Catherine Gilflurt; the Hostess of Madame Gilflurt’s Salon
Just off Gin Lane in Georgian London or, to be less precise, a quiet yet hilly bit of England.
Good morning, Madame Catherine, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. I absolutely love your blog! It is beautiful, interesting, and educational I highly recommend this site to my Vision and Verse readers. Tell us a little about what you're writing.
Most of my time is taken up writing, researching and looking for inspiration for my daily articles regarding life in the long 18th century for my blog, A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life, which I update every day. It’s a real commitment and one that I wouldn’t be without!
As well as that, I am working on The Mistress of Blackstairs, a tale of masks, secrets and hidden histories set in the brothels of Covent Garden during the bitter winter of 1785. There are a couple of other WIPs knocking instantly at my keyboard too but they will have to wait!
Without a doubt, historical fiction. The 18th century is my passion and has been all my life; although I have written contemporary romantic suspense and 1950’s magic realism, nothing has ever come as easily to me as my Georgian works.
My rakish colonial gentleman is a most talented chef so it’s very hard to choose my favourite dish but he can do some marvellous things with an Italian flavour. As I write this he is conjuring up homemade pesto, so I am looking forward to that!
Tea or coffee?
Gallons of tea; I would happily drink nothing else.
Pizza or ice cream?
That would depend on the circumstances but our local artisan ice cream producer takes some beating!
My favourite place is without a doubt the north Yorkshire coast; I’m fortunate to have visited it many times and will be doing so in the imminent future! The area is so beautiful and rugged, one can walk forever and just get lost in the scenery.
It’s no secret that I also sneak off to visit stately homes and country houses whenever I get the chance. It’s my mini Grand Tour!
Favorite musical artist. Do you listen to music when you write? What?
I have so many that it’s difficult to narrow the choice down, I’m afraid. As I type this I am listening to Kate Bush, an artist I’ve loved for 30 years or so but she is just one of many!
Music is an integral and important part of the writing process for me, I can’t work without it. When I’m writing though, I have to listen to familiar music so I don’t find myself concentrating too hard on it instead of the task in hand!
Many, many things but I can always rely on Morecambe and Wise to pick me up if I’m feeling blue.
Favorite work of art.
Mrs Siddons as the Tragic Muse by Joshua Reynolds. Visitors to my blog will know full well how much I love the work of Reynolds and as a fan of theatre too, the image of the wonderful Sarah sums up so well the grandeur of this goddess of the Georgian theatre!
How old were you when you started writing?
I’ve been writing stories ever since I can remember.
Describe your perfect evening.
Good food, laughter and the company of my colonial gentleman and our pets.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I learned the joy of storytelling from my grandfather, who knew how to weave a tale and his stories were rarely of emperors and kings, but more often of coachmen and troubadours. He made a huge impact on my life and remains my inspiration to this day.
What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I rarely get blocked on the blog but if I’m blocked in my fiction, I set it aside and leaf through some books of 18th century art and let myself drift into the untold stories of the paintings. If that doesn’t work, I take my wee dog, Pippa, for a bracing walk and just think about things that aren’t plot-related!
Who is your favorite author?
Laurence Sterne, without a shadow of a doubt.
Best book you ever read.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given my answer above, it’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman!
Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
Definitely my grandfather, as mentioned above!
If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Once again, it’s Laurence Sterne. You get such a sense of mischief from his work, I would love to spend an evening at Shandy Hall.
Don’t be afraid to share your work; if you are, you’ll never grow!
Do you have links so we can follow you?