An Alternative Author Interview:
TCL’s Countdown Questions.
This week I’m featuring author
Meg Waite Clayton!
When I received approved for the ARC of the novel “The Wednesday Daughters” back in 2013 (when I was just a novice blogger) I didn’t know it was a sequel. I don’t think that put me at any advantage, and I really enjoyed the book. That’s why when I saw the ARC for “The Race for Paris” I grabbed it, and loved it! I was therefore excited to get the ARC for her latest novel, “The Last Train to London” and WOAH Boy (you can expect to see that one on my “top five” list for 2019)! I know she’s out and about promoting this book, so I’m thrilled that Meg so generously took time out of her obviously busy schedule to answer my questions. Let’s see what she says…
- If you could visit five (5) places you’ve never been, where would you go and why?
Machu Picchu — Ever since I first read the Pablo Neruda poem “The Heights of Machu Picchu,” I have wanted to visit this incredible ancient city with its height and beauty and the sheer ingenuity that allowed it to be erected so long ago. My only “novels in the drawer” are a pair of mysteries I wrote very early on, one of which is set in Machu Picchu.
Jerusalem — for all the obvious reasons, but also because a friend tells me it is more beautiful than Paris. And Paris is so beautiful, that to see a city even more so would be amazing.
Victoria Falls — I am a waterfall fanatic, and these are so dramatic.
Fjordland, New Zealand — for the sheer beauty of it. This one, I have the plane tickets to!
St. Petersburg, Russia — Let’s just say one of my all-time favorite novels is War and Peace.
(And I’ll add that although it isn’t a place, exactly, I would love to ride on The Orient Express. I grew up reading Agatha Christie, and what we grew up reading is deeply inside us as writers.)
- Name four (4) foods or dishes that you enjoy so much that they’ve practically become part of your personality.
Brownies — I have a recipe that once garnered me a marriage proposal. 🙂
Steel Cut Oatmeal — which I am here to tell you, they do not have in Paris. I have it for breakfast nearly every morning. The slow-cooked kind.
Pecan Pie — I am the family pie-maker. I actually have a pie carrier that my sis-in-law gave me. I had birthday pies rather than birthday cakes even when I was a kid. And pecan pie … it’s not just for breakfast anymore. 🙂
The Lobster Risotto at Chinois on Main — I haven’t eaten this since we left Los Angeles decades ago, but it is still the best dish I have ever tasted.
- There is the past, the present, and the future – if you could choose, which of these three (3) would you prefer to live in, and why?
I suppose the future, as it would mean a long life! And I love my life despite the many challenges we face today. So, I suppose it’s odd that I live, literarily, in the past? But I think my historical fiction is cautionary for the future, my way of trying to do what I can to make the future better than the present or the past.
- Best and worst – you choose which – name two (2) of either your best moments of your life, worst moments of your life, or one of each.
Best: December 22, 1989 and May 15, 1992. Those are the days my sons Chris and Nick were born.
- Name one (1) book you’ve read in the past year (or so) that you wish you had written, and why.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I read it years ago, but reread it several times in the process of writing The Last Train to London. I did everything I could to see how it was written and why it is so incredible. It’s short chapters, rotating points of view, sense of place, gentle language … this is what I aspired to as I wrote my own novel.
Thanks Meg! Interesting…. I’m a waterfall fanatic, too. Also, I hope you can get to Jerusalem one day, so I can host you for the visit!
Meg was born in Washington D.C., and has since lived in Kansas City, the Chicago area (Wheeling, Palatine, Northbrook), Los Angeles (Sierra Madre, West Hollywood, Santa Monica), Ann Arbor, Baltimore, Nashville, Santa Barbara and Palo Alto. She love to travel, so her books tend to be set in places she find fascinating: France for The Race for Paris, the English Lakes for The Wednesday Daughters, Ann Arbor and the Chesapeake for The Four Ms. Bradwells, Silicon Valley for The Wednesday Sisters, and the horse country of Maryland for The Language of Light. For Beautiful Exiles the list is long but includes in Key West, Sun Valley, New York, and St. Louis, as well as Cuba, Spain, China, France, England, Czechoslovakia, and Sweden.
The Last Train to London is set in Vienna, Austria, and in England, the Netherlands, Germany, and (very briefly) Paris. This novel is the September Indie Next pick (Harper Collins, and coming in a total of 20 editions in nineteen languages).
“An absolutely fascinating, beautifully rendered story of love, loss, and heroism.” – Kristin Hannah, #1 bestselling author of The Great Alone and The Nightingale.