Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why Lynda loves navy heroes

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Lynda Dunwell’s debut novel with Aurora Regency (November 25 2011) “Marrying the Admiral’s Daughter” has a dashing frigate captain, Ross Quentin, as the hero. What’s so special about those navy men Lynda?

Like many historical romantic novelists I read Jane Austen’s novels. One of my favourite characters/heroes is Captain Wentworth in “Persuasion”. Jane knew the service well as two of her brothers Francis and Charles had distinguished careers in the navy. The service was less aristocratic than the army because commissions did not have to be expensively purchased. An ambitious, but less wealthy recruit, had a greater opportunity to progress through the ranks by his own merit. Hence the ideal background for my hero Ross Quentin. Like Wentworth, Ross returns to shore after a long period at sea where he has accumulated a fortune – the equivalent of today’s self-made man.

My attraction to naval heroes also came through reading Horatio Hornblower (C.S Forester), Jack Aubrey-Maturin novels (Patrick O’Brian), Richard Delancey (C Northcote Parkinson) and Richard Bolitho (Alexander Kent). But as a romantic novelist I faced one huge problem – how to get my sea-dog heroes on land long enough to fall in love. That’s why I set my debut novel for Musa Publishing during the Peace of 1802 when the British had signed the Treaty of Amiens with the French.

To match my hero, I needed a strong minded heroine who had an understanding of life in the service. So, Bella Richmond is an admiral’s daughter. This also gave me an opportunity to introduce her mentor and great friend Lady Mary Rufford, who is based on Sophie Croft, the sister of Captain Wentworth and wife to Admiral Croft in Jane Austen’s “Persuasion.”

But I couldn’t keep Ross away from the sea – he just wouldn’t rest until I put him back on board a vessel. Bella is kidnapped in the closing chapters of “Marrying the Admiral’s Daughter” and carried off on board a French merchantman. Wild horses wouldn’t have prevented Ross from chasing after her. He simply demanded that I found him a ship and despite stormy seas, he sets sail in an attempt to rescue the woman her loves.

Reader, I hope you enjoy “Marrying the Admiral’s Daughter” as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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