The House that Anne Boleyn Built

Current mood:  blissful
Category: Writing and Poetry

It is my turn to blog at Nice N Naughty today and here is what I wrote:

Last night historical fiction author Robin Maxwell came to my local library to speak about her life and her astonishing books – all fictionalized autobiographies of “notorious” women of the 15th and 16th centuries.
It was inspiring to listen to the story of how her obsession with Anne Boleyn led to her groundbreaking novel, “The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn.”
The captivated crown ooohed – literally – when she said that several years ago, after turning her back on her parrot taming career, she managed to get an agent who loved the concept of her book. It was rejected by 35 publishers before landing a deal.
The rest, pardon the pun, is history.
Maxwell’s lively, lyrical novels are first-person narratives. Starting with Anne Boleyn, Maxwell’s immaculate research into the notorious woman who changed the course of western religious history only to be executed by her husband, King Henry VIII, is layered in a moving, exhilarating tale.
Her take on Leonardo da Vinci’s mother is fascinating. She believes Signora da Vinci (the title character of her latest book) was the actual model for the Mona Lisa.
Her novel The Wild Irish, the fictionalized autobiography of the pirate queen Grace O’Malley has been snapped up by Mel Gibson whose production company Icon will produce the movie version. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is reading the book, but for my money, watching Robin Maxwell’s spirited performance as she read an extract from her book, made me think she IS Grace O’Malley.
The author’s flagship Boleyn diary has been optioned for movies many times. TV production companies have also optioned it, but it has never been made. I feel Anne’s day will come and her story, written with an open heart, will be told on the screen.
In the meantime, the woman who gave her such grace told her audience last night that it is due to her love affair with Anne Boleyn that she and her husband Max were able to buy their 22 acre desert property in Joshua Tree, California.
“Every time we arrive home, each and every time, I say thank you Anne, thank you Henry.”
I know how she feels. There is a sincere pleasure for me in paying bills with my royalties. I can think of nothing more rewarding.
Kimo and Lopaka haven’t bought me a house – yet – but I, like Robin Maxwell am reveling in the other rewards, the readers, the work, that comes with such muses. I felt very inspired last night by one woman’s remarkable story. A wise reminder that if you do what you love, that is the richest reward there is.
Aloha oe,


Currently listening:
By Adam Cohen
Release date: 2005-05-23

One Response to “The House that Anne Boleyn Built”

  1. I love “The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn”, it’s one of those books that captures your interest straight away and you have trouble putting it down – I seemed to carry my copy everywhere with me! I know some people criticize books like this because of their historical inaccuracies but these types of novels are called historical fiction for a reason, they are just inspired by history.

    I’m envious of you hearing Robin Maxwell speak, she must be a very interesting lady.

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