Maggie Robinson writes fabulous and sexy historicals and she’s also a fellow Bradford Literary client! Give her a big welcome everyone!
Nope, I’m not here as Lauren’s guest to get mired in the new Scopes Monkey Trial (Thanks for having me, by the way!) No monkeys in this post, or other primates except for Andrew Rossiter, the hero of my April release Master of Sin. I thought I might do a brief post about how Andrew came to be.
My alter ego had an option book to write, and at first Andrew was conceived to be a dark Margaret Rowe character. I gave him, as Melanie Griffith said in Working Girl, a head for business and a bod for sin. His business was “shocking the proper, seducing the willing, and pleasuring the wealthy” according to the back cover quote. He was, in other words, a male prostitute, utterly amoral. He arrived in my head with the requisite ton of heavy baggage and an insistence to be noticed. Quite frankly, he scared me, so I wrote someone entirely different for the option book, which turned out to be RT Reviewers Choice nominee Any Wicked Thing. (That hero Sebastian has plenty of unpacked suitcases, too, but is not quite as damaged as Andrew.)
Andrew was irritated, checking his timepiece, whispering in my head that he could be a good boy if I treated him right. Somehow he wiggled into a Maggie Robinson book, Mistress by Marriage. He was the wicked man in the heroine Caroline’s past, the necessary foil for her very proper husband Edward. He only had two or three actual scenes, but every time he appeared on the page, he absolutely took over. I had to send him to Italy to get rid of him, otherwise I’m not sure if Caroline and Edward would have had a chance, LOL.
Italy was not far enough. He snuck back into the book via a letter in the last chapter of Mistress by Marriage. Here’s where I knew he’d be the hero of his own book:
Edward looked up, straight into Caroline’s eyes. “This is from Andrew Rossiter.”
Caroline felt the pleasant air suck out of the room.
“He writes to tell me that he is dead, and wishes me to facilitate the transfer of his bank funds so I can purchase him a house on some Scottish island. Oh, and I’m to hire him an Italian-speaking governess.”
“Andrew is d-dead?”
“Not in the strictest sense. It seems he got into a spot of trouble and needs to go underground. But for all intents and purposes, the man we knew as Andrew Rossiter has gone on to his reward, wherever that might be.”
So, what was the spot of trouble? Who would the Italian governess be? What was the island like in the middle of winter? So many possibilities unfolded from that letter, and a new book was born.
Somehow Andrew had to evolve into hero material—a far from easy task. I might have written him differently if I knew how stubbornly he would infiltrate my work. But sometimes characters write themselves, and he was one of them.
I’ve not said much about his heroine, Gemma. Suffice to say she is strong enough to deal with Andrew’s demons and give him the HEA he so thoroughly deserves after the torture I put him through!
Do you read for the hero or the heroine? I have a signed copy of Master of Sin for one commenter. A winner will be chosen from the comments to this post and announced Monday, April 16