#BookFeature |THE TAPESTRY OF WAR by Jane MacKenzie| @AllisonandBusby |#Fiction #Interview #Author #OrderLink

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The Tapestry Of War by Jane MacKenzie

  • Fiction
  • Family
  • Historical


From the deserts of North Africa, to the waters of Scotland, the Second World War touches the lives of two women from two very different worlds. In Alexandria, Fran finds her world turned upside down as Rommel’s forces advance on the idyllic shores of Egypt. The life of luxury and stability that she is used to is taken away as she finds herself having to deal with loss, heartache and political uncertainty. Meanwhile, in the Firth of Clyde, Catriona struggles between her quiet rural life and her dreams of nursing injured servicemen on the front lines. As the war rages on, the two women’s lives become intertwined – bringing love and friendship to both.

| Author Interview |

What book truly inspired your life and why?

Now that’s a tough question because there are so many. I think the books that mark you the most are the ones you read when you’re very young. When I was a child I first fell in love with Little Women, and then Jane Eyre. Apart from more frivolous reads, of course! But my mother giving me To Kill a Mocking Bird to read stands out as a real memory. It was the first truly ‘social’ novel I’d read, and I absolutely loved the characters, and the way Harper Lee evoked the American south. The book was a shining beacon of justice and goodness and enlightened intelligence. I was almost sorry to read Go Set a Watchman when it came out a couple of years ago. It spoiled the characters for me.


How did you pick who you dedicated your book too?

Tapestry of War is dedicated not to any individuals, but to ‘the myriad people whose lives and endeavours threaded together, weaving victory into the tapestry of war’. The war brought together so many people from different backgrounds and cultures who contributed in their own ways to winning through and sent people to far-flung parts of the world who had never travelled or thought to leave their home towns. It’s that amazing upheaval and human experience that inspired the title, and I wanted to dedicate the book to those ordinary folk who did such extraordinary things.


Did you do a lot of research for your book?

Oh yes! This was the book that required the most research of any I’ve written. I became an absolute expert on the war in the Mediterranean, for example. Once you’ve done the research, though, the key thing is not to overload your story with it. The story is about people, and how the war impacts on their lives, and it is important to let that flow.

What was your favourite read of 2017?

Of 2017 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. And of 2018 so far The Good Doctor of Warsaw, a lovely, inspiring story of courage and heartbreak in the Warsaw ghetto.

If you had to take three books on a desert island what would they be?

Only three? Help! Well, I guess they would have to be books I’d want to re-read again and again, so not necessarily the tough ones that have most moved me, but ones that are easy and lovely to read. I love the writing of Dorothy L Sayers and was in love with Lord Peter Wimsey when I was younger, so perhaps I would choose Gaudy Night because I could read it and transport myself back to a different time. And then something by John Irving perhaps – The World According to Garp is a book I’ve long been meaning to re-read. And number three? I genuinely can’t choose. Maybe the complete works of Jane Austen? This all makes me sound very old-fashioned, when I actually read new works all the time, but if I can only have three books for the rest of time it makes me hark back to the classics.


Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

I have been very lucky in my journey. Like many authors I wrote one book that never quite made the grade, and which is still on my laptop. It was a real learning curve, and the feedback I got from agents and from a professional editor helped me a lot in plotting and writing Daughter of Catalonia. When I’d finished it I submitted to several agents representing my genre, and very quickly Jenny Brown got back to me expressing interest and asking to have the whole manuscript to read.

Another agent also read the full text, and it was fascinating how different their ideas were on how it should be improved. But by the time the other agent got in touch I was already working with Jenny, and I knew I wanted to sign with her if I could. Jenny is a wonderful agent, and has a great critical eye, and under her tutelage I reworked the novel over 6 months until she declared it good to go, and we signed a contract.

Jenny submitted the novel to a number of publishers, and again very quickly Allison and Busby came back to us wanting to release the book. So it was a classic, happy story, and the book sold well, getting great reviews.

Allison and Busby also published the second in the Catalonia trilogy, Autumn in Catalonia. And then I brought out Mediterranean Summer, the final book in the trilogy, myself. I think a trilogy can be complicated in that way, because publishers don’t always buy into them. So I’m sticking to stand-alone novels from now onwards!

I’m delighted that Allison and Busby loved Tapestry of War and that we are working together once again. The book is being published internationally as well, in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, which is very exciting.

Can you share with us a photo that tells a story?


For the last few years, I split my time between the beautiful Mediterranean coast of France and my stunning village in the Highlands of Scotland.

Both places are on the sea, surrounded by stunning mountains, and there’s a special freedom and lift you get from the wildness of each of them. I write best, though, in France, and I set the Catalonia trilogy on this coast, with its fascinating history and culture. I think this photo perhaps captures that sense of liberation I get when I am there.

What would you like your readers to know before starting your book?

Tapestry of War was inspired by a true family story. My late husband’s parents met and married in Alexandria during the war, in circumstances not too wildly different from Fran and Jim’s – ie a straightforward Scottish naval man meets an Alexandria socialite. Their story intrigued me, but I didn’t want to rewrite it – I wanted new people and an original love story. So my characters are very much their own people, but that family story was the trigger for creating them.

Do you have any questions that you would like to ask your readers?

I would love to know who all my readers are. Over 30,000 people read Daughter of Catalonia. They must have come from all walks of life, all ages, and I would love to meet them all.

What would I ask them?

Do you read historical fiction because you love history, or because it takes you to a different place, or perhaps both?

What would you like to read next? Where would you like your next read to take you?

Among those who have read Tapestry of War already, there is roughly a fifty-fifty split between those who love the Egyptian setting best and those who find the Scottish home front most endearing, although they are both intrinsic to the book and both have their own charm. If you read my book, do tell me which side of that fence you fall on!


|Buy Link|

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| Publishers Info |


Twitter: https://twitter.com/AllisonandBusby
Website: http://www.allisonandbusby.com/

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1 comments on “#BookFeature |THE TAPESTRY OF WAR by Jane MacKenzie| @AllisonandBusby |#Fiction #Interview #Author #OrderLink”

  1. I read historical fiction to transport me to a different time. I particularly enjoy historical fiction set in Britain to get a sense of what life was like here. Also enjoy Brits abroad in historical fiction – insight into history of why they are there and different challenges faced.


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