And now, I'm pleased to present to you Vicky Dreiling, whose off-beat historical romance series will debut in January 2011 with HOW TO MARRY A DUKE from Warner Forever. I met my previous bloggers, N.K. Jemisin and Diana Orgain, through the query process, but Vicky and I had a very different start. Read all about it here on her blog. As is probably clear to you by now, I'm a sucker for original ideas and a great voice. Vicky has both. I know it's a long time to wait, but I hope you'll add HOW TO MARRY A DUKE to your wish list. You won't be sorry!
HOW TO MAKE A REALITY SHOW IN REGENCY ENGLAND by Vicky Dreiling
Where do you get your ideas?
If you’re a writer, you’ve probably gotten this question often. Many authors say their ideas come from a myriad of places. Not me. Ever since I was a kid, I got my best ideas from watching TV.
One fateful evening while surfing 800+ channels, I happened upon a reality show featuring a bachelor and a bevy of beauties vying for his heart. As I watched, a bizarre idea popped into my head: the bachelor in Regency England (minus the hot tub and camera crew). I immediately scoffed at that thought. Yeah, right. Bungee jumping, helicopter rides, and overnight dates? I think not.
Then I thought: But what if you could pull it off?
The characters didn’t Bungee jump, but I sure felt like I did more than once while writing my debut historical romance novel, HOW TO MARRY A DUKE. The premise presented numerous challenges. Clearly I needed to substitute viable alternatives to rock climbing, karaoke, and bikini clad bachelorettes. (Cat fights on the other hand were fair game.)
In the place of the ever present camera crew, my story features the ton, the high society of Regency England, and the scandal sheets, the 19th century equivalent of tabloids. Instead of a pilot looking for love, my bachelor is an unromantic duke who desperately needs a wife to produce the requisite heir and spare. Rather than audition for a TV network, Tristan Gatewick, the Duke of Shelbourne, hires a matchmaker to find him a perfect duchess. The hostess of this mad courtship is Miss Tessa Mansfield, a spinster matchmaker with a tart tongue and an ambition to further her own career. She’s determined to make the match of the century.
The competition is on as 24 scheming bridal candidates plot against each other in a bid to win a proposal from the Most Eligible Bachelor in England. Meanwhile, Tristan and Tessa square off in a battle of duty versus the heart. As for inappropriate relationships, I’ll leave that to the readers’ imaginations. Let’s just say Tristan is a bit of a bad boy. But danger lurks and threatens to ruin them both. No one, least of all Tessa, is prepared for the stunning turn of events in the final episode of HOW TO MARRY A DUKE.
The selling of any book is as much a journey as the story itself. For most writers, it’s an emotional experience that mirrors the highs and lows of the turning points in a book. My submission journey ended happily on June 19, 2009 when Lucienne sold my novel to Grand Central in a 3-book deal. HOW TO MARRY A DUKE is slated for publication in January 2011.
(You can follow Vicky on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vickydreilin