I write novels the way I read novels: total immersion. This means that sometimes I stay up all night writing. Despite other tasks I must attend to (like walking the pup, sending my son to school, teaching class), sometimes I’m so deeply swept away in the rushing, raging, riotous flow of the love story that I simply cannot drag myself away until I’m literally falling asleep over the keyboard. When I’m writing a novel like this I write every moment I can, and I stay up all night… and then all day… and then all night… and then…
You get the idea.
Writing The Earl was a white-water-rapids ride like that. Why? Two reasons.
First of all, it’s a road trip story, and I adore writing road trip stories set in places I’ve fallen in love with. While researching and writing the Falcon Club series I visited Scotland several times, including twice for The Earl. On one trip I mapped a course for Lady Justice and Peregrine’s flight through the Scottish countryside from the angry mob chasing them.
The second time I went there to actually trek that route myself; I wanted to have a total sensory experience of everything about the journey, from terrain to landmarks to weather to scents, textures, tastes and sounds. Scotland is a breathtakingly beautiful country of emerald hills, ancient fortresses, lakes that reflect brilliant blue skies serrated with clouds of every hue of white and gray. Its villages boast cozy pubs and storybook perfect tearooms, its people are welcoming and warm, and its countryside and cities alike are chock full of history and laughter. I love this land, and I poured every ounce of that love into Lady Justice and Peregrine’s race across the countryside.
Secondly, by the time I began writing The Earl I had already known this heroine and hero for years. From the moment I conceived of the Falcon Club series I had been reveling in every public interaction between the fiery pamphleteer and her arrogant aristocratic critic, and growing thoroughly attached to their slow-burn enemies-to-lovers story. I knew that when they finally met in person their attraction had to be about more than the undeniably delicious friction of opposites clashing — and delectably crashing — together. It had to be about passion: the passions of desire and hurt, need and pain, tragedy and profound joy. For in planning their love story I had always known that, unbeknownst to both Lady Justice and Peregrine, the two adversaries had once long ago been childhood best friends, with a bond more powerful than any others.
Until one horrible day abruptly they weren’t.
Stepping away from writing a story like this — even for a moment — is nearly impossible.
That is how the spirit of a novel can impel me. With the landscape of Scotland inspiring me, and with my hero and heroine’s intimately entwined history to reveal, and all of their hurt to transform into healing — not to mention lust into love — once I set fingertips to keyboard to write this romance, I couldn’t stop writing until these lovers got their gloriously well deserved happily-ever-after.