My guest is romance author, Elizabeth Michels. Her topic today is using bits of life and experiences in our writing.
First of all, thank you for having me here to celebrate the release of Must Love Dukes. I feel as if I've been wandering aimlessly toward this moment for years and I’m happy to share it with you! Why was I wandering aimlessly? Let me explain… There are little shards of my life, people I've met, experiences I've encountered sprinkled throughout this book, and really any book I write. I started writing during nap times just after I had my little boy. Before that, I was a small business owner sentenced to bed rest during pregnancy and given piles of romance novels for company—not too shabby a sentence, right? *grins* My point is that I haven’t always been a writer, but I have always been a reader and an observer of life. And often that surrounding life shows up in the fiction I write.
There is one scene in Must Love Dukes that practically wrote itself after visiting my in-laws for the weekend. It had been a difficult week for various reasons I won’t get into here and to compensate for the unfortunate turn of events my mother-in-law decided to fuss over my husband and me while we were crawling into bed at night. It was absurd. I remember her piling more and more and more blankets on us while we looked at each other, shaking our heads as we wondered what was happening. She claimed that the guest bedroom was drafty and we were cold—even though we were comfortable. She would leave the room and then minutes later return with another layer of blankets...
In Must Love Dukes this turned into Devon’s mother calling for food to be brought in and checking the windows for drafts when she knew her son was in emotional turmoil. He is protesting while she flits around the room in a frenzy of activity, calling in maids as she attempts to fix things that aren’t broken because she can’t fix what is truly wrong in her son’s life. Sound familiar?
And then sometimes inspiration is more abstract and yet still based in daily life all the same. At the heart of Must Love Dukes is Lily’s struggle to hold on to her family heirlooms while her brothers seek to auction off everything to the highest bidder—including her. Disagreements over inheritance seem to plague every family at one time or another, causing rifts between siblings, driving proper ladies into a life of crime. Alright, so maybe not all ladies at war with their brothers turn to thievery to solve their problems, but Lily does just that. Only unlike real life inheritance battles, Lily’s journey leads her into peril when she steals from the wrong man—the Mad Duke of Thornwood.
Many of the family dynamics I enjoy writing about in my books occur today just as frequently as they did in Regency England. Must Love Dukes does have twirling ball gowns and a swoon-worthy mad duke bent on revenge, but it also has people trying to navigate the path to happiness and love in life. Finding one’s way down this path often requires sacrifice, hard decisions, and occasionally, it requires setting hunting dogs on unwanted suitors in a ballroom…Oh, you’ve never been in that situation? Well, maybe not everything in my stories is based in the life I see around me, but I think that’s the enchanting part of reading a book—never knowing what adventure will be on the next page.
- What inspires you in your daily life?
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The Mad Duke leaned in closer, his lips gently brushing her ear, and whispered, "I dare you."
She Can't Resist the Dare…
Lillian Phillips could not imagine how her quiet, simple life had come to this. Blackmailed by the Mad Duke of Thornwood into accepting one wild dare after another...all because of a pocket watch. Desperate to recover her beloved father's pawned timepiece, Lily did something reckless and dangerous and delicious—something that led to a night she'd never forget.
He has a Reputation for Scandal…
When Devon Grey, Duke of Thornwood, runs into a mesmerizing, intoxicating, thieving woman who literally stole from his bedchamber—with his new pocket watch—Devon plots his revenge. If the daring wench likes to play games, he's happy to oblige. After all, what's the ruse of being the Mad Duke if you can't have some fun? But the last laugh might just be on him...
Elizabeth Michels grew up on a Christmas tree farm in rural South Carolina. After tip-toeing her way through school with her focus on ballet steps and her nose in a book, she met a boy and followed him a thousand miles away from home to Kansas City, Missouri, before settling down in North Carolina. She attended Park University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Interior Design. Elizabeth is a lover of happily-ever-afters; she invites you to read her stories, get lost, and enjoy. For more information, please visit http://www.elizabethmichels.com/ and http://www.badgirlzwrite.com/.