Mastodon The Writing Desk: Special Guest Interview with Heidi Eljarbo, Author of Brushstrokes from the Past: A Historical Art Mystery

29 September 2022

Special Guest Interview with Heidi Eljarbo, Author of Brushstrokes from the Past: A Historical Art Mystery

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

April 1945. Art historian Soli Hansen and her friend Heddy arrive at an excavation site only to find Soli’s old archeology professor deeply engrossed in an extraordinary find in a marsh. The remains of a man have lain undisturbed for three centuries,
but there’s more to this discovery…

I'm pleased to welcome author Heidi Eljarbo to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book

Brushstrokes from the Past takes place during the last weeks of WWII in Oslo, Norway. Soli Hansen and her resistance group have given all to keep precious artwork out of der Führer’s hands, and that’s far from easy when their country has been invaded by a ruthless enemy. Her personal life has been turned upside-down with danger, lies, and spying. 

This is a story of Nazi art theft, bravery, friendship, adventure, suspense, and romance. But there’s more. The dual timeline takes us back to Amsterdam in 1641 and to the brilliant master artist Rembrandt van Rijn and the musketeer he painted.
Brushstrokes from the Past is the fourth book in the Soli Hansen Mysteries. Each novel can be read as a standalone, but they are more enjoyable when read in order as the story progresses.

What is your preferred writing routine?

I write in the mornings and early afternoons but never on Sundays. A day of rest is healthy and important. I also carry pen and paper wherever I go as I never know when a wonderful idea pops up in my mind, and I’d be sure to forget it if I don’t write it down.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Read a lot! Write s lot! Make sure the cover and description are of great quality! Learn about the craft and practice! But also, it’s important to remember that even experienced authors write many drafts before the book is finished, and they work with a professional editor and beta readers to help them polish that story.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?

When I spend time on quality social posts and small videos with music, I find it’s a fast and easy way for readers to be reminded of my books and the stories.

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research

When studying the life of Rembrandt, I was touched by his great love for his wife, Saskia. He adored her, and the many drawings and paintings of her verify that. They met the way Saskia explains to Annarosa in the novel, and I’ve described their home as accurately as possible.

Their children were christened in Dutch Reformed churches in Amsterdam. The first son was named Rumbertus after Saskia’s father. The infant died soon after birth. Then followed two daughters, both christened Cornelia after Rembrandt’s mother. Each of them also died after a few days. They called their fourth child Titus van Rijn. He was born in 1641 and survived his father. Unfortunately, the boy saw little of his mother. Saskia died from either tuberculosis or consumption when Titus was only nine months old. In Brushstrokes from the Past, she is pregnant with Titus but far from healthy. Rembrandt confides his worries to Annarosa and is genuinely afraid of losing Saskia.

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?

I would have to say the sword fighting scene. I’m not a swordfighter and spent quit a bit of time researching moves and terminology. But I love research and learning!

What are you planning to write next?

My next novel is a historical Christmas romance set in the Victorian era. I have the cover, and the story is plotted and well on its way. So excited to share it with the readers.

Heidi Eljarbo

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About the Author

Heidi Eljarbo is the bestselling author of historical fiction and mysteries filled with courageous and good characters that are easy to love and others you don't want to go near. Heidi grew up in a home filled with books and artwork and she never truly imagined she would do anything other than write and paint. She studied art, languages, and history, all of which have come in handy when working as an author, magazine journalist, and painter. After living in Canada, six US states, Japan, Switzerland, and Austria, Heidi now calls Norway home. She and her husband have a total of nine children, thirteen grandchildren—so far—in addition to a bouncy Wheaten Terrier. Their favorite retreat is a mountain cabin, where they hike in the summertime and ski the vast, white terrain during winter. Heidi’s favorites are family, God’s beautiful nature, and the word whimsical. Find out more at Heidi's website and find her on  Twitter @HeidiEljarbo

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting Heidi Eljarbo with Brushstrokes from the Past today, Tony. Such a fascinating interview! x


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