military and fire services and her father’s love of history.
Thank you so much for hosting me today and congratulations on your soon-to-be released debut novel. That is so exciting!
Your new book, And Then Mine Enemy, is out now. What was the inspiration for the story?
Unlike many of my stories there is no one thing I can say was the inspiration. I have harboured an interest in the English Civil War all my life and I wanted to tell a story that ran the sweep of the years 1642 – 5 and looked at the impact of civil war on one divided family. And Then Mine Enemy is the first book in a two-book series (Feathers in the Wind) spanning the years of the English Civil War from 1642- 1645.
What is the most rewarding thing that your writing career has given you?
Rewards come in many shapes and guises and I have been lucky to have received quite a few award nominations for my stories but by far the greatest reward is an email from a reader (preferably a total stranger!) telling me how much she (or he) enjoyed my story – particularly if it reduced them to tears or kept them awake until 2.00am.
What place would you most like to visit?
I am very fortunate to be quite well travelled so have crossed many places off the bucket list. I would still love to go to Egypt and also to return to the land of my birth, Kenya.
If you could be one of your characters – Who would you be? And why?
I’m not sure I want to be one of my characters! I give them far too much of a hard life! However, of all my heroines, probably Jess from Secrets in Time, mostly because she lives in the twentieth century and has a flushing toilet!
If you could live in a book, which book would it be?
You had me scanning my bookshelves which made me realise I have a rather dark and murderous taste in reading so I will go back to one of my own books. Probably the most comfortable book to live in would be Lord Somerton’s Heir (my one and only Regency). Brantstone Hall, by all accounts, appears to be extremely well appointed and comfortable and no one is waging a war at its door step!
About And Then Mine Enemy
A family ripped apart in a country divided by war . . .
England 1642: Hardened mercenary, Adam Coulter returns to England sickened by violence, seeking only peace, but he finds England on the brink of civil war. He has seen first-hand what that will mean for every man, woman and child and wants no part of it.
King or Parliament? Neutrality is not an option and Adam can only be true to his conscience, not the dictates of his family.
Having escaped a loveless marriage, Perdita Gray has found much needed sanctuary and the love of a good man, but her fragile world begins to crumble as Adam Coulter bursts into her life. This stranger brings not only the reality of war to her doorstep but reignites an old family feud, threatening everything and everyone she holds dear.
As the war and family tensions collide around them, Adam and Perdita are torn between old loyalties and a growing attraction that must be resisted.
And Then Mine Enemy is out now. You can order it here: