Please help me welcome one of my fave writer pals Courtney Sheets as she celebrates her upcoming release and one of my all time favorite premises, Robin Hood as a woman.
First let me say a big thank you to the lovely ladies of Writers Gone Wild for having me here today. I’m excited to be talking about my newest book, THE HOODED MAN, and hanging out with some of the best writer pals a girl can ever have.
When Jen asked me to blog she posed the question of writing about where the inspiration for the book came from and the different trials that came along with a project like this. It honestly got me thinking.
For those of you who don’t know, THE HOODED MAN, is a retelling of the Robin Hood myth. In my book we see Lady Marian coming to the forefront as a kick-ass heroine. In fact she is Robin Hood. The more I thought about Jen’s question the more realized that this is where most of the difficulties in adaption occurred. I was taking a much beloved story and turning in on its ear.
The idea for making Robin Hood a female stems from my childhood. Seriously, I’m not kidding. I have 5 boys cousins and one baby brother so there was massive amounts of testosterone running around when I was a little girl. We played Super Heroes and Star Wars (I’m a child of the 70s and 80s…you know when Saturday cartoons were awesome) so finding a tough chick to play was easy but when we played Robin Hood I was always stuck being Maid Marian (Which meant I was stuck on my Grandma’s porch which served as dungeon and castle) Thus the idea for a female Robin Hood was born. It wasn’t until I was older that the idea began to form on paper into the book it is now. (I blame Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves)
Originally I was going to write a screenplay version, with the hopes of Drew Barrymore playing Marian (I love me some Drew) but as I kept toying and writing and tweaking (and occasionally drinking) the book decided it wanted to be written instead.
In order to write about Robin Hood Legend and twist it up tighter then Christmas lights thrown in a box in the garage, I needed to educate myself about the Legend and all it consisted. Luckily because I’m a little freaky when it comes to Robin Hood( ask my best friend who has been forced on numerous occasions to watch the Douglas Fairbanks version with me) I had a pretty decent background before I started writing. I read everything I could get my hands on, emailed professors at the University of Nottingham in charge of the Robin Hood studies department with odd questions, saw every movie ever created. My brain now oozes Robin Hood trivia. It’s kind of cool.
The hardest part was figuring out how to get a woman into the forest, dressed as a man, and give her the perfect love interest (after all this is one of the greatest loves stories of all time and a romance novel) I chose Will Scarlet as in the original gestes put him as a constant companion to our wandering hero.
The other important factor was making sure the story was relatively true to the traditional legend. Many people claim themselves as experts in the myth (Just because you’ve seen a fox singing and dancing in the forest does not make you an expert in the legend but I digress) and I want those readers to step back after reading and feel the story was safe in my keeping. I wanted the book to have a feel of “this could be what really happened.” I want the reader to walk away satisfied with the romance and adventure and the story but also think “What if?” The what if is how I came up with the character and the what ifs are my favorite part of writing.
So there you go, how I came up with a female Robin Hood. For those of you who read the book I’d like to say that when Jen and Saranna read the books they come up with teams for the two men in Marian’s life. Jennifer is the captain of Team Scarlet and Saranna is captain of Team Gisbourne. It was very cool. Don’t forget to let me know what team you end up on!
Once again thanks for having me! I love hanging out with you wild women. THE HOODED MAN will be available from Decadent Publishing on March 30th.