To celebrate the paperback release of Jenny Barden's wonderful novel, Mistress of the Sea, I've invited Jenny to the Plotting Shed to tell us a little more about her book and her heroine's horror of bear bating, a prolific sport in Elizabethan England. Over to you, Jenny...
Historical Novel Society's Conference in Florida on Friday, and I'll be taking plenty of insect repellent and sunblock as well as a few copies of my paperback due to be released tomorrow since it's not yet available in the States. (I can always hit the mozzies with it, if nothing else!) On browsing the programme I noticed this in the headline of a session about cliches in HF and how to avoid them: 'The Feisty Heroine Sold into Marriage Who Hates Bear Baiting'. It caught my eye because my novel, 'Mistress of the Sea', begins with a scene in a bear garden, as the baiting rings were called in Elizabethan times. I also have a feisty heroine and she ends up joining a voyage aboard Francis Drake's ship to the Caribbean partly because she longs to escape the loveless marriage that her father has planned for her. Have I created a cliche? What's interesting about this is that the heroine in the session title 'hates' bear baiting, but my heroine, Ellyn, accepts it as part of Elizabethan life, which it was. She doesn't particularly like it, but she doesn't shy away from it; the bear garden is where she first meets the hero of the book.
Why not take a peek, judge for yourself and maybe pre-order the new paperback version of Mistress of the Sea.
You can find out more about Jenny on her Website, follow her on Twitter @jennywilldoit or on Facebook.