Last week I blogged over at the Harlequin Presents site about the inspiration behind my Royalty Duo series, which kicks off with Not Fit for a King?, which is out right now, and available in stores for a few more weeks before its (rudely!) yanked off shelves,to be replaced by its sequel, His Majesty’s Mistake.
For those of you who aren’t Harlequin readers, you need to know that Harlequins are like magazines: they have a specific pub month (think how magazines are referred to as the October issue, or the November issue) and then the Harlequin books, again like magazines, are pulled from stores at the end of thirty days, for the next month’s releases.
So many people in the media, as well as a certain segment of my readers, are always amazed that I continue to write Harlequins even though I’m also getting ready to write my 9th fiction novel, and people assume its because writing Harlequin Presents are easy (ha!), and I can churn them out (double ha!), or that I simply do it for the money.
Those people, and their assumptions, are wrong. I write Harlequin Presents because they’re intense and exciting….passionate and dangerous…they give readers a wild rollercoaster ride of emotion and hope, heartbreak and disappointment, with yet another crazy loop of longing and pain, before finding a resolution based on compromise, understanding, sacrifice and love. All in 55,000 words. Whew.
But where do I find my inspiration for these intense, emotional, passionate stories? In my childhood. Strange, I know, but I was a very imaginative, dreamy little girl and I’m constantly drawing on fairytales, and Greek myths, and all the stories and Disney movies I loved as a child to help me understand people, and conflict, and motivation.
One of my all-time favorite Disney movies was the 1961 film, The Parent Trap, starring Hayley Mills. I loved the premise…what if I had a twin sister somewhere (never mind the real sister and brothers already in my family)? What was my twin doing? Would she like me? Was she doing okay… or was she living a more privileged life than I was? The Prince and the Pauper was another story that made me wish I had a twin, and that I could change identities…be someone else…experience a different life.
These stories stuck with me, and then Disney remade the original Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan in 1998 and I fell in love with the story, and movie, all over again. I thought the young Lindsay Lohan was fantastic, but in this new version, I was really drawn to Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson’s love story. I thought they were perfect…loved their careers and lifestyles, as well as how lovely and warm and funny they were. I wanted them together…I, like their twin daughters, believed they were meant to be together.
So if you haven’t picked up a copy of Not Fit for a King? yet, do! Read my modern day fairy tale and tell me what you think…would you swap places with your look-alike royal version if you could? Would you enjoy being a princess for a day? And once you’ve read Hannah’s story this month, look for His Majesty’s Mistake in stores late June through mid to late July.