It’s long overdue, but I’m finally doing a trivia post. Today, I’m diving into The Earl’s Wallflower Bride.
The idea for this book originally came to me while I was writing His Wicked Lady. I introduced Lady Iris in a scene where the hero and heroine from His Wicked Lady went to a dinner party at Lord Steinbeck’s residence. In it, the heroine warns Lady Iris that Lord Steinbeck didn’t return her affections. Lady Iris decided to take the heroine’s advice. Naturally, I HAD to match Lord Steinbeck and Lady Iris up after this because of the one thing each book needs: conflict. That’s why by the time Lady Iris realizes Lord Steinbeck was her match, she wasn’t happy about it.
Lord Steinbeck is probably the stuffiest character I’ve ever created, but I didn’t realize the extent of his stuffiness until I wrote this book. Because of this, if there’s a character who pops up who in my Regencies now who thinks all of the rules in London are unnecessary, I’ll try to either bring Lord Steinbeck in or make a reference to him, and these characters are often making fun of Lord Steinbeck. At first, I thought Lord Roderick (hero of The Earl’s Inconvenient Wife) was going to be the standard of stuffiness, but Lord Steinbeck officially took his place in The Earl’s Wallflower Bride.
Iris got her interest in finances from me. She got her love of collecting old money from one of my children who went through a phase where he kept a binder of old currency from the United States and Canada.
In this book, I really thought Lord Steinbeck was going to end up creating another gentleman’s club where gentlemen like Lord Steinbeck would be safe from having to associate with cads on a regular basis. The story, however, never went that way because none of the other characters would have supported this move. In the end, Lord Steinbeck remained at White’s and is still there to this day. (About 3/4 of my books end up differently than I think they will when I start them. This is a classic example.)
I introduced Miss Celia Barlow and Miss Loretta Bachman in this story. They were there to represent an example of how most people in London thought of Iris as a wallflower. That is why they were so mean to her. Celia’s brother was Lord Worsley, and I had already slotted him to be the hero for the next Regency series I was going to write. The secondary purpose of having Loretta there was to hint to the reader that Lord Worsley needed to do everything possible to get out of being trapped into a marriage with her. To me, writing often involves weaving in snippets of stuff relating to the characters and other book plots because I love it when people pick up on these “Easter eggs”.
I love all the bickering that goes on at White’s between the scandalous cads and the rule-abiding gentlemen, so I’ll bring it up whenever I can. And my two personal favorite cads are Mr. Christopher Robinson and Lord Edon. This is the only reason I had Christopher pester Lord Steinbeck in this book. It did nothing to advance the plot. It was just there for my amusement.
When I first introduced Opal, I planned for her to be just as bad as Byron, but as I continued writing her character, I thought it would be more interesting if Opal was only pretending to be insane because she was terrified of her brother and mother.
My favorite scene in this book is when Byron realized his mother poisoned him right after he arranged it for her to fall down the stairs. My mind kept going back to the Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe while writing the scene. I know I write romance, but it’s always fun to throw in a highly suspenseful scene in a book from time to time. I find it strengthens my skill as a writer.
I’m not 100% sure, but I think every funeral I have in a story is on a cloudy day.
At the end of this book, I was afraid I’d lose the flavor of Opal’s character, so I started the Marriage by Fate Series even though I knew I wasn’t going to be able to write the rest of it for a while. That’s why the release date of Book 1 in the Marriage by Fate Series is so far apart from the rest of the books in that series. My focus was spent on the Marriage by Bargain Series instead. I was also finishing up the Pioneer Series and the Chance at Love Series during this time.