I was only supposed to do one series.
Back when I wrote my first Regency book (The Earl’s Inconvenient Wife), my intention was to only write one series. I had read some Regencies in the past and enjoyed them. Rose Gordon’s books happened to be among the ones I read right before I decided to take the plunge and write a Regency myself. As fate would have it, I ended up meeting Rose when she left comments on a blog and a forum I co-authored at the time. It wasn’t until we were emailing each other that I realized she wrote the books I had enjoyed. Long story short, we became friends. It was actually my enjoyment of Rose’s books that prompted me to write a Regency series. She helped me with the first series as I was struggling to get acquainted with the feel and flavor of Regency time period. If you haven’t read her books yet, I highly recommend them. Here’s her website.
Anyway, I originally titled the Marriage by Scandal Series as the “Regency Collection” because I meant to write a few books and then return to doing my historical westerns and contemporaries. Due to time constraints, I can’t devote my attention to more than two specific genres over the long run. So I figured once I was done with three or four books, I’d leave the Regency genre and that would be it. Well, I ended up falling in love with the cast of characters I had created in this Regency world, and I didn’t want to leave them. Lord Edon and Mr. Christopher Robinson are the two I enjoy the most, which is why I’m constantly bringing them back. Another reason I fell in love with my Regency world was that I could do stuff in this genre that I couldn’t do in historical westerns or contemporaries. Regencies are fun because the littlest thing is so “scandalous” that it can shock everyone, and a lot of times you can force a couple to marry over the most ridiculous thing. A lot of things that are scandalous in Regencies will only get a shrug in historical westerns or contemporaries. So I dropped the contemporaries and dedicated my time to historical westerns and Regencies.
All of the Regencies take place in the same world, which means I have the same cast of characters at my disposal at any one time, but I decided early on that I was going to do spin-off series instead of one really long one. I know some authors who have 20+ books in a series, but as a reader, I don’t like reading a series that long. My time is so constrained that I don’t get much reading in as it is. Because of this, I prefer 3-5 books if I read a series. I write books the way I want to read them. I also create series the way I want to read them. You’ll never see me do a super long series. I’ll do multiple series within the same world, though.
In my Regency world, Lady Cadwalader is the most influential person in London. Lord Cadwalader is a force to be reckoned with, too, but no one surpasses his wife. Reputations rise and fall based on her opinion. The only person who remains unscathed by her opinion is Lord Edon. No matter what he’s tried, he can’t ruin his reputation. This is because a lot of people secretly admire him for having the fortitude to disregard the rules of the Ton. So Lord Edon is just as influential as she is, but he’s on the opposite side of the spectrum in respectability, though that aspect of him has gone somewhat undercover due to his father-in-law keeping an eye on him. The threat of a fencing “accident” will do that to any gentleman.
Lady Cadwalader was never meant to be a permanent “mainstay” in my Regencies. I originally intended to dethrone her. She’s a snob of the highest sort, and I figured she should get what’s coming to her. That was why I came up with the group, Ladies of Grace. I introduced that group in the Marriage by Bargain Series with Book 1 (The Viscount’s Runaway Bride). I figured by the end of the series, Lady Eloise would replace Lady Cadwalader. That was why I inserted little things about the rivalry between the two ladies as the series went on. But as I continued the series, I realized I had grown to actually like Lady Cadwalader. Maybe it’s because she had time to grow on me, or maybe it’s because there is no better opponent to Lord Edon than Lady Cadwalader. Lady Eloise was definitely a snob, but she didn’t have the same flare than Lady Cadwalader did. In the end, I ended up removing Lady Eloise. The Marriage by Fate Series’ purpose was to bring about the fall and removal of Lady Eloise, once and for all.
Needless to say, Lady Cadwalader is very happy with the way things turned out.
When I introduced the book on how to pleasure a lady in the very first Regency I wrote (The Earl’s Inconvenient Wife), I didn’t expect it to make an appearance beyond the Marriage by Scandal Series. But then I found out some people liked the book, I decided to bring it back. It doesn’t show up in every book I write. I bring it up once in a while if I feel the hero will benefit from it. At first, I debated whether to reveal the author of this book or not, but then I thought I’d clear Lord Edon’s name since he hates how many people assume he’s the author. I figured if nothing else, the reader should know the truth. That was why I revealed the identity of the author in His Wicked Lady (Book 1 of the Marriage by Arrangement Series).
That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. If anyone has any questions about my Regencies, feel free to ask. I wouldn’t mind doing another blog post.