Came From: A tiny little town near Dover, England.
Became a Maid of Honor: After shocking the Queen with her abilities to translate, decipher, and just plain figure things out.
Special Skill: Extreme intelligence. Anna knows how things work, from foreign languages and codes to intricate puzzle boxes to international politics.
Special Interview from the Maid of Secrets Blog Tour!
Firstly, thanks for being here at City of Books, Anna 🙂
Well! I am so honored, verily I am, to be asked to give an interview at all—but especially for a site named “City of Books!”
And your name is Richa! That is an interesting name, I must say. Can you share with me how you came to be named it? Is it a family name by chance and if so is it one that has been used over time or just in recent generations? Begging your pardon, of course, but indeed it does pique my curiosity!
But where are my manners?! Apologies Miss Richa, and allow me to address your questions without delay!
You’re quite the chatter, aren’t you? Answering your question, my name-giving was totally random – no generations involved! So, Anna, how are you today?
I am remarkably well, thank you so much for asking. And it is I who am pleased. You’ve no idea how much more fun it is to answer your questions than to read over yet another treatise from the Flemish court, even though King Philip insists on stirring up trouble for our Queen. Mark my words, Phillip will do what he can to undermine our Gloriana at every turn. He will never get over her casting away his offer of marriage; but in all truth, what can he expect?! He was married to her half-sister, he was, the former Queen Mary, God rest her soul. He could not think our Elizabeth would take his suit seriously, especially with him being a Catholic at that!
But, ah… I digress. Apologies again!
Wow, you seem quite stressed out! I hope this little interview will relax you a bit. What’s your favourite thing to do?
Ah, now that is a puzzle of a question. I should say I like most to read, but that’s not quite it. I like to apply what knowledge I’ve gained through my reading. So not just to learn – but to apply the learning. I love the process of solving puzzles that can only be solved by someone who’s taken the time to understand not only the question, but all of the different answers one might choose.
That, and I love to daydream. Sometimes my mind takes me to the MOST curious places!
If you were trapped on a deserted island and could take only 3 things with you, what would they be?
Ah! A puzzle of a grand sort is this. Well, so, a deserted island. Hmmmm.
I should want a sharp knife with a long hilt, that I might equally use on its own or strapped with grass rope (which of course I know how to make) to a staff. For the killing and preparing of food, as you might imagine. I would also want to bring a flint for the making of fire.
And then a boat, for the departure of such an island. J If a boat wasn’t an option, well, I should think the only other item would be paper-and-pen, that I might chronicle my adventures for future hardy souls to find!
Has problem-solving always been a part of you, something you’ve always loved?
Indeed I tell you plain, you are the first to ask this of me, and it is well time! The short answer is—yes. I have always set my mind to solving puzzles, deciphering riddles, looking for hidden secrets and codes, and observing the world around me. This may come as a bit of a surprise, but I can be the type of girl who might on occasion appear to be by chance someone who speaks a bit too much—who uses seventeen words when one would do. I have to constantly be on guard not to speak too loudly or too long.
With books, however, I can just be myself. In the process of solving problems, I can speak as long as I need, in my mind, and no one lifts a brow. It can be a solitary existence, to be sure. But at least with my mind lost in a book, I am never alone.
Amen to that. I totally get you! I could go on for ages about how amazing books are, but moving on… You were pretty much the only person who was actually nice to Meg when she arrived at the castle. Why is that?
Well, first and foremost, do not judge my fellow Maids of Honor too harshly! They each have their burdens and secrets, but I’ll leave them their stories to tell in good time. And secondly, bless my soul! Meg was such a burst of fresh air upon us, with her sharp mind and keen wit and resourceful ways. Well and truly I tell you, she was someone I looked up to. Nothing seemed to trouble her. She always had a smile at the ready, and none more so than for the young Count Rafe de Martine—I would not have been able to string three coherent words together in his presence, but Meg took his attention as if it were an everyday occurrence for a dashing Spanish courtier to pay her heed.
To put it simply, then: I had much to learn from Meg, and I admired her and wished her well from the first moment I laid eyes upon her.
Rapid fire round!
Yellow – it is the color of sunshine, light and Spring.
Indoors or outdoors?
Indoors. For studying, you see.
Of course, of course. Ocean or mountains?
Ocean… there is always something new on the other side!
First word that comes to your mind when you think of Beatrice?
Strong. The girl carries burden upon burden, I tell you truly.
First word that comes to your mind when you think of the Queen?
Proud. This is a woman who knows who she is, what she is, and why she is. She is King and Country, in one triumphant form.
And once again, thank you for agreeing to answer some of my questions, Anna!
Oh!!! Miss Richa, thank you so much for having me here. I shall ever remember your kindness!
~Biographer’s note: Official images of the Maids of Honor are currently a royal secret. Images presented are based on unauthorized accounts by court attendees.