HEROINE’S SONG: I’d decided to call my RULES FOR A ROGUE heroine Ophelia before I heard the song “Ophelia” by The Lumineers. However, once I heard the song, I thought lots of the lyrics really fit, so I listened to it occasionally while writing the novel. In particular the line “Oh, Ophelia, you’ve been on my mind, girl, since the flood” really fits this story. My hero and heroine haven’t seen each other in years when the story begins, but they’ve never forgotten any of their time together.
HERO’S LOOKS: From the moment I conceived this story, I had “cast” my hero with one particular actor. After seeing The Force Awakens, I couldn’t get villain actor, Adam Driver, out of my head. When I started working on writing Kit Ruthven, he immediately had longish dark hair, dark eyes, and a tall muscular frame, just like a certain actor. I even hired an artist to create a character sketch of Adam Driver cast as my hero, Kit.
ETIQUETTE CRAZE: One big inspiration for this entire series was just how popular etiquette books were during the Victorian era. Ladies and gentlemen devoured books on etiquette, good manners, and getting on in “good society.” After years of studying the Victorian era, I suspect it was because the period really saw the rise of a strong working class. Society wasn’t only dominated by lords and noblewomen, but by robber barons, entrepreneurs, and million dollar American princesses. To prove that you were indeed worthy of participating in high society, you had to know how to play by their rules. Etiquette books were a quick and easy means of learning social niceties.
ALL IN: Rules for a Rogue starts off a three-book series, each featuring a member of the Ruthven family, but one aspect that was important to me was introducing all of the heroes and heroines of the following books. Thus, you get to know Kit’s sisters, Sophia and Clarissa, who will each get their happy ending soon. Plus, you get to meet the gentlemen who will be their heroes. Hopefully, readers won’t have too much trouble guessing which is which. ☺
PUBLISHING WORLD: One aspect of the Victorian era that I spent a good deal of time studying to start this series was the world of publishing. I think the modern publishing landscape is one of the most exciting times in book history ever, but the Victorian era saw a similar explosion in publishing. Paper pulp was cheaper, and thanks to a mandatory education act mid-century, there were more readers in Britain than ever before. In particular, I used a study of Blackwood Publishing, which was a Scottish enterprise started in 1804, to inform my creation of Ruthven Publishing.