Since last week we looked at Tempted by the Night, it only seemed right to take a look back at the book that started that series, His Mistress by Morning.
Every book has a different inspiration, that moment when the idea bursts to life in my imagination and I know it won’t stop clamoring at me until I write the darn thing. The idea for His Mistress by Morning came along one night after watching the movie You Wish on the Disney Channel with my son, Nicholas. The story is about Alex, a teenaged boy with a pesky little brother. Alex receives a magic coin and unwittingly wishes that he’d never had a little brother. Overnight, Alex is an only child and his life is so very different–but after some time enjoying his newfound popularity, Alex realizes there was much to love about his old life, and even his lost little brother. I won’t tell you more, because the movie is fun to watch.
So, after the movie, Nicholas turned to me and said, “If you had a magic coin, Mommy, what would you wish for?” In that instant, my imagination saw not a coin, but a ring–a small, inconsequential ring, and I saw a family and the havoc such a ring might bring to their lives, and the lessons that could be learned from making hasty, yet heartfelt wishes. Not only that, the old adage, “be careful what you wish for” started ringing through my head. But here I was, just starting the Bachelor Chronicles, with several books plotted out and ready to write, yet Charlotte and Sebastian’s story became like an annoying neighbor–jumping into my thoughts at all hours, plaguing me with questions and scene ideas, until I said, “Enough, already!” and I begged my editor to let me write their book. Besides, I had been hankering to do a story with some fun paranormal elements ever since I’d put that meddling and magical matchmaker into It Takes a Hero and “The Matchmaker’s Bargain” from Hero, Come Back.
But what I loved most about this book was the actually story telling challenge it presented. It had one very difficult technical aspect to master–first of all, the first two thirds of the story is told entirely in Charlotte’s point of view, with only a couple of short lapses into Quince’s point of view. Since this is Charlotte’s wish, and her wish “world,” the story could only be told from her point of view. Now I love getting into the hero’s head–letting him tell his side of the story and let the reader see the conflict he feels over the heroine, but I knew that if I went into Sebastian’s head it would take away from Charlotte’s misgivings about her new life. So at times I found myself pacing the floor as to how to tell Sebastian’s story without cheating by getting into his head. How did I do it? I tried to make sure the reader sees through his actions how much he loves his “Lottie” and his struggles to hold onto her mercurial heart.
So if you haven’t ventured into the world of the Marlowes and you love a good old fashioned spinster meets rake, spinster makes a wish, spinster’s wish is a disaster, you’ll love His Mistress by Morning.