The Making of Son of a Duke: Writing Historical Romances

September 25, 2013

So I read somewhere that readers actually like to hear about the research that goes into a story.  So I thought I would do a snippet about what went into the making of Son of a Duke, Nathan and Nora’s story and Book One of the Spy Series.  So here you go!

To be perfectly honest, I wrote this story while sitting in the very back of Civil Procedure, a first semester class during my one and only year of law school.  If I got anything out of law school, it was time for writing.  Which I had plenty of during classes.  So Nora and Nathan’s story formed out of a need for imaginative creativity in shovelfuls.  I had started several books before Nora and Nathan’s story, but I never seemed to get past the first few chapters.  But something miraculous happened with Nora and Nathan.  They seemed to take on a life of their own, and suddenly, they were writing the story instead of me.

There were many trips to Google search (Wikipedia wasn’t what it is today back then) to find what my imagination had created.  I did things rather backwards then.  (Now I do the research first and not as I stumble upon it.)  I recall researching two things over and over again.

1. Churches

2. Maps

The thing about London in the Regency time period is that there was a lot less of it than there is today, and I need to know where things were in order to put my characters there.  In my head, the carriage ride was always long enough for that love scene or the park was close for him to reach it in three strides, but was it really?  And for churches, where were there?  They kept popping up between Son of a Duke and For Love of the Earl, so I needed to know a lot about churches.  My favorite became the Temple Church where Nora and Nathan are wed.  The most interesting thing I learned about Temple Church was that the pillars holding the place up really do tilt.

Temple Church: click for source
Temple Church: click for source

After I figured out where everyone was going and where everyone had been, I needed to find out what they were wearing.  Enter the 1800s fashion websites.

Servants in the 1800s: Click for source
Servants in the 1800s: Click for source

Remember Nora’s white cap that keeps ending up in places it shouldn’t?  That was for real.  And something that brings me personal enjoyment is the fact that I wrote Son of a Duke before the tsunami that is now Downton Abbey.  I had no idea servants and servant life was going to be so popular when I wrote this story back in 2006.  But what good timing I had on my part when I did finally publish it!

As far as where did the story of Nora and Nathan come from, I have no answer.  Like I said, Nora and Nathan wrote the story themselves.  The books that came later all have a reason for coming into being, but we’ll get to those in due course.  And I am always on the lookout for interest pieces of history that have more of a story to tell.  Have one?  Share it in the comments!

If you’d like to know more about what went into researching Son of a Duke, stop by its storyboard on Pinterest.  I’m always adding things that belong in Nora and Nathan’s world.  So stop by for a visit and follow me on Pinterest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *