Please welcome Megan Mulry, author of A Royal Pain, as she talks about what inspired her novel!
by Megan Mulry
Thank you so much for having me at Luxury Reading. I suppose I should have a mission statement or something that prepares me for this question of inspiration, but as always seems to be the way, I tend to reinvent the wheel. I’m staring at those four words and evaluating my entire life. What was the inspiration, I ask myself for the millionth time. My high school English teacher? My love of all things British? My husband calls it the energy of activation, but I still haven’t figured out when that actual moment was. I suspect it’s all my friend Dorothy’s fault for giving me my first Julia Quinn Regency romance novel about five years ago.
I got totally hooked on romances. Everyone has theories about why this happens to late-adopters of the genre. For one intellectual friend who’s devoted to Harlequin Presents at the moment, it has to do with the word count. We’re busy. We’re tired. We want to feel like we can complete something. (Anything!) Reading a 50,000-word story before bedtime is usually an attainable, completable goal (unlike laundry, dishes, the eighth grader’s history test, et alia, which all seem to be infinite). We want satisfaction! Guaranteed!
Anyway, I became completely addicted to romances and became preoccupied with this idea of guilty pleasures. That idea ended up being one of the seeds of A Royal Pain. My heroine has many guilty pleasures (like royal watching and trashy books and couture clothing she can barely afford) and I developed her character out of that. Why was she guilty? What was her background? Why would she run from a Practically-Perfect-In-Every-Way guy? The way my brain operates, I thought about her character for a long while before I started writing. Then Bronte just sort of came alive, I guess. The story subsequently evolved out of her personality and how she dealt with the world around her.
When I started writing A Royal Pain, I had no idea if it was going to be a one-shot-deal or the beginning of something long-term. I was reluctant to refer to myself as “a writer,” for example. Once I finished writing the book, it was like I’d set off an endless chain reaction. There was a rakish younger brother! There was a willful younger sister! These characters became demanding!
I used to smile and nod (and move quickly away from the crazy person) when writers would talk about their characters talking to them or wanting their attention, but that has turned out to be the case for me. Max and Bronte and Devon and Sarah and all of these imaginary people have taken up residence in my brain and they demand my attention. They want their say. These characters are like my children when they ask for a hug: how can I possibly deny them?
Thanks again for inviting me to your blog!