Anna Belfrage: Writing from Sweden across fictional worlds and times...

This week, I’m delighted to welcome back to the blog Anna Belfrage, truly a ‘writer abroad’! Currently, she’s roosting in Sweden, her ‘home territory’. 

When Anna isn’t musing about the circle of life or considering just how much of the Graham homestead in 17th century Maryland is inspired by her own surroundings, she writes. Anna is the author of the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy set in 14th century England.

Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. Her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk, has her returning to medieval times. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love. Her most recent release, The Whirlpools of Time, is a time travel romance set against the backdrop of brewing rebellion in the Scottish highlands.

Over to Anna!

One of the drawbacks of growing up in multiple places is the lack of permanent roots. In my case, all those years living abroad as a child while attending English schools (local schools run by British peeps for British expat children. And me. (Well, not only me, obviously…) left me feeling what can best be described as Anglo-Swedish.

Anna’s Swedish lake

This is a rather odd hybrid who prefers tea to coffee, waxes lyrical about all that deliciously exciting British history, is just as poetic when describing Swedish nature (Ah, the light—the lingering Nordic summer evenings when light turns faintly purple but never entirely fades), and cannot write prose in anything but English. That latter statement is not entirely correct: of course, I can write in Swedish, but it lacks that rather elusive element – voice.

For my mother, Sweden was paradise on earth, which is why we ended up back here after years and years abroad. Paradise? Not so much, but over the years, I have embraced the Swede within – except for when I write. You see, when I write, I am rarely in Sweden. No, when I write, I generally leap backwards in time to Colonial America or Medieval England (and, more recently, Spain).

Colonial America, in particular, is a fascinating period and place for me – primarily because so many Swedes left their homeland to pursues the American Dream. Yes, the vast majority of those Swedes arrived to the land of hope and glory after colonial times, but I imagine settling in a new land was more or less the same in the 19th century as in the 17th: back-breaking labour, unfamiliar plants and animals, fear of the indigenous population, fear that the hopes for a better future would be crushed to dust in this strange and intimidating environment. Add to this a constant gnawing homesickness – the one my mother experienced all those years we were far, far away from Sweden – after all, tearing your roots up to replant them elsewhere is a difficult endeavour.

When I sit in my country house, surrounded by mile after mile of silent forests, I can somehow visualise how Alex Graham, my time-travelling protagonist of The Graham Saga, must have felt as she surveyed the homestead she and hubby Matthew Graham had wrested from the Maryland wilderness.

Life was hard for those that lived in our country house back when it was a working farm. Endless drystone walls indicate just how rocky the ground was (still is). Meagre grasses that ripple in shades of gold and green tell me the soil was less than fertile, and feeding a family was therefore a major challenge.

That is not Alex’s problem: the colonists who managed to survive the crossing and establish themselves in their new home found fertile land. But just like the people who built those stone walls, Alex’s life was one of hard work, of chapped hands after days of doing laundry, of an aching back after a week raking hay, of minor burns after conserving what fruits and berries she could find.

As I stir my bubbling blackberry jam, for an instant I am Alex. When I help hubby repair a part of the collapsed wall, I pretend he’s Matthew. And when we wash ourselves in the lake because the pump isn’t working, then I am definitely Alex – even if she is hardier than me. Alex Graham has learned the hard way that clean water – no matter how cold – is a luxury. Me, I prefer a hot shower!

Anna’s country house

So here I am, out in the Swedish boonies and writing about Colonial boonies – well, when I’m not writing about medieval cities built on the backbones of Romans remains (Alison, we need to travel Spain together and hop from ancient city to ancient city. You can tell me about the Romans, I can add a Castilian or Aragonese flavour. Yes? – Yes, as long as I can show you the wonder of Ampurias near Gerona).

It strikes me sometimes that there are more similarities than differences between my boonies and Alex’s boonies. But then, as most historical fiction writers will tell you, that is valid for most aspects of life. The human condition remains relatively unchanged through the centuries. We’re born, we learn, we love, we lose, we overcome, we fight, we experience success and failure. We laugh and cry, we have long existential conversations over wine. And then we die – just like all those who went before us did as well.

Find out more about Anna

Website and blog:
Twitter:  @abelfrageauthor
Amazon Author Page:



What is Anna’s exciting new new book about?

He hoped for a wife. He found a companion through time and beyond.

1715 and for Duncan Melville something fundamental is missing from his life. Despite a flourishing legal practice and several close friends, he is lonely, even more so after the recent death of his father. He needs a wife—a companion through life, someone to hold and be held by. What he wasn’t expecting was to be torn away from everything he knew and find said woman in 2016…

Erin Barnes has a lot of stuff going on in her life. She doesn’t need the additional twist of a stranger in weird outdated clothes, but when he risks his life to save hers, she feels obligated to return the favour. Besides, whoever Duncan may be, she can’t exactly deny the immediate attraction.

The complications in Erin’s life explode. Events are set in motion and to Erin’s horror she and Duncan are thrown back to 1715. Not only does Erin have to cope with a different and intimidating world, soon enough she and Duncan are embroiled in a dangerous quest for Duncan’s uncle, a quest that may very well cost them their lives as they travel through a Scotland poised on the brink of rebellion.

Will they find Duncan’s uncle in time? And is the door to the future permanently closed, or will Erin find a way back?

Buy The Whirlpools of Time here:

Read my review on Amazon:


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO, CARINA (novella), PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA, NEXUS (novella), INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO,  and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories.  Audiobooks are available for four of the series. Double Identity, a contemporary conspiracy, starts a new series of thrillers.

Download ‘Welcome to Alison Morton’s Thriller Worlds’, a FREE eBook, as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be among the first to know about news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

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