Please note, if you have not read the book(s) yet, there are potential spoilers listed below.
HER SUDDEN GROOM–
1. Why didn’t Edward have such a vibrant personality in the first three books?
Edward didn’t have much of a role in the first three books. He was barely mentioned in the first, not even mentioned in the third, and had a very minor role in the second. With all the other big personalities at the time, his roles had to be kept abbreviated or he and his larger-than-life personality would steal the show, so to speak.
2. Speaking of stealing the show… I wish Edward would have his own book. Is there anything in the works for that?
(Note here, when I read this question, I must admit that I wondered if she’d finished the book yet.) Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve batted the idea around a little, but I don’t know if a. the reader interest is there or if b. the expectations for these characters is too high. If you’d like to give me your opinion, please feel free to vote.
Of course! They’ll be part of my next series. When I first started writing Alex’s book, I knew he had to have siblings because it was casually referred to in Intentions of the Earl but they were never introduced. I thought it would be odd to have an entire book about Alex and not have his siblings introduced, or even alluded to, so I did, and then… You get the idea.
4. Her Sudden Groom has a lot of references to your first series, how come?
Good thing you read my first series then, right? *Grins* While some might think it was a marketing ploy to have such direct remarks and insinuations to the first series, it was not. Remember what I said about the twins? I originally just needed them for the sake of appearances, then grew close and now, they’ll get their own stories–eventually? That’s what happened with Alex. In the first book, Andrew needed an easy invitation to the baron’s house party. How convenient that the baron would have a son who just happened to be Andrew’s age. That’s how Alex entered the whole fray in the first place. He was just meant to be a means to an invitation for Andrew. Then—if the unsettling truth be known—I’d planned to pair Alex and Olivia up as a subplot romance in that book, until her beastly personality came out, that is.
From Alex’s impromptu role in Intentions of the Earl I grew somewhat attached and brought him back in Liberty for Paul then made mention of him in To Win His Wayward Wife. I say all that to add, the reason there is so many direct mentions of the first series is because Alex’s book was supposed to be part of the first series. However, not wanting to forfeit the name of the series (Scandalous Sisters), I bumped Alex to the next series and made Marcus the mutual friend of all the heroes in the series. Er, “friend” may not be the most accurate term to classify the relationship between Marcus, hero for Her Reluctant Groom, and Wallace, hero for newly added, Her Imperfect Groom. But you’ll just have to wait to see how they’re connected…
5. Was it necessary to kill Edward off in Her Sudden Groom?
Yes. Please do not misunderstand my motives on this one. It truly had nothing to do with giving Alex a title. I started writing that book shortly after being informed my maternal grandfather had a matter of weeks to live. Ironically, I finished that book the day he passed. So in a way, I look at what happened with Edward in that book as my way of dealing with my current situation. In June, I did consider revising the book so Edward had a miraculous recovery, but decided against it. I think his death and the emotions surrounding it have such a profound effect on Alex and Caroline, it makes it necessary.
6. Does lawn chess exist?
I have no idea. I just thought it sounded fun to play chess with life-sized pieces. If it’s really a game, I’ll be adding a set to my Christmas list this year…
HER RELUCTANT GROOM–
1. Where can I get a copy of Lady Bird’s Ladybird Memoir? I’ve searched google, but cannot find it.
Oh my! I hate to disappoint anyone who might have an interest in reading this little treatise, but it does not exist outside of my imagination. And no, I do not currently have any plans to write such a book…
2. What did the note say that Marcus pinned to Emma’s backside before the musicale?
Surprisingly, I get this question more than you might think. So playing along in good fun, I believe it read something like this, That’s not just the trumpet you’re hearing, we had broccoli at lunch.
