Hi Ashlyn! Thanks for returning this year for our Historical Month. Today we will be talking about your Eton Boys trilogy. Can you please share with us the inspiration behind this series?
Hi there. Thank you for hosting me on Under the Covers today!
As for inspiration, uh… the shower? Yeah, that’s it. The shower!
To be painfully honest, I’m never sure where the inspiration comes from most of the time. It just kind of hits me in the most inconvenient spot for stopping and noting down my ideas. When I came up with The Eton Boys Trilogy, I had a few story ideas bouncing around in my head but no way to connect them. And then one day, it just came to me: The heroes are former friends and something has torn their friendship apart. All of a sudden I had a story arc for three books.
Out of the three heroes, which one became your favourite and why?
I love them all, and if I had to choose one, the other two would resent me terribly. Granted, they each have their flaws, but that’s what makes them interesting to me. Alexander, the hero of WHAT A LADY CRAVES, has this mis-placed sense of honor that he takes to the extreme. Lind from WHAT A LADY DEMANDS, is just so darned… intense. And poor Rowan of WHAT A LADY REQUIRES is a charmer who’s managed to screw things up royally, and he carries such guilt over that.
They come out all right in the end, though. I paired them with women who give them kicks in the arse when they need it most.
What would you say was the biggest challenge in writing these books? How did you manage to overcome them?
This was my first attempt at writing a three-book series with an overarching plot. That is a difficult thing for me, because I don’t plan my books ahead of time. I can’t sit down and figure out everything that happens, because then I lose all interest in writing the actual book. One of the things that keeps me going is not knowing what my characters will do next. So the third book WHAT A LADY REQUIRES was a particular challenge because I had to make sure I brought everything together from the first two books along with telling Rowan and Emma’s story. It took a lot of struggling and help from my editor, but I think I managed what I set out to do.
Describe a typical writing day for you.
A typical writing day involves way too much Candy Crush. Eventually, I have to make myself get off the computer and write on paper. Which means eventually I have to type everything up into Word—as long as I can read my handwriting, which is chancy at best. But I take the opportunity to edit and expand as I type up my handwritten pages.
Is your writing desk/area clean and organized or cluttered? Any visual would be nice!
I fondly refer to my writing area as an organized mess. To the uninitiated it looks like a pile of random papers, but I know where everything is. Unfortunately, I married a man who dislikes clutter, and one of our daughters takes after him. Recently, one or the other made an attempt at cleaning up my space without consulting me. I’m still looking for an index card where I noted down some edits I wanted to make to my WIP. Can’t find it. AnyWHERE.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve got a couple of ideas germinating. One of them is a new Regency series. The other one is a complete departure from my usual fare, but I’m having so much fun with it. If I’m honest, it’s a genre I’ve always wanted to try but was intimidated by certain aspects. Now that I’m nearly finished with the first book, I wonder why I didn’t try this sooner.
Unlike every other proper young lady, Miss Emma Jennings views marrying well as little more than a means to an end. Such a merger would provide her industrious father with social credibility, and Emma with a chunk of her vast inheritance. Emma’s practical views are shattered, however, when her father ties her to the fabulously handsome ne’er-do-well Rowan Battencliffe, a man she loathes on sight—from the smile that promises all manner of wickedness to the way he ogles her with those striking blue eyes.
Deep in debt, especially to his wine merchant, Rowan figures the sooner he gets his finances in order, the sooner he can go back to doing what he does best: burning through ridiculous sums of cash. Which is why Rowan agrees to marry the merchant’s daughter, a prim and proper woman with delightful curves and an ample dowry. But Emma seems to think it’s her business to reform him! Their marriage is a tinderbox—and it’s just too tempting to resist playing with fire.
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