The Lady Taken is sprinting to the finish line. Part 4 is now available which means we are just one part away from wrapping the whole thing up! As I write the last book and look at where the story’s gone from Lady Killane’s opening scene carriage ride to the big finale, I think it’s time to talk about this serial’s origin story.
I’ve always loved books featuring highwaymen. They’re dashing, Robin Hood-esque characters who are always so…dangerous. And we all know that dangerous is a very good thing in romance. The only problem was, I didn’t know what book I wanted to write. I played around with the idea of doing a straight historical romance where the hero was a member of the aristocracy and a highwayman (a trope I really enjoy), but the story never really gelled in my head–an impressive feat given that I have plot bunnies hopping around all over the place in there.
Fast forward to the January of this year, and I started to think about projects that I could try out to push the boundaries of what I was writing a bit. I wanted to write hotter and write a little darker. I also wanted to write historical which can be a challenging market in the land of contemporaries (oh how things have changed since when I first started writing romance just eight years ago). I struck on the idea of doing a serial because I’d seen how much my friend Alexis Anne enjoyed writing them. And when it came down to picking a story, that nagging highwayman kept popping up in my head.
One day during a lull at work, I began chatting with my friend Caitlin on gchat. I mentioned that I was seriously thinking about writing a historical erotic romance. When she asked me what it would be about, I said, “Highwaymen.” I think I probably heard the laugh of delight all the way from New Mexico where she lives. Apparently highwaymen tested well in my completely unscientific focus group.
Knowing that I was going to be writing a highwayman hero made some things easier. He was going to be an alpha–a type of hero I only like if he’s caring as hell about the heroine and not too assholeish in the process–and I was going to need a heroine who was going to be able to stand up to him. That’s how Lady Killane was born. She needed to be sexually experienced because I didn’t want to write a virgin heroine story, and so I made her a widow. And I wanted to make sure that she didn’t just verbally go toe-to-toe with my highwayman. She needed to have be wealthy enough to feel completely secure in her place in the world. I wanted to write a strong woman who was going to fall really, really hard when she met the man she didn’t know she’d been waiting for.
The only other question was, how were these two going to meet? Well, a robbery, naturally. I put Lady Killane into a carriage lumbering across the Yorkshire countryside and, just for good measure, I gave her a young companion, Jonathan. Being a wealthy, sexually experience heroine who knows a thing or two, she wasn’t too happy with this companion of yours, so why not open the book mid-argument. That way we get an early look at just how great Wolf promises to be in comparison.
And that, dear readers, is how The Lady Taken came to be. As soon as I had the central idea, I started scribbling away. Soon, I had enough of a plot to know I could tell this story in five parts. And the rest, as they say, is history.
If you want to read the most recent installment of The Lady Taken, book four is now available at all major ebook retailers.