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Author Interview: Sharon Kay Penman (page 4)

by Wendy Zollo

Off the cuff I asked her, "If you could walk in the shoes of any historical figure in history, regardless of gender, whom would you choose?"

Sharon said, "That is a difficult question. If I could live a single day as a historical figure, then the list is endless: Elizabeth Tudor, Cleopatra, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Joanna, Nell de Monfort, Sally Hemmings, Anne Boleyn, the Empress Maude, Anne Neville, Katherine Swynford, maybe even Boudicca or Boadica, the rebel Briton queen with the unpronounceable name. Despite your 'regardless of gender' my natural instinct was to envision myself in female form. If I had to live my entire life as any of these women, I think I'd pass on that; too many of them came to unfortunate ends. With respect to male historical figures, I am fascinated by almost all of the Plantagenet kings, of course, and Simon de Monfort and the Welsh princes and Napoleon and the Welsh pirate Henry Morgan and Danton and Crazy Horse and--well, I could keep reeling off names until Kingdom Come."

So what's next for Sharon? "My next project is another medieval mystery, Dragon's Lair, in which I send Justin de Quincy into Wales and he crosses paths - and possibly swords - with the young Llewelyn ab Iorwerth of Here Be Dragons. And then I'll wind up the Saints trilogy with The Devil's Brood. After that I'm open to suggestions!"

-- @2002 Wendy Zollo


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