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Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Genesis of a Book - A Brilliant Marriage by Jean Lamb

What was your inspiration for A BRILLIANT MARRIAGE?

First of all, I have long enjoyed reading Regency farces, or at least Regency romances with a sense of humor. I also like romance novels where the hero and heroine don’t have to behave stupidly or refuse to talk to each other, simply for the sake of the plot. My favorite Regency farce novelists are Barbara Metzger and Michelle Martin. Metzger, of course, has written what seems to be dozens of them; my special favorite, though, is AN AFFAIR OF INTEREST, if only for the dreadful pun in the title. However, Martin holds first place in my heart for THE MAD MISS MATHELY. The writing in that book holds by attention from beginning to end, still tells a heart-warming story, and makes me feel sorry for that poor little snake (long story). There are strong humorous elements in Heyer’s classic THE GRAND SOPHY (the phrase ‘marching blindly to their doom’ sticks in my memory) as well.

So when I realized that when a brave duke without much money, some shady friends, and an exciting past was going to fall in love with a slightly distracted, bookish miss with a thumping great dowry, they would have to come to a meeting of the minds as well as hearts. Both of them had past issues that they had to resolve, too, and so I believe that they would enjoy plotting subtle revenge on those who had tormented them in the past. Besides, plotting revenge is fun if you do it right.

I decided to write the first draft of A BRILLIANT MARRIAGE for NaNoWriMo 2011 (National Novel Writing Month, visit the site at for more information). Before that, I made up a character list, very brief backgrounds for each, and a general outline for the novel. On Nov. 1, 2011, I sat and began writing, only to discover that things were turning out more complicated than I thought. But I plunged merrily ahead, realizing that I would have to fix things like remembering some people’s names later on. I never did do a complete family tree for the duke, save for a few branches of it; I’ve had knitting patterns that weren’t that messy.

Someday, I think I would like to go back and really flesh out the novel (unhousebroken puppies and the Prince Regent don’t mix, though his boots were eventually returned to their normal pristine state). But I have this horrible thing called a day job, and other novels are calling me. Someday I’ll be ‘retired’ though, or as much as a writer ever really does.

And some of the other characters in the book are coughing gently and asking when it will be their turn to be the stars…boy, are they ever going to regret it! <G>


“For sale: one duke, slightly damaged provenance, but willing to do his duty. Comes with financially unstable estate, the duke’s shifty friends, and one Maiden Aunt from Hell. The roof over the library appears to be sound, and a few good paintings still remain. Required: decent sense of humor, ability to help with bad roof, and a large dowry.”

Lt. Jack Rawley has a title and an estate but no money. Lucinda Alcott has a thumping great dowry, and lives only a few miles away. You would think it would be easy. Both of them want to marry someone they can love. True, they do share some of their same people on their enemies’ list…



$2.99 for the ebook, $5.99 for print.


Anne Stenhouse said...

Jean, this calls to me. It almost represents everything I feel about writing Regency/Georgian/historical humour. Good luck with it. I'm in need of humour for my Russian expedition, so I'll buy this. Anne Stenhouse

Rose Gorham said...

Love the blurb. I have to read this book!

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

I'm a Georgette Heyer fan, so this sounds like it's right up her alley. I love the sense of humor, Jean. Thanks for being here at EQ.

Rose Anderson said...

Ooh this looks great, Jean. I don't go for those squabbling hero heroines either. I think you can build a story around a real attraction and have the environment exert the conflict to overcome. Best luck with it. Thanks for being our guest and sharing today.

Brenna Chase said...

Sounds like great fun, Jean! Best of luck with it.

Kaye Spencer said...

Jean, This was great fun to read, and I giggled several times. :-) This was my favorite line, though: "And some of the other characters in the book are coughing gently and asking when it will be their turn to be the stars…boy, are they ever going to regret it!" <<< Isn't that the truth!!

Anonymous said...

You've sucked me in: because I don't read this kind of book, uh hum-just bought this book-looking forward to reading it that much."-)