Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Exploits of a Lovable Rogue
One of the greatest joys of writing the Loveday series is to receive so many emails from readers. They are a constant joy and never more so than on a day when one of the Lovedays have got themselves into a scrape from which I wonder if they can ever redeem themselves with honour and integrity. For a writer to learn that readers empathise with the characters and feel their pain and anguish is great motivation for an author to push themselves that one step further to make each story unique and memorable. It is originality that attracts a publisher to a novel and the best authors do not allow themselves to fall back onto clichéd plots or predictable formula.
In the series Adam is the main hero but the moment his rakehell cousin Japhet stepped onto the page I knew this was a man women would adore and through love hope to reform. The fourth book in the series THE LOVEDAY SCANDALS was given a new look to the covers and with the background of Bodmin Moor this is one of my favourites. THE LOVEDAY SCANDALS brings Japhet to the fore but his wild escapades threaten his life. In a gritty family series there can be no fairy tale endings and each Loveday must face the consequences of their actions…
Any scandal surrounding a Loveday would not be mundane and as I try and use the theme of each book on multi levels and involving new dramas for at least three of the characters, the theme of a scandal involving each of them opened so many exciting possibilities. Having lived and worked in London for several years, I loved the opportunity to research the 18th century gaming hells, underworld, theatre and life in Newgate.
The novel begins with Adam still at sea and his twin St John banished to Virginia. It was fascinating to research an Ameican link to the family and life on a tobacco plantation at that time. This also enabled me to bring in the more devious side of St John's character and the duplicity which will govern many of his exploits in the future.
In England the family struggle to survive in the face of fresh scandals and shocking revelations. Japhet has fled to London to forget the heartache of his love affair with Gwendolyn Druce. He finds himself drawn into the dangerous world of the city’s gambling dens and, when he runs out of money, turns to highway robbery. As his life spirals out of control he engages in a passionate affair with actress Celestine Yorke, but when Gwen arrives in London Celestine’s ardour turns to obsessive jealousy. She has her suspicions that he is a highwayman. When blackmail fails to keep him at her side, there is no greater fury than a woman scorned. The gallows await any found guilty of highway robbery. How can our hero realistically escape the noose? Certainly not without sacrifice and dire circumstances.
Meanwhile Edward and Amelia’s marriage is rocked by the arrival of his illegitimate daughter, Tamasine, who has come to claim her rightful place in the family. Can the Lovedays rise above the turmoil which seems set to finally tear them apart?