Tuesday, April 1, 2014

INTERVIEW with Anne Clinard Barnhill!



Please welcome Anne Clinard Barnhill

1) My readers and I are very curious about your direct blood relation...Would you kindly indulge us with this most interesting fact?!
First, let me thank you for having me.  In the book about the Shelton family, written in 1943 by Z.F. Shelton, our line is traced back to Sir Ralph Shelton, who was brother to Mary Shelton, heroine of QUEEN ELIZABETH’s DAUGHTER.  His son, James Shelton, came to the Virginia colony in 1610 and married Ann ???? (we don’t have her maiden name).  He was a relative of Lord Delaware and later moved to Barbados for a while.  He had two sons, Ralph (my ancestor) and Thomas.  But before that, Anne Boleyn, sister of Thomas Boleyn, married Sir John Shelton.  Their children included Lady Margaret (Shelton) Wodehouse, who had some sort of relatiohship with Henry VIII—we don’t know if it was a flirtation or if it was consummated.  I explored this in AT THE MERCY OF THE QUEEN. Her brother, John, is my ancestor.  His son, Ralph, was sister to Mary (Shelton) Scudamore, about whom QUEEN ELIZABETH’S DAUGHTER is written.  Is that confusing enough?  The names John and Ralph keep going down the generations…so it gets a bit crazy.  The same for Mary and Margaret.

2) It was so very interesting to read about Elizabeth's summer travels.  What would you say was your favourite part in writing about this?
I love the idea of packing up an entire palace and going on Progress. I kept thinking about how difficult it must have been for everyone except the queen, who, of course, would have done none of the work.  But for everyone else, it must have been awful—packing and unpacking every few days or so..  The good part would have been seeing the countryside and being in the fresh air, not the close and smelly quarters in London.

3) As well, being a fashion and beauty fanatic myself, I was curious about how you researched and came about Elizabeth's meticulous routine and beauty regimen?  What most fascinating tid bit did you come across that perhaps you did not include in your book and would love to share with us here? 
In the book,The Tudor Tailor, there are all sorts of wonderful bits of information about clothing.  And Alison Weir’s The Life of  Elizabeth I is chocked full of facts about her, including her use of marjoram for scent and cleaning her teeth with a gold toothpick, then polishing them with a rag. I learned she washed her hair in lye but I didn’t put that into the novel.   

4) Lastly, what other projects might be on the horizon for you? 
I’m currently working on a novel set in 1960 in West Virginia, where I grew up.  It’s about a young girl who was used as a bet in a poker game and what happens to her.  There’s a granny-woman who can dream the future, a knife-carrying woman who rides a motorcycle and a handsome devil or two.  I hope to finish it soon.  I also have a Tudor mystery series in mind—we’ll see what happens.

To Check Out the HFVBT Schedule with Anne Clinard Barnhill- SEE HERE

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