Since Avon Books has my electronic backlist on sale right now, I thought it would be fun to look back at the titles that are being offered for $4.99. Over the next 6-8 weeks, I am going to pick a book and look at the inspiration behind it, the characters and perhaps some of the challenges behind writing it.
I had to start with one of my favorites (yes, an author can have a favorite), Something About Emmaline. This was the first book in the Bachelor Chronicles series. Something you might not know is that this series was inspired by a traffic sign. Yes, an exit sign off the highway, which read: Sedgwick Rd, Tremont Rd. I thought those were amazing hero names, and thus came to life, Baron Sedgwick.
I had my hero, but the real kernel of inspiration for this book came while watching the movie, The Importance of Being Earnest. Of course, I could blame Colin Firth’s presence on the screen, because he is such an inspiring sight, however the entire plot line of the story intrigued me—the idea of a man with two identities—the solid, country gentleman and his alter ego, his made-up “brother” Ernest, the rakish, man about town. The secret identity and grand lie stuck in my brain and began to rattle around. I kept seeing my hero, Alexander Denford, Baron Sedgwick, the solid, dependable, rather boring sort of fellow who wanted to keep the status quo, but I could just never see him being the rakish devil-may-care kind of Corinthian that an “Ernest” character would require.
Then I realized what I really loved about the plot was the weight of that huge lie, and the great lengths to which Alexander would have to go to when it started to unravel. Suddenly, I saw it—Alex didn’t make up a brother, he made up a wife—because he was tired of everyone pestering him to get married. And in a flash, Emmaline was born. His perfect English wife—reliable, respectable, sickly and therefore, never seen. Alex had his perfect life without anyone trying to match him up since he was already “married” to Emmaline.
Now of course, I couldn’t leave him a happy man, so I therefore had the great joy of creating his Emmaline—I knew that from the moment she stepped into his life, a living breathing, hot blooded wife, she would have to turn everything in his orderly existence upside down, whether it was intentional or just part of her quirky and slightly mad character. Much of the inspiration for her character came from another of my favorite movies, Auntie Mame, with Rosalind Russell. At times, I almost felt sorry for Alex as he scrambles to stay one step ahead of his unraveling deception. Okay, maybe I didn’t feel all that sorry him—because it was tremendous fun to tell his and Emmaline’s story.
Two side notes: My working title for this book was The Importance of Being Emmaline. The powers that be changed it to Something About Emmaline. Whatever the title, the book is a rollicking good time. Secondly, the picture on the right is from the manga version of the story. This was my first book translated into Japanese and one of two of my books that were also done in a manga version.
Get your digital copy of Something About Emmaline on sale for $4.99 from:
Or you can read the excerpt here.
P.S. Have you read Something About Emmaline? What was your favorite part?