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Thursday, April 29, 2021

RRR presents... WAYWARD VOYAGE by Anna Holmes - GUEST POST!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we've teamed up with Rachel's Random Resources for a stop along their current tour starring a book that will take you right out of our own time and back to the 18th century like it was only yesterday...for better, or worse!  Let's set sail for today's title in the spotlight...

Wayward Voyage
Anna Holmes

About the book...
Anne is a headstrong young girl growing up in the frontier colony of Carolina in the early eighteenth century. With the death of her mother, and others she holds dear, Anne discovers that life is uncertain, so best live it to the full. She rejects the confines of conventional society and runs away to sea, finding herself in The Bahamas, which has become a nest for pirates plaguing the West Indies. Increasingly dissatisfied with her life, Anne meets a charismatic former pirate, John 'Calico Jack' Rackham, and persuades him to take up pirating again, and she won't be left onshore. The Golden Age of Piracy is a period when frontiers were being explored and boundaries pushed. Wayward Voyage creates a vivid and gritty picture of colonial life in the Americas and at sea.


~~~   GUEST POST   ~~~
~~~   with author Anna Holmes   ~~~

Might Wayward Voyage float YOUR boat?

I imagine my ideal reader as a young woman. If that’s not you, that’s OK. It doesn’t fit the profile of most of my beta female readers who’ve responded enthusiastically to Wayward Voyage. Nor is it my partner’s profile – a critical reader who is neither female nor young.

When I grew up there was no such thing as Young Adult genre. I vividly recall childhood favourites, then I see myself as a teenager during rainy lunch times at school, book in hand, or I picture myself lying on a beach on summer holidays, tanning and reading at the same time. 

Anya Seton’s novels were favourites, with Katherine my top pick; Mary Stewart titles (Nine Coaches Waiting got my heart thumping) and many Daphne du Maurier books (who could resist Rebecca?). I know I read some Georgette Heyer, though can’t recall titles. I loved Gone with the Wind with Scarlet and Rhett and that whole sweep of history.

With Wayward Voyage I aim to create a story that can be enjoyed by readers today. 

Set between the years 1704 and 1721, Wayward Voyage is a coming-of-age story more brutal than many. It follows Anne aged six emigrating with her family from Ireland to Carolina, to her time roving the West Indies with Jack Rackham. We know little about her actual life, and between the few facts we do know, I have constructed my narrative. Anne’s, Mary’s and Jack’s stories play out within the broader historical context.

World building is important to me. I love researching and populating my imagined world with believable characters. Some of my research was home based (books aplenty, internet). Visits to the National Archives in London allowed me to read letters from Governor Woodes Rogers and the record of the pirates’ trial (which is now available online). Then there was experiential research. I travelled to South Carolina to get a feel for the landscape, visiting plantations as well as museums in Charleston and Washington DC. A few years ago, I volunteered as voyage crew on a tall ship, the Lord Nelson, operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust. That week, sailing between the Canary Islands, learning to handle ropes and going aloft was so special I didn’t want to come home. For all the hardship that would have been part and parcel of being at sea in the eighteenth century, I could easily imagine the attraction of setting your own rules far away from authorities. Especially for women. 

And that’s another thing. At a time when women’s lives were so prescribed it is extraordinary that both Anne Bonny and Mary Read ended up in Jack Rackham’s gang of pirates. Mary needed to earn her living and being employed as a soldier or sailor paid more than being in domestic service. Women did go to sea – many in disguise. Susanne Stark has written an excellent book about this, Female Tars: Women Aboard Ship in the Age of Sail. But why did Anne run off to sea? In my story, she is a girl who wants more and does not want to be confined to a predictable life as a farmer’s wife with a brood of kids. There must be something more and she wants to find it… But does she?

On my website   you will find links to Twitter and Facebook, and you can sign up to receive a monthly newsletter on the Contact page. I am keen to engage with readers and welcome questions. The Book Club page has links to further reading and there is a PDF with suggested questions and discussion topics.

If you enjoy reading Wayward Voyage, I would love you to leave a review on the retailer’s website and recommend to friends.

Bon voyage and happy reading.

 Anna M Holmes


About the author...

Anna is originally from New Zealand and lives in the U.K. with her Dutch partner.
WAYWARD VOYAGE is Anna’s first novel. She has been fascinated by the lives of women pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read, for a long time. Some years ago, she visualised this story as a screenplay before exploring and building their world more deeply as a novel. WAYWARD VOYAGE made a longlist of 11 for the Virginia Prize in Women’s Fiction 2020.

BLIND EYE an eco-thriller, will be published by The Book Guild in September, so this year, 2021, Anna will have two novels coming out. Her screenplay, BLIND EYE, is joint winner of the 2020 Green Stories screenplay competition.
A documentary about pioneers of flamenco in the UK that Anna produced and directed was screened in Marbella International Film Festival and in London. This passion project ensures a slice of cultural history has been captured. It is available on YouTube and via a portal on her website.

She holds a Humanities B.A, a post-graduate diploma in Journalism and an M.A. in Dance Studies. Initially she worked as a radio journalist before a career in arts management working with U.K. Arts Councils and as an independent producer, dance history lecturer and she has run a dance development agency. 

Anna is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher and enjoys practising flamenco. Writing, dance, and yoga shape her life.


Special thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the chance to bring this tour to you and to author Anna Holmes for the great guest post. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, this promotion, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available now, so click on over to your favorite online retailer to snag your copy today and be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more bookish fun!

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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