I’m delighted to welcome one of my favourite guests author Carol Hedges to this new feature of Afternoon Tea With Mrs Bloggs.
Carol’s wonderful Victorian Detective series.
Today Carol is answering a few Q&A questions in between a good gossip over the tea cups.
When were you happiest?
I can cite several pivotal moments: the birth of my daughter (well, slightly AFTER the birth), her wedding day,when I first saw both of my grandchildren. However, as this is a book blog, I’d have to say: receiving the copies of the Victorian Detectives and seeing the lovely new covers for the first time under my own imprint Little G books..
What is your greatest fear?
I have now had THREE breast cancer operations. I try not to fear the cancer returning …. but sometimes I do.
Which is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I have an unfortunate tendency to open my mouth before engaging my brain
Which is the trait you most deplore in others?
What was your most embarrassing moment?
I was 14 and arranged to go swimming at the local pool with friends. Because I had very fair skin, I didn’t tan ( this was the era of lying in the sun and getting as tanned as one could) so I bought some fake tan and applied it. Badly. It was the sort that developed overnight and when I woke up, I was covered in brown and white streaks. All over. Scrubbing with floor cleaner didn’t remove it. Never been so embarrassed in my life. It gets mentioned at every reunion of the ‘class of 1968’. Still can’t see the funny side..
What’s the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
Oh, probably my ex-agent, who read the first draft of Diamonds & Dust, and told me it was such rubbish that it wasn’t worth sending out to publishers. Personal insults can be brushed off, but that sent me into a spiral of self-doubt and depression for months.
What is your most treasured possession?
I have a wonderful close-up picture of my granddaughter, age 2, peering up at me, a roguish twinkle in her eye. It came with me to hospital when I had my mastectomy, was on my bedside table all during the radiotherapy, and it will be the last thing I shall look at, as my lights finally go out. Always lifts my heart and makes me smile.
If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would it be?
I’d love to see a Dodo! Sadly, the Victorians shot the last one.
What’s the worst job you’ve done?
I worked for John Lewis while I was at university.One Saturday, the Gift Wrap dept was so short-staffed, they sent out an urgent appeal for help. Muggins was volunteered. I am to pretty paper and sellotape what the Luddites were to mechanised looms. After an hour, the Gift Wrap department decided they weren’t that desperate after all, and sent me back to pots and pans.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I’d go back to the 1860s ~ and to London, where all 5 Victorian Detective books are set. Although I spent ages and ages researching, using contemporary accounts, reading Dickens, visiting London,there is still so much I’m sure I don’t ‘get’: the pace of life, the street smells, the people smells! The way people spoke. It’s all too far back to replicate exactly. I’d love to spend a day walking the streets and just watching what actually went on.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Staying in the EU. I have recently got my family’s German citizenship restored (it was removed by Hitler’s government), so I feel I am part of Europe again.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
You think I’m going to say self-publishing the 5 books, don’t you? Nope. My daughter is my greatest achievement.. She has done so much in her life (including producing my 2 adorbs grandchildren). I am so proud of her.There are so many unrealistic things expected from young women today, but she manages to keep all the career, marriage, children balls successfully spinning.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
You can’t live up to or down to other people’s expectations. So don’t bother.
Carol, thanks so much for visiting and sharing a cuppa with me today
Amazon page: amazon.co.uk/Carol-Hedges/e…
About Carol Hedges
Carol Hedges is the successful author of fifteen novels for teenagers and adults. Her books have been shortlisted for various prizes: her YA novel Jigsaw was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal and her historical novel Diamonds & Dust was listed for the 2013 CWA Historical Dagger. She is a cancer survivor, a vintage car driver, a cat owner and a doting grandma. She is currently writing the fifth book in her Victorian Crime series. She blogs on her website http://carolhedges.blogspot.com and posts on Facebook and Twitter about her life, her writing and minding her small granddaughter.