Sorry it took so long to get to this post. I was busy editing The Duke’s Secluded Bride and making some boxed sets for the series I’ve done in the past. I’ll go more into those in a future blog post. Today, I want to get to Bid for a Bride. 🙂
- The heroine’s situation at the very beginning of this book was based on a situation involving my own great-grandmother. My great-grandfather was a traveling salesman, and he would spend weeks away from his family at a time. After he died, my great-grandmother found out he had another wife (and kids) in another town. The other wife didn’t know about her, either. My family has had their share of scandals, but this one made it into the book.
- When I was in high school, I read a teen romance where the main character was blind, and since then, I wanted to write a book from a blind person’s perspective. I chose Brian for this role since John (his adopted father) was mute. I wasn’t sure how to work on how they would communicate but then thought about touch. So I spent some time with my eyes closed while my deaf son signed into my hand. After a few attempts, I began to understand what he was telling me.
- During the writing of the book, I would go around the house with my eyes closed to better write in Brian’s point of view. It was a great learning experience to get an idea of how a blind person “sees” the world, and, from a writer’s perspective, it was good practice to write scenes where I was unable to do anything with the sense of sight.
- Brian’s backstory was one of the hardest scenes I ever had to write because it was so awful. Even now, the scene where his mother died is hard to go back and reread, and I end up crying. But I also believe just because something is painful, it’s not something that should be omitted. I pressed the boundaries of my comfort zone with this book, and I feel it made the story one of my best ones because of it.
- I named Lucy after Lucille Ball because my favorite TV show of all time is I Love Lucy. In my opinion, no one did comedy better than Lucille Ball did. (And that show has inspired elements in a couple of my romantic comedies, such as A Husband for Margaret when Joseph caught Margaret working with the kids to get rid of that irritating woman who wouldn’t leave him alone.)
- I had no idea what Lucy’s backstory was for about half of the book. I just trusted that the right scenario would come as the story unfolded, so I didn’t know the details about Meredith or any of that stuff until I was about one or two scenes away from writing it.
- Meredith had Schizophrenia. I actually felt sorry for her because she was plagued with voices telling her she was inferior to Lucy and that she needed to be just like Lucy. Over time, these voices got the best of her and end up making her do things she otherwise wouldn’t have done. Back then, there was no way to help someone like her. If she had gotten the proper medicine, she wouldn’t have done the stuff she did. So I don’t see her as an evil character. I see her as someone who desperately needed help but never got it. My dad had Schizophrenia and went through two nervous breakdowns for a short period of time which put him in a hospital. Thankfully, he had a good psychiatrist and the right medication that enabled him to overcome his mental illness so he was able to live a normal life. It was partly because of this that I got a degree in Psychology, but I never went for my Masters or PhD because I really wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and write. But the degree did help me understand him and give me a better understanding of psychological issues people face in general. Regarding this story, though, I was never able to explain WHY Meredith did what she did because it wasn’t anything any of the other characters realized. I can only disclose information in a story IF another character knows it. That’s the downside of writing fiction. I, the author, can’t jump into the story and explain what is going on. I have to work within every character’s point of view, and there is no single character that knows everything.
- My favorite scene in this book is the morning Brian wakes up and thinks Lucy left him, so he does a frantic search for her. When he realizes she didn’t leave, that made the very difficult scene of his mother’s death bearable. I felt that the story had balanced itself out with that scene. I love romance because it gives the happy endings. No matter how horrible a situation is for a character, I want to know they will be happy in the end. I’m not a fan of the sad endings, and I’ve been known to flip to the end of a book in different genres to see if things end up with a happy ending. If they end up sad, I don’t read the book. This was easier in the age of paperbacks. With ebooks, I rely on reviews to give me this information. This is something I love most about romance readers’ reviews.