(by Lorraine Heath)
I’ve always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes. (Absolutely cannot wait for the release of the movie starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law.) One of my favorite openings is from A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. “To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex.”
This was how I envisioned James Swindler feeling about Eleanor Watkins.
I have also been a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan. One of my favorite movies was VERTIGO, in which a detective (played by James Stewart) is hired to follow a friend’s wife--and as he does so, he becomes obsessed with her.
This was how I envisioned James Swindler coming to know Eleanor Watkins. From a distance at first, but even then he sensed something remarkable about her. He became not obsessed with her, but he fell in love with her.
One of my favorite movies is THE STING with Paul Newman and Robert Redford. It was beautifully done. A movie about a swindle, but inside the main swindle was another that the audience didn’t see coming.
From the moment I envisioned the "Scoundrels of St. James" series, I wanted one of the stories to involve a swindle. It seemed appropriate that it should be James Swindler’s that does. Each of the scoundrels I’ve written about--Luke, Jack, and Frannie--had tragic pasts, but Swindler’s tore at my heart.
From the moment he revealed why he was so obsessed with justice, I knew he would be a very special character. I knew that for him, the one he loved would always be the woman who stole his heart. I knew she would come into his life in an unconventional manner. And, I knew that more than one swindle would be required to give them their happily ever after.
Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much more because I don’t want to ruin the fun of reading MIDNIGHT PLEASURES WITH A SCOUNDREL.
In a seemingly unrelated topic shift, my husband recently discovered that a lady with whom he works is an avid romance reader. She likes to curl up with a good book and a glass of merlot on the weekend, so he asked me to autograph a book to her. My inscription read: “A little romance to enjoy with your merlot.”
I’ve always envied writers who can come up with pithy inscriptions when signing books. Mine are usually the unimaginative “Best wishes,” “All my best,” “Enjoy!” So, I was pleased with the merlot comment. Of course, it took me three revisions to get it to where I wanted it.
I won’t tell you how many revisions MIDNIGHT PLEASURES WITH A SCOUNDREL required. But I will say that I have a wonderfully patient editor.
To celebrate its release, I’m hosting a contest which ends at the witching hour October 31st. Visit my website www.lorraineheath.com for details on how to enter.
What books or movies have stayed with you through the years?