Below is a list of just random and fun facts about the book as well as answers to questions I’ve received directly or indirectly.
- I came up with the names Brooke and Liberty because they were names I’d considered naming my daughters, were I ever to have one. I kind of liked the link they had to their homeland of America, and used that as a criteria in my search for Madison’s name–which wasn’t too difficult to find when I started thinking about important people in the country at the time of her birth.
- Andrew was one of the names I wanted to give one of my sons, my husband didn’t like it.
- Carolina followed the same theme as her daughter’s names: looking for something patriotic, which was actually a popular way to name children at the time. I didn’t want to go with the regular of Georgia or Virginia and went with Carolina to be different. Different certainly suits that woman!
- John Banks was originally given the name Aaron and I changed it for two reasons: 1. I’d just introduced Alex and I thought two men with names that started with an “A” was okay, but not three. So I had to decide which needed to be changed, leading to Aaron being changed to John because… 2. I know I SHOULD know how to type correctly and hit the shift key with my right pinky when capitalizing a letter on the left side of the keyboard, but I just can’t. I have more dexterity in my left hand for some reason so I ALWYAS use the left shift key, and it was resulting in: AAron, which was really annoying to fix.Undeniably, this was my first book. Ever. In fact, it was the longest thing I’d ever written. Before this, I’d only done essays in school–which included a term paper that topped out at 5,000 words, practically nothing compared the to 98,000 word beast this book became.
- My absolute favorite line I thought up very early on (like in chapter one) but couldn’t be used until the last quarter: “That, was the marital act.” Coming in a very close second was: “That was my intention, yes.” Said of course by the earl himself.
- I did not name Gateway after a computer I was writing on… I actually used an Acer to write the book on. I was trying to think of names I’d never read before so I started thinking of subdivision names or names of streets or places. As my mind wandered, I remembered a mall near where I grew up: Gateway. Immediately it clicked and worked because in essence, Gateway was Andrew’s “gateway” to getting his property back.
- According to a certain family member of mine, Andrew was modeled after my husband. This is only mildly accurate. Bob and Andrew are both taller than most. Bob and Andrew both have broken noses. Bob and Andrew both wear their long hair tied back (now, Bob didn’t have long hair when I wrote this.) That’s it.
- My similarities to Brooke, however, are many, particularly in physical appearance (except I’m not quite so thin any longer…). Even in personality, I have many similarities to Brooke. You should all start speaking prayers of thanksgiving that we’ve never met in person.
- In a relationship sense, Bob and I mimic these two with a very short courtship, if you even want to call it that, we went on a handful of dates over a three month period when we were 18, then one day he proposed and two days later we got married. We’re still defying logic (and our generation) by creeping up on almost a decade of marriage.
- The orangery scene is my husband’s all-time favorite scene from any of my books. (Of course. His second favorite comes a few books later.)
- I was in the middle of someone else’s book (both the book and the person shall remain nameless) when I got the hankering to write this story. The reason was two-fold: 1. I just wasn’t enjoying the book, likely because the plot was the same as the half dozen others I’d read by her and I wanted something different, but… 2. I was dirt poor. I would buy my books off the damaged rack at used bookstore where they were priced for only a dollar. I’d buy a hodgepodge of books that were on the verge of literally falling apart, never having a full series. I read and reread the same ones again and again until I practically could recite them. But no matter how many “new ones” I read, the themes were always similar and the plot always unfolded the same way, so I thought, “What if…” What if he wasn’t so gentlemanly or his motives weren’t so true? What if his goal wasn’t to marry the heiress, but to gain his fortune some other way… But for a while it just stayed a “What if” until I decided that particular day that it might keep me better entertained to write my own story. Even if nobody ever read it, it’d be fun to do. And thus the Banks family was born!
- The afternoon I started this book, I wrote 14 pages of single space, 12 point font within the first three hours. It took me a total of three months to finally finish, though.
- Brooke stuffs her bodice because well…those two needed to slow things down a little! As my fingers were flying across the keyboard to write the picnic scene where Andrew almost exposes Brooke’s breasts, my mind was yelling at me to put a stop to this craziness! If she allowed him to expose her breasts so easily, in theory, her character wouldn’t put up such a fight about his trying to ruin her–which I know from the beginning wouldn’t happen. So I needed something to happen to stop everything, but not something that would lead to her ruination like someone finding them. The solution: bound breasts! As soon as it was on the paper and Brooke was shaken from her fog, I knew immediately that it wasn’t that she bound them because she was so large and had to restrain them. Rather, it was her insecurity. Up to then, I hadn’t been able to figure out just what flaw this young lady could possibly have. Sure she flouted the rules, but she didn’t care. She had an unshakeable confidence–or so it seemed. Under it all, she did have a vulnerability, which worked very well for the rest of the book.
- Lady O was just supposed to be frail and prone to sickness, but had a sweet demeanor. (She clearly missed the memo.) She was also supposed to be the voice behind the articles in Alex’s magazine and together the two were supposed to have a subplot romance. Then she entered the scene and BAM! venom spewed from her mouth–scaring the blazes out of me. That put an immediate end to any possible romance between Lady O and Alex. He was far too good for that. Besides, someone who is that nasty couldn’t possibly have enough knowledge to write those scientific journals.
- In the same vain of thought, I wrote Paul in with the idea that he and Liberty were going to have some secret love for the other that they were afraid to tell her father about due to the vicious gossip about Paul. But then she rushed into Brooke’s room and declared for all and sundry that she hated the man. Once again, I was stunned and couldn’t move as I stared at the words. For a split second, I considered deleting them, but then a new idea formed!
- When I finished writing this book, I printed it out and put it in a binder for editing. I did this many, many times. Each time, we lovingly called the binder the “Manny”, short for manuscript because I hadn’t titled the story yet.
- I had not only had titles for the two follow up books before I came up with a title for this one, but I’d also written both follow ups!
- Between all of my rounds of edits, at last count, I’ve read this book 27 times.
- I knew by the end of the first chapter who was going to end up with who… *wink, wink*
All right, next week I’ll highlight Liberty for Paul–so if you have any question you want answered, feel free to let me know. Have a great weekend!
(PS. This morning I submitted Traveler on iBooks for preorder… Not sure when it’ll be available, though.).