The other day, however, I was searching the listing on Amazon for Inevitably a Duchess when I came across a very interesting review that I couldn’t help but read. It is this review that was the catalyst for this blog post. And it is always stated in the writing world to never respond to a review, but this was actually a great review that churned my passion for history, and I am not one to stop the sharing of history. So here is a little background into the writing of Inevitably a Duchess.
Let’s start with Jane.
Jane sprang out of my head, fully formed, in a flat in Glasgow, Scotland in January 2005. Up until the moment I put fingers to keyboard on that dreary day in Glasgow, I didn’t even know who Jane was. And then suddenly she was there, speaking to me in the first person! Yes, first person! In a romance novel! The only person that I have known to carry off a first person romance novel with flair is Linda Howard’s To Die For. But I didn’t deny Jane her first person narrative and just started writing. The book I was writing turned out to be Son of a Duke, but I didn’t know it at the time. Upon first setting story to page, there was only Jane, and she just kept talking. Son of a Duke started off completely in first person for the entire first chapter. I couldn’t stop the woman. She just kept coming. And then I heard Maggie Smith’s voice in my head, and I was lost to Jane.
But as you all know, Nathan and Nora’s story does not start in first person. At the suggestion of several editors, Jane’s narrative was removed from the beginning of Son of a Duke. (If you would like to see the original first chapter, let me know in the comments! If there’s enough interest, I’ll post it to this blog.) But the woman could not be kept down.
Richard and Jane Together
When I released Son of a Duke, I was nervous about what people would think of Nora and Nathan. Never did it occur to me that I would start getting emails asking for Jane and Richard’s story. And this request brought to the fore a very startling fact about the first draft of Son of a Duke.
In the first draft, Richard and Jane were not married.
Okay, I’ll give everyone a minute to absorb that shock. But yes, it is true. Jane and Richard were not married in my head, and so when readers began to ask for their story, I was flummoxed. Jane and Richard had a completely different story (with several written chapters about it) in my head than they did on the published page. And yet, there was suddenly the urgency to come up with a story that had not been in my head before then. I had to separate myself from the story where Jane and Richard fall in love at a much more mature age and write one in which they find each other when they are much younger.
But it finally happened. And next week I’ll share with you some of my favorite parts, historically, about writing their story. I hope you’re up for some grave digging, and perhaps, we’ll have time for the improper sport of gambling.