At the beginning of the year I had the opportunity to write
a series I’ve been working on for some time. A new series of historical
romances. I haven’t written anything quite this all-encompassing since Richard
and Rose, but unlike that series, this has a different hero and heroine in each
But the premise is important for the whole series. That
means it has to be consistent and rigorous. There’s a lot of hard work goes
into doing that and in a historical, it’s important to keep it believable—getting
the historical details believable and right.
In the Emperors of London, this included a Jacobite theme. I’ve
done a lot of research on the Old Pretender and his children, mainly because I was
interested. The plethora of romantic stories about Bonnie Prince Charlie, the
songs and lore, led to looking at the real stories, the accounts of the
disillusioned, wife-beating drunk that the Young Pretender turned into so
quickly after Culloden, and the character defects that were there from the
Which led to the all-important “what if?” idea that
triggered the writing of a series instead of one book or a trilogy. And when
the idea came, the other elements fell into place.
But I had to work out what happened to the other characters
in the stories and what their specific, particular stories were. Because a
one-note series can be awfully tedious. Each character has to have his or her
specific issue and problem, and they come from a variety of backgrounds.
All these needed working out, so they could blend in together and make a coherent
whole. But since there could be more stories to come there has to be an open-ended
element too. The first seven books don’t encompass every Emperor’s story!
The publisher, Kensington, wanted an outline for the whole
series. They wanted to contract them all, so I had to provide an outline and a
premise. I usually work to a plot, but the plot doesn’t always work out by the
time I’ve done, so doing this was very challenging.
I found it easiest to work from the backbone of the series,
and work out what each hero and heroine
have to do with it. They must have different motivations, or the series would
be in danger of becoming one-note. I did find it useful to do that. However,
the theme had to be consistent.
Luckily, they didn’t want titles all at once, because my
angsting over titles is famous among editors! But now I’m writing the third
book, it’s all falling into place so beautifully it’s like it’s pre-ordained!
ROGUE IN RED VELVET, the first Emperors of London series
will be available in ebook from 4th August and in print in the
Labels: Jacobites, Kensington Lyrical, Lynne Connolly, The Emperors of London