I’m a huge fan of historical fiction and live in East Anglia so when Jan Surasky got in touch about her writing I simply had to invite her to stay in with me to tell me more.
Staying in with Jan Surasky
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Jan. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Thank you for inviting me. It is an honor. You have a very cozy place here.
That’s very kind of you! Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I have brought my historical novel Rage Against the Dying Light. It is the story of Celtic Queen Boudicca who is the first known woman in history to stand up against invading Romans who have harmed her and her young daughters instead of meekly succumbing to Roman rule. I have brought the novel because although Boudicca lived in the first century she could have been you or me. She fought as a woman protecting what she loved and not as a queen.
(Wonderful subject for a book Jan. I happen to live quite close to where she did so I’m intrigued by Rage Against the Dying Light.)
What can we expect from an evening in with Rage Against the Dying Light?
I think you can expect a well-written book, at least that is what I hear from my readers. Many have mentioned that they feel like they are in first century England because I have taken time to put them there with descriptions that should be right on the mark. They can smell the beautiful wildflowers that were so much a part of Boudicca’s youth as she rode her beautiful white pony through the pastures beneath the castle where she lived as a princess and taste the wonderful food she packed to picnic among the trees of the nearby forests.
But, the story is of course the most important. Boudicca’s stand against the Romans has been celebrated throughout the ages and her courage is her legacy, perhaps inspiring the many courageous deeds in the centuries that followed. The Romans did conquer England, but they never conquered the spirit of Celtic Queen Boudicca.
(That’s a very good point!)
What else have you brought along and why?
I have brought some big, juicy turkey legs cooked on a spit over an open fire, some wonderful cheeses brought from Europe traded for swords embedded with precious stones turned by Celtic craftsmen, some fresh, hot bread and some mead. If you don’t imbibe, I have brought you some clear, cool water from a nearby stream.
(The mead will be fine thanks Jan. It’s just wine that doesn’t agree with me.)
Also, a fresh fish caught barehanded in a river ready to turn slowly over a fire in an outdoor pit. While it is cooking, I hope we can head down to the nearby pasture to gather the beautiful wildflowers to gaze upon while we enjoy our freshly cooked supper.
That sounds a plan to me Jan. Thanks so much for staying in with me to tell me all about Rage Against the Dying Light. I’ve really enjoyed our chat.
Rage Against the Dying Light
Of all the woman warriors in myth and legend, few are more storied than Boudicca, the fierce red-headed queen who led the most celebrated Celtic rebellion in history. But, here, for the first time, Jan Surasky imagines Boudicca’s enthralling story of bravery and triumph from the Celtic perspective. In her extremely researched, vividly told novel, Boudicca bursts to life as never before.
After a politically matched marriage to a much older king her world turns dark. Romans invade and at the king’s death attack the palace, breaking a pact that would have saved the tribe from doom, publicly humiliate Boudicca and assault her two young daughters.
Betrayed and outraged she leads thousands of warriors into an epic battle to avenge her daughters and rid her beloved island of Roman tyranny. Beautifully written, grand in scope and intimate in detail, Rage Against the Dying Light resonates with the queen’s indomitable spirit placing her alongside no lesser woman warrior than Joan of Arc herself.
Rage Against the Dying Light is available for purchase through the links here.
About Jan Surasky
Jan Surasky has worked as a book reviewer, movie critic, and entertainment writer for a San Francisco daily newspaper. Her many articles and short stories have been published in national and regional magazines and newspapers. She has also taught writing at a literary center and a number of area colleges near her home in upstate New York. Her award-winning novels include Rage Against the Dying Light, Back to Jerusalem, and The Lilac Bush is Blooming.
You can find out more on Jan’s website.