3. E. S. Wilson was mentioned in Intentions of the Earl (the very first book) were Marcus and Emma planned all along?
[WARNING: if you like the romantic notion it was planned all along, stop reading now and skip to the next question. If you’re not afraid of what you might find, keep reading.] No. But that wasn’t complete irony, either. At first, I created both Alex and Olivia as nothing more than two plot devices. Alex was the cousin/friend who could get Andrew invited to the house party and Olivia was the annoying usurper. But I intended to have Olivia secretly be E. S. Wilson and have a subplot where Alex discovers this and they fall in love. *shudders* The E was supposed to be for Eugenia—Olivia’s middle name, the S for Sinclair, and Wilson was to be just some random last name. There were a few problems with this. The biggest being that Olivia did not want to be a nice character. I know, I know, I’m writing her so she should do whatever I tell her to, but trust me when I say this, sometimes even we writers cannot control the characters. They’ll do and say whatever they want. Thus her nasty, science-hating demeanor surfaced, and I could not force Alex to marry her (this is how I came up with the plot to his book, by the way). Nor could I even consider the possibility of making her intelligent enough to be the author of those articles. Fast forward three books to when I’m writing Alex’s book. Of course, we all know he should end up with the real E. S. Wilson. So he does. Once again this didn’t go exactly as planned. I thought at first it should be that Caroline had been the one submitting the articles in quiet. But that wouldn’t have worked. If she’d been submitting them, there’d be no reason for her to still be living with Marcus and Olivia since she’d have sufficient funds to live on. Therefore, I had Marcus be the man behind the submission of the articles. It was just by pure coincidence that I named his future wife Emma. In fact, I’d planned to let the whole “this is where the name came from” bit drop until I got to their epilogue. Then out of nowhere, it hit me. E. S.=Emma Sinclair. So maybe on a subconscious level I’d planned it, but it seems more like a strange working of events.
4. Is Wallace (fill in the blank)?
I had multiple questions about Wallace. So instead of telling everyone what he isn’t, I’ll tell you what he is. Wallace is a young man who had his heart broken at a young age, thus resulting in a chain of events such as more than one public jilting, and a lot of speculation… He’s not a fit candidate for bedlam. He’s not psychotic. He’s not a spy. And he’s certainly not interested in men. Autistic? Maybe so, but extremely sweet, nonetheless.
5. What will happen to Wallace?
I picture him marrying a very nice young woman in book four! Once again, Wallace was originally written just as a filler character. I liked him, but I honestly didn’t think anyone else would. So I was prepared to say goodbye to Wallace. However, this past summer I used a set of beta readers to give me their opinions on that book. Of the ten, eight asked if I was planning to make him into a hero (one of these eight loved him so much they wanted me to jilt Patrick and work on Wallace’s book). So I gave it some thought…and…thus at 2 am on a hot August morning, the idea for Her Imperfect Groom came to be, starring Sir Wallace Benedict and…
6. Who will Wallace’s heroine be?
This took all of about 15 seconds for me to figure out: Edwina Banks, Alex’s younger sister. She’s perfect. Not only does she give me a reason to write about the Banks family again (a family I genuinely love), but because of who her brother is (Arid Alex) I think it makes her perfect for someone like Wallace. I just don’t think she’d be put off by his idiosyncrasies, and could easily fall in love with him despite his imperfections.
7. Did Marcus and Emma have children?
The vague answer to this was pretty much there with his last line, “…But I got to grow old with and experience all of life’s joys—including the one I never thought possible—with the real E. S.” When I finished that epilogue, I wasn’t sure if they’d have biological children or not, nor did I care. That epilogue was supposed to be about them fifty years later. It was to show that no matter what, she’d stayed with him. She still loved him. Nothing changed that. As for his line about experiencing the joy he never thought was possible…that could be interpreted either way. Either they had that “miracle baby” some years later, or they’d adopted. Either way, he never expected to be able to act as a parent, and eventually it did happen for them… But that wasn’t really the point. The point was to show that genuine love can survive that long, no matter what.
GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SERIES:
1. Why didn’t you give Marcus and Emma a biological child?
First, I didn’t want to fall into the same old cliche I’ve seen dozens of times with books containing the infertile supblot. It ends with everyone under the assumption one of them is unable to reproduce, then in the epilogue, it’s five years later and there’s a miracle baby. So part of me wanted to stray away from the norm and do something different.
Second, Olivia’s baby needed someone to love him or her. Olivia is not the type of character who gets hormonal from having a baby and suddenly develops a mother’s instinct. That baby needed someone and who’d love him or her, and who better than Marcus and Emma? So why not show that in the epilogue of their book? Because it tied in better with the storyline of the next book.
Third, for as much as I stray from reality with the circumstances I sometimes put my characters in, one thing I don’t stray from so much is giving characters real flaws and having them have real struggles. Infertility is a real thing and there are many people out there who struggle with it.
Fourth, to me–and this is a subjective thing since everyone sees things differently–that book wasn’t about them having a baby, it was about two people who’d struggled with love and acceptance, finding it and growing to accept the other’s love and acceptance (this was a little more pronounced on one side as Marcus struggled with it far more than Emma did).
And finally, one reason I didn’t hesitate for a minute to allow them to adopt was that these two are some of the most loving and understanding (and stubborn, of course) characters I’ve written. To them, a baby would have been a son or a daughter, not an heir or a young lady who was expected to make a good match for her family. So it fit.
If you have a question that wasn’t asked, please feel free to contact me with your question.