|Jenny Barden and her book, with its beautiful cover|
The book itself is the result of a long process, as books are: of ideas gelling, of strands coming together, of research and aha! moments, of doubts and of faith. Jenny paid tribute to friends and writing colleagues who've helped see her through, including the Verulam Writers' Circle, the new writers' scheme of the Romantic Novelists' Association, and the Historical Novel Society. Incredibly, she's been balancing preparing for this launch with organising the HNS Conference in London at the end of this month - I don't know how she manages it!
Writers are often full of self-doubt and success may seem an ever-receding goal, but attending book events like these reminds us that it can happen, it can come true. What we all need is staying-power. Plus passion. Plus friends and support. For me, it was a delight to meet Jenny and also to meet Emma Darwin at last - I'd got to know them through blogs, Twitter and Facebook, and this is how these networks function these days. You make contact, share ideas and experience, shore each other up, tell each other jokes and snippets of lit-gossip and trade-satire - and often you haven't even met that person, so it's such a pleasure when events such as these and the upcoming HNS Conference give you the chance to do so.
http://www.jennybarden.co.uk/ . She's written a fascinating post about the genesis and development of the story at http://www.royaltyfreefictionary.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/mistress-of-sea-by-jenny-barden.html
The Historical Novel Society is here and is well worth joining, but the Conference is now, I believe, fully booked!
Jenny is in Plymouth today, giving a talk: 'Following Drake's first adventure - but suppose a woman had been there?' Great stuff!
Jenny is on Twitter: @jennywilldoit and I'm @LornaFergusson.
In October and November I'll be running workshops on creating heroes and villains, as part of my Fictionfire autumn and winter programme. I Need a Hero is on October 13th and Villains with Relish is on November 10th - you can find full details on the Fictionfire website: www.fictionfire.co.uk/page26.htm