Spotlight & Giveaway: Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter by Anne Clinard Barnhill

Posted March 21st, 2014 by in Blog, Spotlight / 25 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Anne Clinard Barnhill to HJ!


Hi Anne, Welcome to HJ

Thanks so much for having me.

What would you say are the defining characteristics of your novels?

Anne Clinard BarnhillI try to get inside the skin of my characters, really figure out what makes them tick. I want them to live and breathe and be fully human. This is especially important with historical figures because we have such ideas about them—they become larger than life and quite unrealistic over time.

5 best things about being a writer?

1) I get to work in my jammies! 2) I get to tell myself stories all the time (the downside is, I imagine stuff when I deal with real people, like my husband!) 3) I get to meet lots of nice folks through writing, and hopefully entertain them or touch them in some way 4) I have a tax-deductible reason for buying all different kinds of books 5) I get to experience more than one life

Let’s talk about your newest release: Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter

If you had to summarize the book for the readers here…

QEDI would say the book is about Lady Mary Shelton, second cousin of Queen Elizabeth I and an ancestor of mine. You’ll find Mary in the history books because she married without the queen’s permission. As a result, Elizabeth broke Mary’s finger in a fit of rage and banished her and her new husband. That is the element of truth from which the book springs.

Please tell us about the characters in your book

There’s Mary Shelton, a Ward of the Court and Queen Elizabeth’s 2nd cousin. She’s younger than the queen and is like a daughter to her. The Earl of Oxford is the young man the queen would like for Mary to marry—he’s everything the queen would wish for her ‘daughter’. He’s brilliant, rich, has position and prestige. However, Mary sees another side to him, a side she does not like. She prefers Sir John Skydemore, a minor knight and widower with five children to raise. Robert Dudley, Douglass Sheffield, Lettyce Knolleys, Nicholas Hilliard all make an appearance.

What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why?

Oh, I very much enjoyed one of the love scenes between Mary and John because it’s very close to something I experienced in my own youth. I had fun remembering what it was like to be young and in love.
Here’s a little snippet:
“He wrapped his arms around her and off they went, rolling one over the other, over and over, gathering speed as they tumbled. Mary saw grasses and flowers in a great swirl against the blue sky and felt the soft earth beneath her. The ground was punctuated every now and then by a rock that poked her in the back, though not uncomfortably.”

What scene was the hardest to write? Why?

The hardest was the scene between Robert Dudley and Elizabeth, with Mary coming on them unexpectedly. It took me a long time to figure out the emotional resonance of that scene. Here is a little piece of it:
“Lying on the ground in her shift was the queen, with Lord Robert hovering over her, his doublet and shirt in the nearby grass. He was kissing her and she had her arms wrapped around his neck. Mary watched as Lord Robert ran his hands along the queen’s body, pausing at her breasts which he began to knead.”

Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book was optioned for a movie?

Oh, Cate Blanchette as Elizabeth, of course! As for Mary, someone like Natalie Portman or Emma Watson. Robert Dudley? Russel Crowe and Sir John Skydemore—Chris Pine. Wow, what a cast that would be!

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on two projects. The first is almost finished and it’s set in 1960 in West Virginia where I grew up. It’s about a girl who was won in a poker game and the women who try to rescue her. The other book is very personal and I’m not quite ready to talk about it—it’s a secret!
What other releases do you have planned in 2014? I don’t have any plans for another book in 2014 unless something unforeseen (and wonderful!) happens.

Where can readers get in touch with you?

I’m on facebook-Anne Clinard Barnhill-Writer and I also have email;

GIVEAWAY: 2 print galleys of Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q: Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter shows Elizabeth I in a new light. She has maternal feelings and comes close to having the experience of motherhood. What kind of mother do you think Elizabeth might have made?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


God’s death! I shall have their heads! To marry without the permission of one’s prince is treason! I will see everyone who took part in this debacle punished—the priest who dared marry them, the witnesses who arranged the wedding, even the stable boy who held their horses—all shall pay for this insult against my sovereignty!

25 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter by Anne Clinard Barnhill”

  1. Rhonda

    It’s hard to guess what kind of mother she would have been. I’d like to think all mothers are loving and nurturing…but I know that’s not always the case.

  2. jeannemiro

    I think that Queen Elizabeth was more interested in her power and control over the time and compassion needed to be a caring mother. Having children and grandchildren of my own I know that the hardest job to have is being a good parent and needing to put our goals aside and making giving our children the gifts of time and focusing on their wants and needs over our own. Even though I had to work there were many times when my career had to take second place to the nurturing they needed and I don’t regret it for a minute. On the other hand because she was a Queen Elizabeth would have needed to put the good of her people before her family. I’m sure that if she had the chance to have children her reign would have been vastly different and her country would have suffered for it.

  3. Christine L.

    I imagine that she would have left the raising of any children to nannies and other staff of the court.

  4. Nicole Potter (@NiiArt)

    I like the idea of her having maternal feelings for her cousin, it really brings on a new spin to the story! I imagine as Mary was quite a bit younger than the queen, she may have had familial feelings for her, but maybe they weren’t close? Or maybe like cousins? Hm…so many speculations! If she broke her finger in rage however, it must have meant she had to have been somewhat close to her…

    • Nicole Potter (@NiiArt)

      And as for what type of mother, I imagine somewhat strict, but behind close doors doting. As someone that would have constantly been in the public eye and scrutinized, I think she would have had to make sure her children didn’t behave…or run off and marry without permission, haha!

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