Friday, January 30, 2009
Melody Thomas and Victorian Romance
For those who do not know me, "Hello and greetings from Chicagoland, USA!" I write historical romantic suspense and began my writing career almost a decade ago as Laura Renken with my pirate series for the Seduction line at Berkley. My Winds of Fury series featured a seventeenth century aristocratic family wrongly condemned for treason and their struggle to regain their name and bring their accusers to justice. The story stretched over years and three books, My Lord Pirate, Night Shadow, and Heart of the Condor, and need to be read in order, as this is truly a family saga.
I mention my pirate books only because in 2004, I made the leap from seventeenth century pirates to Victorian England when I began writing as Melody Thomas for Avon. I enjoyed the seventeenth century West Indies backdrop, but I quickly fell in love with Victorian England. The mid-nineteenth century has the absolute best clothes, after all. LOL Not that I’d want to be a woman cinched into a corset, but the men were Rhett Butler dashing. (All the good ones anyway) With my leap to AVON, I not only wanted to create a fictional world filled with flawed but courageous characters where honor and loyalties collide with the mores of the time but I also wanted my characters to win out over forces of evil in the process. Yes, I wanted my hot romance and justice, too.
I began this journey with my Donally Irish family series, In My Heart, Must Have Been the Moonlight, A Match Made in Scandal, and Angel in My Bed. Each book features a member of this upstart family, men and women trying to make a difference and to survive in world where a man is judged by the merits of his birth and not his deeds. This great series segued into my current Charmed and Dangerous Mission Impossible series, which takes place in the same world where the Donallys live.
Wild and Wicked in Scotland is the first book in my Charmed and Dangerous, series. Devlyn Sinclair, the earl of Hampstead is one of my favorite male characters to write. He is such a bad boy on the outside, but very vulnerable beneath that dark exterior, which provides a dynamic conflict between him and the heroine, the quite innocent American heiress he jilted at his own betrothal ball. Their story begins when she takes her future in hand, and literally runs into her betrothed on the road to Scotland. What ensues is an adventure of her lifetime where appearances are too often deceiving and destiny is theirs to make. (After he gets the bad guy, of course)
Sin and Scandal in England introduces Ian Rockwell, my first blond hero. Woohoo. (Sorry blond lovers but I am a tall, dark and handsome alpha hero sort of writer) I first introduced Ian and Bethany in Angel in My Bed. When Ian and Bethany accidentally meet again, Bethany is no longer the young innocent miss, Ian once knew. Bethany Munro is one of my more unique heroines, with a vulnerable outer shell encased around a core strength she doesn’t know she possesses until she must stake her integrity against her ideals. Much of the book takes place on the turbulent sea-swept cliffs of Northeastern England, overlooking the North Sea. Very moody. Very electric. And a perfect background for a budding romance that is equally as moody and electric--(And a perfect place for her to get the bad guy).
Passion and Pleasure in London, the last book in this series, and my most recent release, introduces Rory Jameson my half-Gypsy hero whose ambivalence toward his own life has made him the perfect spy/assassin. Winter Ashburn has saved her people from hard times but has been unable to save herself from a past that has robbed her of her future. But this book is not about espionage, spies, or a do-gooder female Robin Hood. The story is about two people who discover their passion for living again as they seek justice to right the wrongs of her past. (They both get the bad guy)
I love creating layered imperfect characters with lots of baggage. But as you can probably tell, the “fighting for justice” (underdog superhero) theme is a predominant element in all my books as well. In fact, I didn’t even know that until I was writing this blog and thinking about the synopsis of each book I’d written. As I considered this new psychological tidbit about my character, I wondered what other secrets in my psyche might lay hidden beneath my prose. Hmmm. Am I a secret Superman wannabe with shades of a Batman persona lurking just at the edge of my conscience? Or merely Goddess of my own universe? Sigh. I’ll leave that answer to my psyche eval--should I ever be forced to have one. LOL
I only know that reading or writing about characters who have overcome adversity, taken control of their lives and found true love, empowers us all as readers. So my question to you is what are your favorite themes? Do you find yourself drawn to a particular storyline repeatedly? Are there themes you will never read no matter the writer? I wonder if this tells us a little about our inner selves more than we think. What I am sure we can all agree on is that a great story invokes our emotions and our passions, and resonates long after we close the book. I hope that my books make you feel some of that inner passion. Enjoy!
Coming July 28th, 2009 Brand New: Mystical Bliss Series Beauty and the Duke
A Scottish tale of passion, intrigue & a wish come true.
Visit me at: WWW.Melodythomas.com and learn how to put your name in for free monthly contest giveaways.
Leave an answer to Melody's question and your email addy to be entered to win "Wild and Wicked In Scotland" (Book 1 in the trilogy). One winner will be picked at the end of the day.