Welcome to the Hotseat of Truth, a device in which your protagonist is trapped. The only way to escape is to answer five searching questions completely honestly or the Hotseat will consume them to ashes!
Today’s Victim is Julia Llewellyn, one half of the husband and wife team who solve the Dai and Julia Mysteries in a modern-day Britain where the Roman Empire still rules, written by Jane Jago and E.M. Swift-Hook.
(1) You had to leave Rome and all the trappings of high civilisation for the rather backward province of Britannia. What do you miss the most and what is the best aspect of living in Britannia?
When you come from where I do the trappings of civilisation mean little. I was a scruffy kid from the slums who remembered only too vividly what it meant to be hungry. My grandparents gave me better than that but I still ran with the Suburra gangs and learned to fight and swear rather than being civilised. To be honest, the only thing I miss from Italia is olives. Britannia has given me a family and that’s kind of all I could ever ask for.
(2) Dai is renowned for his classic ‘celtic twilight’ brooding and moodiness, how do you deal with that?
Dai’s moods are legendary. Mostly I ignore them. But if he gets on my nerves too badly I get in his face. Or shove Aelwen in his arms. He can never resist her dimples.
(3) Being regarded as family by the Tribune and the Praetor must have disadvantages as well as the obvious advantages, how do you deal with those?
The biggest disadvantage about knowing those two is….. those two. They are basically a pair of overgrown schoolboys, and mostly above the law. I love them like brothers, but like brothers they can be a right pain in the ass. Also stupid people think I can be bribed or frightened into using my ‘influence’ with the Praetor. That’s a pain – although it usually hurts them more than me.
4) What would say is your core motivation in life?
I have two. A belief that justice is for everyone no matter who their pater might have been. My family. Dai, Aelwen and Rhodri are the heart of me and the motivation for most of what I do.
(5) What is your biggest regret about the past and your biggest fear for the future – and your greatest hope?
Regret? Probably being captured and raped by the Mongols when I was just a kid. It took some living down. But even then I’d not change it, because I firmly believe I’m where I am now because of where I was then. ‘Change one thing. Change all’
Fear? Something bad happening to my children.
Hope? Those same children. I hope they will grow to be proud, happy people who understand how much they are loved