I was inspired to write this story after seeing a photo of Talulah Riley, the actress who played Mary Bennett in the Kiera Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice. In the movie, Mary is plain and obscure, and a bit of a know-it-all. I always liked her! But then I saw the photo of the actress, all made-up and styled and glamorous, and thought, this is how Mary Bennett would look if she were loved by a wonderful man! So that's how I came up with the character for Jane Brooke.
I'm thinking of sending a copy of the book to this lovely actress so she knows that her portrayal of a character inspired a book!
Frederick was found in a similar way, that is, inspired by a real person. I've discussed before about seeing "Wounded Warriors" coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and how it touches me. Young, strong men missing limbs but still living their lives as much as they ever did. Being the daughter, sister, and wife of veterans, soldiers are dear to my heart. I was also tired of reading "perfect heroes" in other romances. If they are "scarred" it's always something superficial or something that can heal itself. I wondered what it would be like to have a romance hero be one-handed. How would the heroine feel about it? More than that, how is he coming to terms with the loss of a limb?
I've seen more books coming out now with non-traditional characters in the lead. Overly plump heroines. Heroes missing a limb. Authors are breaking the boundaries of the svelte-yet-curvy beauty falling for the tall, dark and handsome hero.
And readers are loving it.