Susanna Ives started writing when she left her job as a multimedia training developer to stay home with her family. Now she keeps busy driving her children to various classes, writing books, and maintaining websites. She often follows her husband on business trips around Europe and blogs about the misadventures of touring with children. She lives in Atlanta.
What do I have in common with my characters?
I have very little in common with my characters. Their situations are much different than my own. They lead glamorous lives, filled with excitement, witty banter, and beautiful historic clothes that someone else washes. My existence is rather humdrum and spent in yoga pants.
George is a powerful marquess who hides a painful secret: deep down beneath his starchy exterior beats the heart of a sensitive artist. For starters, I’m not a peer. I don’t own several estates that are staffed with my “people.” I’m an okay artist, by no means a prodigy as is young George. And I don’t harbor dark, wildly interesting secrets. My secrets run along the lines of not telling my neighbor that my dog pooped on their lawn because I forgot to bring along a bag.
Yes, Lilith Dahlgren is a writer like me. However, she possesses a muse of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood type – beautiful and nymph-like. I don’t have a muse and if I did, he would be of the Ed-the-handy-man variety, because, for me, writing feels like bricklaying or crawling under the house with a flashlight. Nor do I create alter egos like Lilith, who made herself into the sixteenth century heroine Colette. Colette has been captured by a villainess sultan, who resembles George. Of course, our sexy villain turns into the hero before the story is done. In truth, if I wrote myself into a book, it wouldn’t be so romantic. It would probably be something along the lines of Susanna versus the mindless, boring laundry zombies. Many scenes would take place sitting in Atlanta traffic or trying to figure out an annoying automated dialing menu.
However, there is one thing that Lilith and I have in common: weight gain.
I would like to blame my Achilles’s tendon injury for my weight gain. Yeah, yeah, that’s it.
Sigh. It probably has more to do with sitting for hours while cursing at my laptop screen and walking back and forth to the kitchen to eat chocolate miniatures and reading the little fortunes inside the foil that say things like “skip work and watch a movie” ,“buy those sexy heels” and “take a bubble bath.”
Now my clothes don’t fit, but I don’t want to buy new ones. Neither does Lilith. She has a little candy problem, as well, and barely fits in her clothes even after lacing tight her Victorian era Spanx.
However, Lilith’s weight issue doesn’t revolve around chocolate. Chocolate candy as we know it was rather new on the scene in 1879, so Lilith is addicted to toffee. She sits at her writing desk in her loose flowing robe, her exotic muse whispering in her ear, and munches on toffee. The hero George sends her to a modiste for new clothes because he is tired of seeing her worn, straining seams. Or perhaps that loose, flowing robe that seductively drapes Lilith’s curveous body drives him wild with desire.
During the course of the book, Lilith will get new beautiful gowns in the 1870s fashion. I’m still ambling around in my loose, non-flowing fleece robe that “dully hangs” rather than “seductively drapes” and drives no one wild with passion. So, again, I have little in common with my characters.
Take one Marquess: responsible, worldly, deadly dull but concealing an artist’s soul.Add one rebellious, brilliantly creative but lonely young lady who craves love, home and family.Combine with ill-assorted guests at an ill-fated house party hosted by a dowager with a poison tongue and a penchant for scandal.You’ll be shaken, you’ll be stirred, you’ll laugh and you’ll swoon—most of all you’ll be tossed into an intriguing Victorian love story that you’ll never want to leave.
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