Today Hannah Fielding has kindling written a piece on Casting a Heroine As The Adventurer. Hannah’s latest book deals has such a Heroine. So, if this post has piqued your interest, be sure to pre-order her book, Aphrodite’s Tears.
CASTING A HEROINE AS THE ADVENTURER by Hannah Fielding
As a child, I loved stories full of adventure, with characters travelling to strange new lands and encountering all kinds of challenges along the way. The One Thousand and One Nights stories were firm favourites, especially ‘The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor’ (some of which is inspired, incidentally, by Greek mythology): fantastic creatures, exotic travel, natives, treasure, miracles, magic – everything to spark the imagination.
There was one thing I did not like, however, about the adventure stories I read as a child. The protagonist was invariably male. Why shouldn’t a woman have the adventures? I thought.
Why not indeed. Which is why the heroine of my new novel, Aphrodite’s Tears, is absolutely an adventurer. Take her reaction when she first sees the island of Helios, where she has come to work. Some would be daunted by the landscape: ‘the hills rolled like waves of an angry ocean and to the side of them lay rocky escarpments and steep gorges. It was just the sort of place where, in the language of Dodwell and other early nineteenth-century travellers through Greece, a false step would mean death.’ Not Oriel, though. I write: ‘It was like a dark fantasy world from an adventure book, and Oriel was all for adventure!’
Her yearning for new experiences that broaden her horizons and challenge her has been a driving force since her childhood. She grew up an only child of ageing, cossetting parents, and this bred in her a desire for escape and excitement. As soon as she was old enough, she rebelled against them, finding every opportunity to assert her independence – and that included training to be an archaeologist. I write:
‘As a young girl, she had spent many nights under her bedcovers with a torch, reading about the lost civilizations of the past, intrepid explorers and their tales of derring-do, imagining what it might be like to be a heroic adventurer who could travel back in time and experience those worlds for herself.’
Her mother’s reaction: ‘Are there any lady archaeologists, darling? Isn’t that what men usually do?’ A reaction such as this would have done nothing to hold me back in a passion, I know, and neither does it hinder Oriel in chasing adventure. If anything, it makes her more determined.
In coming to work on Helios, an isolated private island in the Ionian Sea that is so traditional it is like time stopped there thousands of years ago, Oriel is fulfilling that adventurer’s dream of her childhood. And yet, in 1977, when the story is set, she is entering a man’s world, where women do not stride about in trousers, overseeing archaeological projects. The island has been untouched by the sexual revolution; to most Greek men, a woman’s place is in the kitchen, not diving into the deep blue sea to unearth buried treasure.
The question remains: Will Oriel’s adventurous spirit leave her on the outside, a woman shunned and scorned? Or, like the goddesses of ancient Greece who have long watched over this land, can she prove that a woman has every right to be liberated and strong, and to follow the path of her own choosing in life?
Release Date: 25th January 2018
Published by: London Wall Publishing
In ancient Greece, one of the twelve labours of Hercules was to bring back a golden apple from the Garden of Hesperides. To archaeologist Oriel Anderson, joining a team of Greek divers on the island of Helios seems like the golden apple of her dreams.
Yet the dream becomes a nightmare when she meets the devilish owner of the island, Damian Lekkas. In shocked recognition, she is flooded with the memory of a romantic night in a stranger’s arms, six summers ago. A very different man stands before her now, and Oriel senses that the sardonic Greek autocrat is hell-bent on playing a cat and mouse game with her.
As they cross swords and passions mount, Oriel is aware that malevolent eyes watch her from the shadows. Dark rumours are whispered about the Theodorakis family. What dangers lie in Helios: a bewitching land where ancient rituals are still enacted to appease the gods, young men risk their lives in the treacherous depths of the Ionian Sea, and the volatile earth can erupt at any moment?
Will Oriel find the hidden treasures she seeks? Or will Damian’s tragic past catch up with them, threatening to engulf them both?
ABOUT HANNAH FIELDING
Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.
To date, Hannah has published five novels: Burning Embers, ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya; the award-winning Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’ set in Italy; and the Andalucian Nights trilogy (Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy), set in sultry Spain.