Guest Blog by Megan Mulry, author of A Royal Pain
Thanks so much for having me! Whenever I look at the name of your blog, there's always a voice in my mind saying, "Check. Check. Check!" When I started reading romance novels I was like a really bad addict. I wanted it all—Dukes. Earls. Ball gowns. Private jets.
Wait. What? Private jets in Regency England?
And I didn't want time travel. I wanted a duke. And I wanted him now. As in the present. I wanted him all reserved and proper (which is really just a veneer over all that roiling passion and encouraging prowess to bring the heroine to…well, you get the picture). I came to this genre pretty late in life, via Julia Quinn and Judith McNaught and Amanda Quick. I love snappy dialogue and I love angst. I can tolerate even the most protracted, diabolical misunderstandings if the characters have me hooked. Flowers from the Storm, for example? Just yes.
So how did I get from there to A Royal Pain? The short answer is I have no clue. But let's just pretend for the sake of this blog that I have the slightest idea as to how or why any of this came to be. So there I am reading every Amanda Quick at the public library, plowing through McNaught and Quinn and Eloisa James. I'm still chugging along. I'm reading and reading, not even giving a thought to writing and then BAM! it hits me. I want something…a mash-up. I want all the meticulous social observation of the drawing room Regency and the powerful Duke (the one in A Royal Pain is very responsible, but don't worry, in Earl Meets Girl his younger brother is a horrible reprobate in need of the redemption that only one kind-hearted American girl can give him)…but I digress.
Right. No time travel! I just wasn't feeling this as a time travel idea. But I couldn't let go of wanting all that buttoned-up duke-ish manpower right here in the midst of our (supposedly) sexually liberated present. Guess what? Turns out you can write whatever the hell you want when you don't have an agent or a book deal! (In fact, you can do that after you have an agent and a book deal, too…but it becomes slightly more complicated…apparently readers develop something called "expectations"…but that would be another blog!) Anyway, I pretty much just sat down and tried to weave all of those ideas and emotions into one big story. And if I was able to draw upon some of the crap that life had thrown me, all the better. Writers are allowed—nay, encouraged!—to use every last bit of that…imaginary…stuff. Mostly imaginary. Reified, maybe?
Well, anyway. I suppose I followed the write-what-you-want-to-read rule before I had ever heard of that rule. And I wanted it hot. So I did that, too. I made it steamy. As my editor said, "I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but I think we might need to take out a few of the sex scenes." And if it turns out that other people end up liking the duke and the jets and the, ahem, intimacy, well, that's like the world's best cherry on top. Because, like any good addict, I merely grew up to become a supplier.
GIVEAWAY: 1 copy of A Royal Pain up for grabs. Open to US or CAN readers. Enter by leaving a comment. Share some of the ideas you love to read and want written! Last day to enter: November 24, 2012.