It's my pleasure to welcome RITA-nominated historical romance author, Theresa Romain back to the Romance Dish today. Theresa's Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress was recently named a 2016 finalist for Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA award in the Historical Romance:Short category and as a long-time fan of her writing, I could not be more thrilled.
Theresa Romain is “one of the rising stars of Regency historical romance” (Booklist). A member of Romance Writers of America and its Regency specialty chapter The Beau Monde, Theresa is hard at work on her next novel from her home in the Midwest. Fortune Favors the Wicked is the first book in her new Royal Rewards series. For information about her other books, please visit her online at http://theresaromain.com, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Theresa joins us today to talk about the inspiration for Benedict Frost, the hero in her new book, Fortune Favors the Wicked. I adored him and his story!
Where Heroes Come From
Every writer has a different way of dealing with writer’s block. Some take walks. Some watch movies. Some simply power through.
When I hit a block while writing Fortune Favors the Wicked, I went to the library and checked out a pile of books.
It’s not that the story wasn’t flowing. The plot was fun to write; after all, it’s a Regency treasure hunt. But I didn’t have a good handle on the hero. What was his personality? His backstory? The heroine was sassing him on every page, and he wasn’t lively enough to sass her back.
I turn to nonfiction when I want a change of pace from romance, and one of the books I’d checked out was The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, by Sam Kean. Sounds stuffy? Not at all. I’d read Kean’s first two books and enjoyed the mixture of science, history, and humor, and this one was just as good. I was reading along, trying to forget my troublesome work-in-progress…
…and then I got to a section of the book about a man named James Holman.
James Holman was a Regency-era naval lieutenant who went blind due to a tropical illness. Only then did he 1) begin studying medicine, 2) traveling the world, and 3) writing memoirs and travel books. Here, I’ll link to his Wikipedia page so you know I’m not making him up.
What an interesting person, right? True romance-hero fodder, you might even say.
One I read an additional biography of James Holman, the character of Benedict Frost came together seamlessly. Benedict has a personality all his own—he’s a flirt and a bit of a rascal—but his accomplishments are borrowed from James Holman. Finding his way around by echolocation? Holman did that. Writing books with the aid of a special editing device? Yep, Holman did that too.
What I learned from this experience (besides what a cool guy James Holman was) is that inspiration can be anywhere. When I stepped back from something that wasn’t working, I found exactly what I needed to move forward with the book. Benedict’s story is available today in print, ebook, and audio. I hope you love meeting him and Charlotte in Fortune Favors the Wicked.
To one random commenter, I’ll give a print copy of Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress—which also includes inspiration from a real-life historical figure. (Read the “About the Book” section on my site!) Just let me know: what’s your go-to method for finding inspiration? Or how do you most like to unwind? Giveaway open internationally.
FORTUNE FAVORS THE WICKED
As a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Benedict Frost had the respect of every man on board—and the adoration of the women in every port. When injury ends his naval career, the silver-tongued libertine can hardly stomach the boredom. Not after everything—and everyone—he’s experienced. Good thing a new adventure has just fallen into his lap…
When courtesan Charlotte Perry learns the Royal Mint is offering a reward for finding a cache of stolen gold coins, she seizes the chance to build a new life for herself. As the treasure hunt begins, she realizes her tenacity is matched only by Benedict’s—and that sometimes adversaries can make the best allies. But when the search for treasure becomes a discovery of pleasure, they’ll be forced to decide if they can sacrifice the lives they’ve always dreamed of for a love they’ve never known…
Print: amazon • barnes & noble • book depository • books-a-million • indiebound • indigo • kensington • powell’s • target • walmart • watermark
Audio: tantor • amazon • barnes & noble • book depository • books-a-million • indiebound • watermark