Today I'm thrilled to have fellow Wild Rose Press author, Laura Strickland (lore, legend, magic and music lover), share a bit about inspiration and where the ingredients for our stories come from.
When my daughter was young, she loved playing Barbies with Mom. As soon as the supper dishes were done she would sidle up to me with a hopeful look on her adorable, elfin face and ask, “Can we play?”
Of course I couldn’t say no, but as a then stay-at-home mom immersed in laundry, housecleaning and Teenaged Ninja Turtle episodes, I desperately needed something to engage my mind. Daughter’s other favorite thing was Robin Hood. So I would put some English Folk music on the stereo and we’d both unleash our imaginations. Robin Hood Barbie was born.
Oh, the adventures those Robin Hood Barbies had! The space under the dining room table became a dungeon, the edge of the sofa a perilous cliff. Archery contests and daring rescues abounded. The very handsomest of all the Ken dolls became Robin, complete with boots burrowed from a Disney Beast doll. The ugliest – the one we loved to hate – became the Sheriff of Nottingham. Our characters spoke with English accents, and eventually I got so into it I even sewed them all period costumes.
Of such things are wonderful memories made. Little did I know at the time, I was also stoking my own dream of becoming a published writer.
Flash forward an uncounted number of years, and here I am author of The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy. The writing came easily to me, probably because I had such a firm grounding in that wonderful, magical and limitless place my daughter and I created. The fact is the first book of the trilogy, Daughter of Sherwood – due for release by The Wild Rose Press on November 1st but available now in ebook format from Amazon – contains all the ingredients of our play stories: the bravery, the fight against tyranny, the magic and most of all the belief that love never dies.
As writers, we can never be sure what goes into the stories we create. Ingredients garnered over a lifetime pour in through our ears, eyes and fingers. Our minds filter them in the particular way writers’ minds do, weave memory with desire and produce wondrous things: tales of horror (did the slightly creepy guy beside whom you worked all those years on the factory floor turn into an axe murderer?), tales of home (were there grains of wisdom in all those wacky stories Grandpa used to tell?), and loyalty (did that favorite pet with the heroic heart really wait for you to get home from college before he died?) My point is, as writers we need to remember that inspiration can lie anywhere: in a wink of sunlight on leaves, in a snatch of song, in a simple news story. Keep your writer’s third eye on alert, because you just never know what might come of it.
I’ve dedicated Daughter of Sherwood to my daughter because she played such a fundamental part in its creation, though neither of us realized it back then. Daughter of Sherwood will be followed next year by the second book of the trilogy, Champion of Sherwood. Meanwhile I’m hard at work on the concluding book, Lord of Sherwood. But can I really call it work? Feels more like play … Either way, I hope you’ll join us, just outside Nottingham.
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Daughter of Sherwood
Romance / Fantasy
Raised in the kitchens of Nottingham Castle, Wren has no idea she is the daughter of the legendary Robin Hood until she is summoned to Sherwood Forest. Since Robin’s death many years before, the resistance against Norman tyranny has been upheld by a magical triad, but now one of the guardians has died. With two young men, Sparrow and Martin, Wren must form a new triad with a bond strong enough to defend Sherwood’s magic. To one of them, she will also give her heart.
From the moment Wren bursts into his life, Sparrow loves her. But he knows she may choose his lifelong rival, Martin, as her mate. Martin wants Wren also, but Sparrow fears Martin is driven not by love but ambition. When Martin is captured and held at Nottingham Castle, will the conflict between love and duty destroy the triad?
About Laura Strickland