Blog tour: Trobairitz

Welcome to the blog tour for Trobairitz by Celia Micklefield. Please join me in learning more about the book in the words of the author herself!

Hi Celia! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of Trobairitz - The Storyteller! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: Trobairitz were female troubadours of the 12th and 13th centuries. They entertained with their stories and songs about courtly love, current affairs and the role of women in society. My Trobairitz, Weed is a long distance haulage driver entertaining other truckers at an overnight stop with a contemporary story on those same themes.

She centres the tale she tells on the inhabitants of the fictitious village Montalhan sans Vents and, in particular, the ongoing bad feeling between Madame Catherine Joubert, now in her seventies, and the young mayor, Henri-Claude Noilly. Former high class Parisian prostitute Catherine, has a mysterious hold over the troubled mayor’s family and objects to plans to bring an incinerator into the village. A dramatic confrontation at a village meeting leads to further rifts in the Noilly family.

Long distance haulage drivers are usually closed personalities, living a solitary life where they reveal very little about themselves. By discussing the characters in Weed’s stories they find an avenue to become more open, but Weed herself must find her own way to resolve personal issues that have been dogging her for years.

What attracted you to the figure of the trobairitz so much that you decided to incorporate it in your writing?

A:Have you ever fallen in love with a geographical location? I did. I lived in the land of the Trobairitz for eight years and fell under its spell. I know it sounds cheesy but the region permeated right into my bones. I felt it in the stones of the village houses and winding, narrow streets, in the rich earth beneath the vineyards, in the blue skies and sparkling sea and in the music and arts. I truly felt I belonged there. I read everything I could get hold of about the original female troubadours and knew I wanted to create one of my own - a contemporary woman in a man’s world.

If this novel was going to be turned into a film, who would you cast in the role of Weed?

A: Hmm. I’m struggling with this one. She must be over forty and a very versatile actor to look comfortable behind the wheel of a 16 ltr. engine pulling an ocean-going yacht at the same time as having a love of classical music and a passion for the arts.

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about a scene in the book that you love or that was particularly difficult to write?

A:The Christmas disaster scene was difficult to write. I watched distressing film coverage of actual landslides.

Is there anything that didn’t make it into the final version of the book?

A: Yes. Lots. I have more to tell about all the main characters. I’m itching to get on with the sequel and I’d love to go back to the area where the idea was conceived and get the ‘feels’ again. My reasons for leaving were traumatic and left me feeling bereft. Psychologically, I couldn’t find the right headspace to continue the story. I’m in a happier place now having published another, very different novel and a non fiction book as well as bringing a work-in-progress to near completion. But travel is out of the question just now due to Covid restrictions and because I have to be very careful about my health. But a sequel is definitely on the to-do list. Catherine Joubert hasn’t finished surprising the Noilly family yet and Weed has personal sacrifices to make.

What is your ideal setting for a productive writing session?

A: My ideal setting varies according to how I’m feeling, but whether I’m on my trusty iMac or scribbling notes on a pad I like quiet. I find music distracting. My next door neighbours who take in rescue hens have just discovered one of them is a cockerel! It starts crowing about 4am every morning and it’s driving me berserk.

If you are already working on your next writing project, would you mind giving us a little anticipation of what we are to expect?

A: It’s called A Measured Man. Set in Norfolk where I live now, it’s a relationship comedy with older characters. She’s a widow. He’s single. They’ve a lot of baggage to overcome. It’s comedy with some pain. Not so much a slow-burner, their relationship is rather a developing realisation of what they both want.

What are you reading at the moment?

A: I don’t read when I’m heavily into writing. The last books I read were Brave New World by Aldous Huxley to remind myself how much worse society could be. I followed that with The Second Sleep by Richard Harris by which time I felt thoroughly depressed. Self shielding seemed like a jolly holiday by comparison.

Due to the popularity of social networking websites, interacting with readers be it via Twitter, Facebook Instagram etc. is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on authors and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule?

A: I don’t cope well with the multitude of social media websites. Since developing CRPS, a neurological condition hardly anybody has heard of including many medics, my energy is limited. When I’m writing I have to take regular breaks or my muscles go into spasm so I have to pace myself with everything I do. I’m slow. I have to accept that I can’t do everything.

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A: Do your research. There are some things you can’t make up.

Thank you for your time!

A: And thank you for the opportunity to blab on about my work. I’m really looking forward to reaching more readers. You can find me on Facebook and my website is www.celiamicklefield.com.

Comments

  1. Huge thanks for the blog tour support Silvia x

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a splendid interview! I can hear Celia's voice. I found 'Trobairitz' a wonderful read and it was fascinating to hear a little of the backstage chat. Well done and thank youboth.

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