2 December 2016

Blog Tour And Giveaway ~ Falling Pomegranate Seeds: The Duty of Daughters, by Wendy J. Dunn


Available on Amazon UK, Amazon US


A tale of mothers and daughters, power, intrigue, death, love, and redemption. In the end, Falling Pomegranate Seeds
sings a song of friendship and life.

I started writing Falling Pomegranate Seeds: The Duty of Daughters not long after the publication of my first novel, Dear Heart, How Like You This? That novel depicted my imagined reconstruction of Anne Boleyn’s life as seen through the eyes of a man always loving her. Like my character, Sir Thomas Wyatt, I believe with all my heart that Anne Boleyn’s death was unjust, and an act of deadly Tudor politics. I see her death as murder, and one of the many things Henry VIII has to answer for. Researching Dear Heart also made me aware of his appalling and heartless treatment of his first wife, Katherine of Aragon and their daughter Mary. By the time I had completed my first novel, I found myself so drawn to Katherine’s story that I decided it had to be my next major work.

Falling Pomegranate Seeds: The Duty of Daughters focuses on Catalina’s childhood and early teenage years in Castile. My first attempt to write this work was from the point of view of Maria de Salinas. But I had to rethink that when I realised my efforts to give voice to a child and young girl, who was recounting what really was an adult story, just didn’t hit the bullseye. Despite the encouragement of receiving a short listing in the HarperCollins Varuna Awards for Manuscript Development, it was a different story when my agent sent my work to publishers. Their feedback forced me to face the fact that I needed to dismantle years of work and retell my story through one of my adult characters.

Deciding on that character was easy. Constructing and peopling Catalina’s world had made me grow to love Beatriz Galindo. Beatriz Galindo – a respected scholar who lectured at the University of Salamacha and became a tutor to Queen Isabel, before tutoring her children  - aroused in me those very important ‘what if’ questions essential for a writer of fiction. She was also a person I felt deserved to be brought to life on the page.

What was not easy was tackling a rewrite. A new main character meant rebuilding my novel through the story of that character. Grieving about putting aside my first vision for this work, I decided it was easier to turn my attention to another project inspired by Dear Heart; revisiting the last days of Anne Boleyn through the eyes of her niece, Kate Carey, in The Light in the Labyrinth. I always planned to return to Falling Pomegranate Seeds. I believed in the work and I had done all the research needed to achieve the first version of the first part of Katherine of Aragon’s story. I had even gone to Spain to walk in Catalina’s footsteps.

The Light in the Labyrinth was published in 2014, and I started researching another book project. I told myself I was waiting for the right time to get back to Falling Pomegranate Seeds. That day came last year when I contacted Tim Ridgway of MadeGlobal Publishing about an entirely different matter. We exchanged a flurry of emails and Tim – likely trying to distract me in the kindest possible way from pursuing my original question –  finally asked me if I had any other projects that may interest him. I told him about my planned novels about the life of Katherine of Aragon and how I had the rough draft of the first book,  a work focusing on Catalina in her formative years.

“You are writing about Katherine of Aragon’s childhood?” he asked. “ That would interest me. How long would it take you to get it to me?”

I gulped, and my mind quickly calculated the time I needed to rewrite a whole novel. “Four months,” I lied. Knowing I had a publisher interested in my work, I then had to work out strategies to turn that lie into truth. I booked myself into a writing retreat for two weeks in February 2016 and then worked towards that booking like a crazy woman…well, like a writer who knew they had an important, once in a lifetime deadline to meet. Tim received my manuscript on April 4th 2016, five months after our first email, and I received his offer to publish my work on the same day. Now that is a true moment for a writer to treasure – to get an acceptance for their work just hours after submitting it to a publisher.

Wendy J. Dunn
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About the Author

Wendy J. Dunn has been obsessed by Anne Boleyn and Tudor History since she was ten-years-old. She is the author of three historical novels: Dear Heart, How Like You This?, the winner of the 2003 Glyph Fiction Award and 2004 runner up in the Eric Hoffer Award for Commercial Fiction, The Light in the Labyrinth, her first young adult novel, and Falling Pomegranate Seeds: The Duty of Daughters. While she continues to have a very close and spooky relationship with Sir Thomas Wyatt, the elder, serendipity of life now leaves her no longer wondering if she has been channelling Anne Boleyn and Sir Tom for years in her writing, but considering the possibility of ancestral memory. Her own family tree reveals the intriguing fact that her ancestors – possibly over three generations – had purchased land from both the Boleyn and Wyatt families to build up their own holdings. It seems very likely Wendy’s ancestors knew the Wyatts and Boleyns personally. Wendy gained her Doctorate of Philosophy (Writing) from Swinburne University in 2014, and is the Co-Editor in Chief of Backstory and Other Terrain, Swinburne University two new peer-reviewed writing journals.  Find out more at Wendy's website http://www.wendyjdunn.com/ and find her on Facebook and Twitter: @wendyjdunn.




Want to win a copy of  Falling Pomegranate Seeds: The Duty of Daughters, by Wendy J. Dunn? To enter the prize draw, simply leave a comment below this post saying what historical figure you’d like to see Wendy write about next. Leave your comment by midnight on Saturday 17th December 2016. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted for their details.

10 comments:

  1. I am all about the Tudor era, I am obsessed with Henry VIII and his 6 wives - Anne Boleyn is my favorite of the wives but I would really love to see a book about Anne of Cleves! I thought she was a very smart woman and gets way too little appreciation because out of all his wives she was able to divorce him and live.

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    1. I would love to write a novel about Anne of Cleves. Smile - I have often thought I could make a comedy of their first meeting. Henry gained a new experience then: his ego was hurt. He decided to first meet her incognito. Confronted by a strange man bearing gifts and wanting to her embrace her in the name of the King, Anne was not exactly interested in this much older man. After taking the gifts, Anne returned to watching events unfold from her window.
      Of course, when he returned royally garbed in robes of purple she knew what to do, acting the part of a princess welcoming her king. But the damage was done. “I like her not,” said Henry.

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    2. Erika, you have been picked as the winner of the giveaway - congratulations! Please contact me at
      rozelle (at) MadeGlobal (dot) com
      so that I can arrange to send your book out.

      Rozelle Faulkner
      MadeGlobal Publishing

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  2. Dear Wendy, I would like to see the reign of Henry VIII from the point of view of his bit-of-stuff, Catherine Howard. She was as much maligned as Boleyn but warrants fewer inches in history. Why?

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    1. I suspect because she was the pawn who remained the pawn. Poor girl. She had very little say about becoming Henry's 'bit-of-stuff'. Of all Henry's wives, I see her story as the most tragic.

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  3. Catherine Parr or Catherine Howard! Even Lady Jane Grey.

    Thank you for the article and giveaway!

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  4. I'd love to see Wendy write about Elizabeth of York. I really like her writing and I'd like to see her take on Elizabeth's life and her marriage to Henry VII!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! Smile - Elizabeth of York is an important character in the second part of my Katherine of Aragon story!

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  5. Anne of Cleves since there are few books written about her. I believe she was not as awful as Henry made her out to be.

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  6. I would like for Wendy to write about Anne Neville. I think she has been largely bypassed in history. I find her fascinating. I also choose to believe that hers and Richard III was a special love story and not just a political marriage.

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