This week marks the launch of the seventh Regency romance in my Lonely Lords series, Andrew: Lord of Despair. I love this guy, because from one perspective, he's the fellow who whispered in my ear, "What if you could BE a writer?"
Andrew's older brother, Gareth: Lord of Rakes, was my first completed historical romance manuscript. Gareth, who launched last month, is a wicked, tortured fellow--a rake charged with teaching a spinster to run a brothel. OF COURSE Felicity, the spinster, ends up teaching him to be a gentleman all over again instead. Much fun, and throughout that story, Felicity's younger sister Astrid cast lures at Andrew, who despite plans to travel extensively on the Continent, exerted his considerable charm in Astrid's direction.
As I was wrapping up Gareth's story, Andrew kept giving me the broody-guy eye.
"So," I say, "What's your problem? This book is over and you're off to Italy or the fleshpots of Egypt, for reasons I do not understand, seeing as there's a war on. Shoo your handsome self. I have revising to do."
His expression goes from broody to exasperated.
"Something you wanna say to me, Your Broody-ship? Wasn't my idea for you to beat feet."
"She's seventeen," he tells me--like that's my fault? "Astrid can't be a romance heroine until she's twenty-one. I have to scarper or I'll end up in a YA or a New Adult and I don't even know what those are."
"I know what they are," says me. "If you wait four years to come home, she'll be married to somebody else. Astrid might like the cut of your jib, but she's not cooling her heels for another four years while you get over your bad self."
"She ought to marry somebody else," he mutters, heading for the door. "That's exactly what she should do."
"Get back here! You spent the last 400 pages making goo-goo eyes at Astrid, and now you're banishing yourself? That makes no sense when you're arse over teakettle in love with her. WHY WOULD YOU WALK OUT ON THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE???"
"If you want to know the answer to that, you'll HAVE TO WRITE THE BOOK, won't you?"
He gives me the kind of wink only a broody guy can pull off, and away he goes, to Portugal and who knows where, while I wrassle with my first ever sequel.
And in the sequel lies the seed of a career, doesn't it?
So I owe much to Andrew, who challenged me to shift my self-image from Somebody Who Finished a Manuscript, to Somebody Who Could Write Professionally. It took the additional efforts of maybe sixteen more heroes and heroines to move me further down the continuum, to Somebody Who Dreams of Being Published, but Andrew inspired me to move beyond the first step.
To read an excerpt of the book click here:
To order a copy click here:
Who inspired you to go beyond a first step? If a next step lies before you, what would move you closer to your dreams, what would help you take that step?
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