Sara Barnard lives in Brighton and does all her best writing on trains. She loves books, book people and book things. She has been writing ever since she was too small to reach the 'on' switch on the family Amstrad computer. She gets her love of words from her dad, who made sure she always had books to read and introduced her to the wonders of second-hand book shops at a young age. She is the author of Beautiful Broken Things.
Join us as we trapse around Brighton with Sara Barnard, author of Beautiful Broken Things.
The Zoella Book Club has arrived and we're delighted to publish two of the eight books chosen; Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard.
Meet Sara Barnard, author of Beautiful Broken Things, a Zoella Book Club choice and one of this summer's hottest new books.
@backtowinnipeg oh booooo that's when I arrive!
by @saramegan - 43 minutes ago
@backtowinnipeg how long are you staying in Edinburgh?
by @saramegan - an hour ago
@Annmarie_writer THIS GIF used for my little book! 😍
sarabarnardbooks - 24 days ago
Happy Friday night! Tonight, this wild child is binging on Dr Dee Alaska Vet and working on a new medieval YA book. What are you up to?
sarabarnardbooks - 27 days ago
Wednesday. Horror novel is submitted to the requesting agent, as is all of the medieval works to the other requesting agent.
Now, to take a breather before my baby girl's tonsillectomy tomorrow. Wish us luck!
sarabarnardbooks - one month ago
Hanging out at the Permian Basin Writers Workshop today -- I have had some very memorable meetings with some amazing literary agents today!!
Let's go back to medieval England, during the reign of King Henry VIII in the midst of the reformation, where sometimes Lutherans and Catholics were burned on the same day. Here's a sample of AS IT PLEASES THE KING.
“England is again set to be without a queen?” I scrubbed the troublesome dirt from the potatoes in the pail of water I’d been in the process of drawing when I heard the news. Despite the water having already grown thick and brown, the sack on the floor was still half full.
My cousin Elizabeth glanced at me over her own steaming bucket, her cheeks rosy. Normally she would fret if asked to help with any preparations for guests, especially scrubbing the floors, as if her dollop of royal blood forced her to rely only on our few attendants. Even if it would be quicker to just do it herself. But not today. “Mother told me the truth circles about Court like flies over a corpse. Queen Catherine hasn’t uttered one word to prove her innocence!”
“So she will be executed then, just like Anne Boleyn. Suppose this one will request a French swordsman as well?” The harshness of my words struck me. This was a woman’s life hanging in the balance. I let the potato sink into the murky water and did the sign of the cross.
In nominae Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.
Mother died soon after my birth eighteen years ago, but still I preserved her faith in my heart despite the growing popularity of Protestantism. “Perhaps the King will choose a good Catholic girl to marry next to bring England back to the True Faith.” I fished out the potato and set it atop the mountain of those I’d already scoured.
Elizabeth dipped her rag in the bucket and dropped to her knees. “Perhaps he will. A good Catholic girl. Or perhaps not. No doubt she will be younger than Catherine Howard, and fairer too.” She paused in her scrubbing and arched an eyebrow at me. “Perhaps His Majesty is already sending out his groomsmen to scour the English countryside in search of her, having found none abroad?”
I gathered an armload of potatoes and dropped them into my bucket. Dirty water splashed onto Elizabeth’s clean floor.
“Bridget!” she scolded. “Mother said we are to help prepare for supper this evening. And clean. Getting ready for this royal visit is too much for our servants to handle on their own.”
I giggled. “I am helping prepare supper, Cousin. You tend to your floor.”
Elizabeth snuffed and plopped her rag over the dirty potato water.
As our giggles died off, I glanced down at her. “You don’t suppose our guests tonight are coming here on the King’s bidding?” I shook my head at the sheer idiocy of noble groomsmen coming to our home in Lincolnshire in a futile attempt to sniff out the future Queen of England. “Truly I tell you Cousin, I pity any poor girl that His Majesty takes to wife. Really. Even if she be a Reformer.”
Elizabeth shrugged, shifting her white hood over her hair as she scrubbed. “You mean to say you would choose not to be Queen, should His Majesty choose you, of all the maids in England?”
My jaw went slack. “Elizabeth, really! Queen Catherine, that as she was, is set to be executed. Can you not see how they all wind up? Even if His Majesty chose a good Catholic girl, I fear she would wind up a head shorter or be shoved off to die alone in a faraway castle. Like his true Spanish wife, Catherine of Aragon.”
Elizabeth’s musical laugh tinkled along the stone floor. Each stone dug from the nearby Trent River and carried up to this very farmhouse before being laid by the monks who lived here, back when our home was still Throckenholt Priory. Before His Majesty dissolved the monasteries, burned the monks, and gifted the priory and all its lands to my aunt, Lady Denny.
“I suppose Mother could tell it best, what it is really like in the Queen’s Chambers, since she is a maid to Queen Catherine.” Elizabeth set back and dragged her hand across her brow. “You don’t suppose Mother –” She squelched her words and shook her head. “No, it’s too absurd a thought.”
I hefted the filthy bucket of water to my chest and trudged to the servant’s door before dumping it unceremoniously onto the frozen ground. Elizabeth needn’t have finished her sentence. The same question plagued my mind. Could Lady Denny have arranged this dinner so my cousin or myself might become the next wife of Henry VIII? I gulped. The next Queen of England?
Happy Wednesday! How are you spending your day? I'm currently trying to escape the wrath of Henry VIII in my new work in progress which won FIRST PLACE at the Romance Writers of America conference in July! Stay tuned for a snippet . . .
Sign up to the Pan Macmillan newsletter for great extra content and free extracts.