It's a great pleasure for me to welcome, for this month's instalment of the 15 Minutes With series, one of my favourite bloggers and authors, Elena Maria Vidal. Her blog, Tea At Trianon, is "a place for friends to meet... with reflections on politics, history, art, music, books, morals, manners, and matters of faith."
An avid reader since early childhood (her mother had to put restrictions on her hours of reading!), she soon began writing short stories and novels. A devoted Catholic, Elena Maria is fascinated by Marie Antoinette, who became the subject of her most popular work, Trianon. But her latest book, The Paradise Tree, tells a completely different story. It's a moving family saga about her ancestors, who emigrated to America from Ireland, and their struggles and triumphs.
Read on to find out more about her:
1. If you could live in any era, what would it be and why?
13th century France during the reign of St. Louis IX. I see that time as one of the best in the Middle Ages.
2. If you could invite three people, dead or alive, to dinner, who would you invite, and why?
St. Joan of Arc, St. Therese of Lisieux, and Marie-Antoinette because they all three loved France, small children and their Catholic faith.
3. Three books everyone should read?
Preparation for Death by St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Abandonment to Divine Providence by Fr. Caussade, and The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis.
4. Who's your style icon?
Audrey Hepburn. I love her simple style, plus she always remembered that she was a lady.
5. What are you watching on TV?
6. What's the soundtrack of your life?
Definitely Gone With the Wind.
7. What's your favourite holiday destination, and why?
My own home. I love to be home for the holidays. There is no where else I would rather be.
8. What inspires you?
The beauties of God's creation.
9. One thing on your bucket list?
I must make pilgrimages to several shrines which I visited when praying for a special intention. I promised to return and make a votive offering in Thanksgiving if my prayer was answered. It was. I must go to Lourdes and the shrines of Quebec.
10. Something about you that would surprise us?
I took archery lessons in college and really enjoyed it. Fencing, too.