Q&A with author Belinda Kroll


A warm welcome to Belinda Kroll, author of the superb novel, Haunting Miss Trentwood.

Have you ever read a book that made you think 'wow'? If so, what book was it and why did it have such an effect on you?
Brandon Sanderson's Elantris had that effect on me, as well as his next book, Warbreaker. He has winding plots with multiple subplots that all tie together in a final, satisfying climax. I'm jealous of his ability to do so, and am always inspired after reading one of his books.

Who is your favourite author and why?
My comfort author is Jane Austen. Yes, I have a comfort author, the way some people have comfort ice cream. She once wrote that her pen wouldn't dwell on guilt and misery, and I'm happy she decided that. Sometimes you just need an escape. Other than Austen, I'm really starting to like Candace Camp. Her heroines are spunky, have great wit and the conversational battles with the heroes rarely fail to make me chuckle aloud. I also like how she always manages to throw in a little mystery, so the hero and heroine have the opportunity to get past their differences in order to solve a crime/problem/question.

Who, or what, inspires you?
Historical events; usually I read an article about something that happened in the past, and I begin to wonder what it must have felt like to be there. For instance, Haunting Miss Trentwood began with me wondering what it must have been like to celebrate Queen Victoria's golden jubilee. The last monarch to be on the throne for 50yrs had been Elizabeth I, so people went NUTS. By the final draft, the jubilee was a small part in the plot, so I think I might still like to revisit the event more fully.

Where is your favourite place to write?
In my journal, cozied up on a couch, preferably with a cup of tea and someone interesting to glance at from across the room when I get stuck.

What is your book about?
Haunting Miss Trentwood is a gothic Victorian romance about a Mary Trentwood, a young woman who is dealing with father knowing best... even after death. His ghost begins to haunt her the day of his funeral, and matters only become more complicated when a scarred lawyer appears on her front doorstep claiming he has traced a blackmailer to her house.

What is your favourite film that was based on a book?
I love the Romola Garai version of Jane Austen's Emma. When I read the book, Emma annoyed me so much, which was so different from the Gwyneth Paltrow version! But Romola plays the effervescent busybody so well that she made me love the flawed character.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the main characters?

This is a tough question! I think I would want Anne Hathaway to play Mary. It would be interesting to see her play a frustrated, yet somewhat subdued, role. 

I want Christopher Plummer to play the ghost, Mr Trentwood. He would be perfect at delivering the snark and fatherly bossiness of the character. 

Hartwell, the lawyer, would be Jake Gyllenhaal with a facial scar (YES PLEASE). 

Mary's aunt, Mrs Durham, would be Melissa McCarthy.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I attend a weekly three hour dance where I lindy hop, charleston, balboa and swing dance. I love that I get to perform dances that were popular from the 1920s - 1940s.

Lindy hop, charleston, balboa and swing dancing sounds like an awful lot of fun, Belinda... I'd love to try something like that! 
After reading Haunting Miss Trentwood, I wholeheartedly have to agree on your chosen actors!


  1. Lovely interview! Anne Hathaway is certainly quirky enough to play Mary. And a scarred Jake Gyllenhal? Yummy! I hadn't known that the golden jubilee inspired Haunting Miss Trentwood, which I loved.

  2. Yeah I think the next Victorian book I write will go into more detail about the golden jubilee. It was an interesting time, politically, even as the nation came together in its crazy fervor over the queen mum.

    And yes, once again, scarred Jake Gyllenhaal. In a Victorian suit. Speaking with a London middle class accent?

    Where are my smelling salts?!


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