Daughter of Sherwood by Laura Strickland Interview/Giveaway

Title: Daughter of Sherwood
Author: Laura Strickland


Laura Strickland’s new historical romance book Daughter of Sherwood, published by The Wild Rose Press, will be released on November 1, 2013.

Raised as a scullery maid in Nottingham Castle, Wren has no idea she is the daughter of the legendary Robin Hood. When she is forced to defend herself against the unwanted advances of an influential man, she flees the castle and finds refuge in Sherwood Forest. It is then she learns a powerful secret: she has a destiny as a guardian of Sherwood, charged with the responsibility of defending its ancient magic.

Since Robin's death many years before, his supporters have kept his legend alive.  Now one of the three guardians holding the spell has died. With two young men, Sparrow and Martin, Wren must form a new bond strong enough to protect Sherwood and continue her father’s fight.  Drawn equally to Martin’s warrior spirit and Sparrow’s gentle strength, she finds it nearly impossible to choose between duty and love.

Laura takes us on a journey into the world of Robin Hood's daughter, where we experience her struggle to accept her identity and the demands of her father's legacy.  Along with Wren, we learn that what is loved in life can never be lost, and that great love is worth the price paid.  For at last, when Martin is captured and held at Nottingham Castle, the path becomes clear for Wren and she finds the strength to become the woman she was born to be, the Daughter of Sherwood.

Daughter of Sherwood is book one of The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy.


You have so many wonderful characters, but is there anyone in particular that you enjoyed writing about the most?

I really did enjoy spending time with all the characters in Daughter of Sherwood.  For me, they didn’t feel like my creations but like living, breathing people with whom I had the privilege of visiting.  I got to share their lives for a while, along with the magic and mystery of Sherwood.  But I guess if I had to choose one character as the most fun to write about, it would have to be Martin Scarlet.  Not only is he gorgeous and all male, but he’s multi-dimensional, with as many faults as good points.  Sometimes it’s actually hard to tell the difference!  Martin is at turns infuriating and irresistible, and always the warrior.  I’m glad to say he appears in Book Two of the Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy, Champion of Sherwood, as well.  A fierce heart!

 Were any of your characters or events from the book based of real life people or experiences you have had?

Wow, that’s an interesting question.  I suppose on some level they all are, because as writers we observe the world and take little pieces of everything we see to weave into our writing.  Books, like life, are composites of all we have known and every emotion we’ve experienced.  The fabric we produce is actually an ancient one, passed down by our ancestors.  Specifically, though, I’d have to say none of my characters was based on any one person I’ve known.  But I’ve definitely seen Sparrow’s kindness in people close to me, and heard Lil’s wisdom, and admired Wren’s ability to reach beyond fear and desperation to fight for her desire.  Deep inside I believe we all carry these attributes; whether or not they surface makes the measure of our lives.

 What would you consider a perfect day for you as an author?

Ah, well, it would have to include chocolate, wouldn’t it?  Seriously, if I could create the perfect day it would be a snow day in winter with the white stuff coming thick and fast, plenty of wood on the fire and music on the stereo.  I’m installed on the sofa with a pen and a spiral notebook, my dog at my side, and no possibility of having to go anywhere or do much of anything but write.  I love the cozy, isolated feeling of being snowed in and removed from the world.  Of course, it would also be nice if a small troop of trolls showed up with shovels after the snow stopped and cleared out the driveway.  Hey, maybe there’s a story idea in that …

 Did the idea for any scene or part of the book come from any experiences you have had?

Yes, I do think the basis for how Sherwood Forest is depicted grew out of real experience.  I love trees, and live very much among them on our country property.  I’m also aware at all times of the beauty and magic that surround us, and I think that translated to the book.  I believe in the sentience of all things in the natural world, and in Daughter of Sherwood the Forest is very much a sentient entity central to both the plot of the book and the spell that infuses it.  I’ve walked alone in the forest and felt the awe Wren felt in Sherwood, and encountered my share of magic as well.

 Do you relate to any of your characters?

Well, I’d love to say I relate to Wren, but I doubt I have her courage.  I’d have been quaking, if asked to face off with King John the way she did!  I’d also like to claim Lil’s wisdom, because I admire her so much.  But if I’m truthful, I’d have to say I’m probably most like Madlyn Scarlet – the mother who always does her best and tries to look out for all the crazy people filling her life!

 Were any of your characters or events from the book based of real life people or experiences you have had?

Well, as a writer I’ve learned it’s never a good idea to pluck people out of “real” life (if such it can be called) and plunk them down in a book.  For one thing, they tend to get upset when they read about themselves later.  They never think they could possibly be like that character, with all those faults.  Yet everybody sees a bit of himself in the hero!  I think that’s the beauty of fiction, don’t you?  A reader gets to slip into someone else’s skin for a little while, reach beyond the day-to-day hustle of job and obligations, and soar on a flight of fancy.  And as I’ve said, every character is in part a composite of those I’ve known, (whether they realize it or not).

 What do you like to do in your down time?

Believe it or not, I love to read.  I’ve always been a word junkie and a reading addict (it’s the curse of the bibliophile, I guess!)   When I was a child, everyone in the family – even relations from far away – knew me as the girl who always had a paperback in her pocket.  That hasn’t changed though now, sometimes, it’s a Kindle.  I read while I eat, and I confess I read when I should be doing other things like housework. 
I also love spending time with my dog, Shannon. Thank goodness for her, because she gets me out walking the country roads and taking exercise.

 Do you listen to music while writing? If so were there any songs/groups that you listened to in particular while writing Daughter of Sherwood?

Music has always been deeply important in my life.  And, yes, I do enjoy listening to music while I write.  When I’m editing or rewriting I tend to listen to Pandora on my laptop, but for the act of creation it’s the stereo and the treasure trove of CDs I’ve accumulated over the years.  Daughter of Sherwood, being based on that authentically-English legend, Robin Hood, required me to mine my collection of English Folk and Rock music.  Jethro Tull got quite a workout, as did artists like Richard Thompson and John Renbourn.  But without question, the music that spent the most time playing belonged to that veteran group of English folk rockers, Steeleye Span.  You might say they produced the soundtrack for the whole Trilogy.

 Describe the character Wren in three words.

Courageous.  Strong.  Loving.

 Is there anything else that you would like to tell us?

I’d just like to put out a great big “thank you” to everyone who chooses to read one of my books, or for that matter any book, because it’s a little bit like the old “tree in the forest” adage: if someone writes a book and nobody reads it, does it exist?  Maybe, on paper or in electronic print; but it doesn’t fulfill its purpose any more than the sound waves created by that falling tree become sound without an ear to pick up the vibrations.  I’m so very grateful there are still people in our crazy, demanding, attention-deficit world who love to take that old, beautiful journey of the mind that is reading.  Bless you, every one! 
And thank you so much for taking time to interview me today.  It’s been great fun answering your questions and talking about Daughter of Sherwood.

About Laura:
Born and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination frequently takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her "fur" child, a rescue dog. Currently she is at work on the third book of the Guardians of Sherwood series.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Sherwood-Guardians-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00E4USIGA/ref=la_B001KHSACW_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379960270&sr=1-2

Website: http://www.laurastricklandbooks.com/