Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Manna for Authors

Sometimes when I'm developing a story I need to invent various complications. If things all seem to be going perfectly for the heroine, then it's a dull write. Worse still, it's a dull read, and that's what matters.

In my latest, I needed to research the "high life" of the ton. Sexual mores and all that sort of icky stuff. Nothing I'd put in a sweet romance, but the sort of thing the characters would know.

Somehow I stumbled on the 6th Baron of Craven, his wife Elizabeth, his son the 1st Earl of Craven and the scandalous memoirs of Harriette Wilson. It was the sort of lifestyle that made the '60's great (or so I'm told). I needed to make a few name changes, but the dates and the people matched the story I was working out.

Harriette Wilson's memoir starts with:
"I shall not say why and how I became, at the age of fifteen, the mistress of the Earl of Craven."

There's not much I can add. (Except she didn't understand why he liked Cocoa Trees, Boats or the Carribean.)