Author Interview - Michelle Peach
Author I draw inspiration from: There’s not one specific author. I draw inspiration from several authors. I am particularly fascinated with authors who write with a foreign setting. I was moved by the tragic and yet beautiful historical novel, The Island by Victoria Hislop. It is set on the island of Spinalonga near Crete and tells the story of a daughter discovering that her family’s history traces back to a deserted island which was formerly a leper colony.
Favorite place to read a book: I like reading in our all-season room. It’s screened in so that mosquitos don’t bite me to death and cozy even in the winter with a heater. I love the feeling of being outdoors, listening to nature and breathing fresh air.
Book character I’d like to be stuck in an elevator with: I would love to be stuck with Bridget Jones from Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, simply because I would prefer to be laughing at her antics and jokes than focusing on the fact that I was stuck in the elevator. I enjoyed the book as well as the movie especially as it was set in the 1990s in London, the same time that I lived there.
The moment I knew I wanted to become an author: I didn’t know until I started my first novel. I wrote diaries when I was very young and when I started to travel, I wrote intricate diaries and letters home but I didn’t believe think that I would ever write a novel. I was encouraged by my mother who always said I was a talented writer and later by friends. It took a lot of courage and hard work to produce my first fiction which was far more challenging than my journalistic style. Most definitely a labor of love.
Hardback, paperback, ebook or audiobook: I prefer paperback or hardback. I haven’t adapted to audio or ebook yet. I prefer the physical feel of turning pages rather than swiping to the left.
The last book I read: The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. I was drawn to this book because it’s an historical fiction based on a true story like Gazelle in the Shadows and I was intrigued to read a story of love and hope, when just the mere mention of Auschwitz conjures up a feeling of sheer of evil and horror. I loved the story of Lale end Gita and how he fell in love with her a first sight. This book was unforgettable and “unputadownable”.
Pen & paper or computer: I use both. I use the computer to write allowing my thoughts flood out but when it comes to editing many chapters I like to use pen and paper.
Book character I think I’d be best friends with: I think again Bridget Jones. She would make me laugh and I love to laugh. She reminds me of myself when I was single with her social awkwardness, anxieties and self-consciousness. But she has her strengths because she is kind, well-meaning and determined. I would love to know her now that she would be in her fifties. I believe she would be a great and loyal best friend.
If I wasn’t an author, I’d be a: I was and still am a stay-at-home mom which I love and am blessed to be so.
Favorite decade in fashion history: I love the fashion from the seventies, the era I grew up in with bell bottom trousers and floral blouses. I remember wearing a flared, high waist pair of corduroy trousers with a boldly, patterned blouse and vest for a church event and feeling very fashionable. I enjoy seeing the same fashion on my teenage girls now who enjoy the peasant style blouses, crochet waistcoats and Bohemian dresses with tassels and embroidery. It was a vibrant fashion which is close to my heart.
Place I’d most like to travel: I have traveled extensively in the Middle East, Asia and Europe but I have always wanted to travel to South America and learn about the history and culture, which I know little of, in countries such as Peru, Brazil and Argentina.
My signature drink: I’m not much of a consumer of alcohol but am drawn towards the idea of a concoction with peach Schnapps. I wonder why lol?!
Favorite artist: Honestly, I don’t have a favorite artist. My favourite form of art is dance and music and I have a varied taste of music from classical to modern music such as electronic dance music (EDM) which may surprise many people. I love music that can resonate and pulse within my body. I also have a varied love of dance from belly dancing, which I learned in the Middle East, to country style which I have learned a little of since living in America.
Number one on my bucket list: I have been fortunate to have seen some of the Wonders of the World; The Great Barrier Reef, Pyramids of Giza, Petra, Taj Mahal, Grand Canyon and the Roman Colosseum. I would love to travel with my husband to see more amazing sights in this world like the Great Wall of China and Machu Picchu.
Anything else you'd like to add: I hope the reader will enjoy learning about some of the culture, history and beauty of Syria in my story which, in many ways, has irrevocably changed due to the ongoing war. I find myself often thinking about the places I visited, saddened by the fact that much has been destroyed and about the kind people I met and whether they and their families are still alive. My deepest wish is that somehow Syria will one day miraculously return to be a country travelers can visit and be enthralled by the centuries of history and ancient cultures within its boundaries.
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