Welcome back to The Bookshelf. Each week I feature an author or book blogger and talk about their bookshelf with them. It’s a light-hearted, book focused, Q&A.
Elizabeth Jane Corbett is a winner of the esteemed Bristol Short Story prize (whoop whoop), in case you missed it I live in Bristol so I love this prize rather a lot especially as it’s open to international writers! Even better Elizabeth llives in Melbourne and teaches Welsh…how cool? Her debut novel The Tides Between was published in 2017. Here is her bookshelf…
What was the first book you remember having on your bookshelf?
As a tiny girl, I had My Brimful Book – an anthology of stories, nursery rhymes and animal stories. I also loved Richard Scary’s, What do People do all Day. We left lots of books behind when we emigrated to Australia. But I still have My Brimful Book on my bookshelf.
What was the most recent book you added to the bookshelf?
I am a librarian, so not traditionally a huge buyer of novels. However, I am beginning to acquire an impressive eBook collection. I recently added Bernard Cornwell’s, Harlequin, to my digital library. I do however buy most of my research books as I like to underline and write in the margins and the library doesn’t take kindly to this practice. I most recently acquired Gillian Polack’s, Unlocking the Middle Ages.
Which book have you most recently read from your bookshelf?
I recently read Bernard Cornwell’s Fools and Mortals. I am currently reading Rosemary Sutcliff’s, Sword at Sunset as someone told me it was ‘better’ than Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles. So far, I am not convinced. But I will persist. On the research front, I am re-reading Rees Davies, Lordship and Society in the March of Wales.
Which 5 books from last year would you not let go of from your bookshelf?
Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles were masterful. I loved his pithy characterization and dialogue (I know a trilogy but let’s count it as one book). Sulari Gentill’s, Rowland Sinclair mysteries were likewise a delight (ditto, the one book thing). I also enjoyed Alison Goodman’s Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact. Kate Forsyth’s Beauty in Thorns and Lucy Treloar’s, Salt Creek.
Which books are you most looking forward to adding to your bookshelf?
I will add the English language edition of Gruffudd Aled William’s, Dyddiau Olaf Owain Glyn Dŵr, to my bookshelf next time I am in Wales. I believe the next Lady Helen book will also come out this year. I am also looking forward to Kate Forsyth’s next fairy tale inspired novel.
What was the most recent addition to your writers bookshelf?
Which of your own books are you most proud of adding to the bookshelf?
I have only had one book published: The Tides Between – my debut novel, my first work of fiction since a truly deplorable short story written in year eleven. I am immensely proud of it. But I believe, for a writer, the best book is always the book yet to come…
Which book on your bookshelf do you most wish you had written?
I adored Edith Pargetter’s Heaven Tree trilogy. I’d have been proud to have written those books. Sharon K Penman’s, Here be Dragon’s trilogy has also stood the test of time. Lucy Treloar’s, Salt Creek is destined to be an Aussie classic. I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t be proud to have written that book.
Is there a WIP we can look forward to adding to our bookshelves?
My current work in progress, Stone Promises, is a novel written from the point-of-view of Owain Glyn Dŵr’s wife, Marred. She ended her days in the Tower of London, yet in Wales, she scarcely known. In a way, this is not uncommon. Men’s stories have often dominated history. I’m enjoying inhabiting her unique, feminine perspective. Who knows, maybe she was in fact the nation’s true heroine?
Can you share a picture of your bookshelf / favourite bookshelf?
Elizabeth Jane Corbett’s Bookshelf
She fancied herself part of a timeless chain, without beginning or end, linked only by the silver strong words of its tellers.
In the year 1841, on the eve of her departure from London, Bridie Stewart’s mother demands she forget her dead father and prepare for a sensible, adult life in Port Phillip. Desperate to save her precious childhood memories, fifteen-year-old Bridie is determined to smuggle a notebook filled with her father’s fairy-tales to the far side of the world.
When Rhys Bevan, a soft-voiced young storyteller and fellow traveller realises Bridie is hiding something, a magical friendship is born. But Rhys has his own secrets and the words written in Bridie’s notebook carry a dark, double meaning.
As they inch towards their destination, Rhys’s past returns to haunt him. Bridie grapples with the implications of her dad’s final message. The pair take refuge in fairy tales, little expecting the trouble it will cause.
About Elizabeth Jane Corbett
When Elizabeth Jane Corbett isn’t writing, she works as a librarian, teaches Welsh at the Melbourne Welsh Church, contributes articles to the Historical Novel Review and blogs at elizabethjanecorbett.com. In 2009, her short-story, Beyond the Blackout Curtain, won the Bristol Short Story Prize. Another, Silent Night, was short listed for the Allan Marshall Short Story Award. Her debut historical novel, The Tides Between, was published by Odyssey Books in 2017. Elizabeth lives with her husband, in a renovated timber cottage in Melbourne’s inner-north. She likes red shoes, dark chocolate, commuter cycling, and reading quirky, character driven novels set once-upon-a-time in lands far away.
Elizabeth thank you so much for taking part and I wish you all the very best with your books.
Taking Part in The Bookshelf
I’ve currently put a pause on taking new applications for The Bookshelf. I recently put a call-out for participants on Facebook and am currently booked up into July so want to get through most of these lovely people before I open the floodgates again. If you already have a form to return to me, feel free to do so, just be aware there is a quite a wait for spots right now.