Well hello there and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the beautiful Rebecca Mascull's new book which is out next month, kindle, treebook etc. I absolutely loved this wee book, had I read the blurb I would have probably missed out on one of my fav reads this years as the time and main content, female aviator, isn't something I would pick for myself. So why did I love it? Check my review out, bottom of the Q&A.
Becca has very kindly took some time out to answer some questions for us :D
1. Your books tend to be set in the past, why do you choose historical fiction, what draws you to that timeline?
I’ve always felt like I’m a bit out of my time. I love watching and reading about history, I love quaint old language & my favourite authors are all long dead! When I was a little kid, I actually believed that the past was black and white; like, there was no colour in the world until after we won WW2 (in a Wizard of Oz type way)!! When I realised this wasn’t the case, I was really shocked! So, I’ve always been fascinated by the past and the idea that people living in the past don’t know they’re in the past (if you know what I mean) and believe they are at the forefront of technology. Also, that they don’t know they’re going to win the war or their king is about to die or there’s about to be a terrible earthquake or they’re about to be invaded by the Conquistadors or whatever. I love that feeling of entering the past and imagining myself one of those shadowy people – and bringing it to life.
2.Your characters tend to be strong women despite what they face or have been through, what inspires you to create characters like this?
Wish fulfilment, probably! I have to say, though, that I’ve become stronger and more confident the older I’ve become. The things I used to worry about – what people will say or think of me, fears about the future or trying new things etc – all of these have ebbed away as I’ve aged, in the best way, and I now feel stronger than ever. I believe this is possible for everyone, every woman and man. You’ve just go to let go of that fear of what society will think of you and not give a damn! The women in my stories do that and I love writing them for that reason.
3.We need to talk about Betty! As you know she is my fav character, what was the inspiration for her? Is she based on anyone?
I really don’t know where she came from. She just barged in there. Originally, I was going to have my aviatrix character having spent a summer holiday at Kitty Hawk, but it just didn’t ring true. Suddenly, up strode Great Auntie Betty and presented herself as the solution. It was just one of those lucky things, when a character arrives fully formed. Like my previous answer, she’s one of those people who don’t give a stuff what the world thinks of her. She’s different, she’s her own person and she’s full of love. I love her too!
4.Is Betty going to get her own book? I think her life story would be amazing and she must have touched many lives, do you think we could persuade you to tell her story?
It would be a delight to tell Betty’s story. If you can find a publisher to give me a contract for it, I’ll happily write it for you, darling. ;-)
5.What are you working on now?
I’m in a bit of a hiatus right now. I’ve come to the end of 3 historical novels for Hodder and now I’m branching off in a new direction. I don’t know quite what that will be yet. It might be contemporary, it might be more history, I really don’t know. I’m not rushing it. I’m teaching right now and meeting loads of fascinating new people and enjoying the change. Something unknown will be percolating in my brain while all that is going on and I’ve no idea what will be the outcome. That’s a lovely feeling!
6.Where is best for readers to find you? Twitter? Fb? Instagram? Xxx
I used to be all over Twitter, but I’ve kind of fallen in love with Facebook in recent months. I dabble in Instagram. But Facebook satisfies my need for socialising, companionship, belly laughs and kitten videos. What’s not to like? :-D
Thanks for ace questions, Lainy. Always a pleasure.
The Wild Air
by Rebecca Mascull
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - on and off for 2 days
Pages - 400
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Blurb from Amazon
In Edwardian England, aeroplanes are a new, magical invention, while female pilots are rare indeed.
When shy Della Dobbs meets her mother's aunt, her life changes forever. Great Auntie Betty has come home from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, across whose windswept dunes the Wright Brothers tested their historic flying machines. Della develops a burning ambition to fly and Betty is determined to help her.
But the Great War is coming and it threatens to destroy everything - and everyone - Della loves.
Uplifting and page-turning, THE WILD AIR is a story about love, loss and following your dreams against all odds.
Della is a subdued and quiet child until her Aunt Betty comes back to live in the town and shows Della it is ok to chase your dreams. Della loves flying and aeroplanes but knows a woman's place is in the home, second place always to men, it is the early 1900s. But with Betty at her side, Della realises that against all odds she can chase her dream and be who she wants to be but at what cost?
I am so glad I didn't read the blurb when I agreed to review this, I am not a huge lover of historical fiction nor into aeroplanes much at all. Guys I loved this book!!! Aunt Betty is a fabulous character, looked down upon by the village folk for daring to be different, want more than babies and a kitchen sink. She comes back with her head held high and shows Della there is much more out there if she is brave enough to go after it. And Della does, becoming a strong and independent woman she pursues her dreams of attempting to become a female pilot. As the war is looming Della faces many more challenges than just sexist attitudes and risks everything she has achieved to follow her heart.
I love a book with strong female characters, when Aunt Betty was in the picture she stole the show and I genuinely hope the author considers giving Betty her own stage and story, she is marvelous. Della is another strong character although more subtle in her strength and we watch her grow from a young girl to a determined headstrong woman. The attitudes of the times, facing scorn for wanting something more from her life, the horrors or war and some heroic choices makes Della a character you can't help but love. A surprising aspect for me was all the plane storyline, you can tell Mascull went to town on her research for this book, I learned so much about the machines and even the history of them. I always find it a great wee bonus when you learn something true from a fiction book and it did peak my interest in aircraft although I would never be so brave to learn to fly.
A story of moral, strength, beauty, personal growth, family, expectations and going against the grain when you are expected to fall in line. Creating characters that the readers becomes invested in from practically the first page. I would have sunk this in one sitting had life not got in the way, Mascull has a way yanking you through the years to a different era, so vivid the scene you can smell and taste it. 5/5 for me this time, I have read this author before and I will read her again, I think I have missed one of her books so will need to snap that up, I eagerly await her next. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy, all views are my own. Available to buy from the 6th of April 2017.