What inspired this book? or Where did you get the idea for this book? are questions that are frequently asked of writers. In my case, the answers are varied. Secrets of a Lady began with my wondering, years before I started writing the book, what would happen to two secondary characters in a never-published book I wrote with my mom if they ended up getting married. The Mask of Night began with my wondering what would happen to Charles and Mélanie after the events of Secrets of a Lady, but the specific inspiration was the image of a dead body floating in a fountain as a masquerade ball. I knew Charles and Mel would be among the ball guests and that this crime would force them to confront the issues that had been raised in Secrets and to see if they could work together with the truth about Mel’s past and their divided loyalties out in the open.

Beneath a Silent Moon began with wanting to explore Charles’s relationship with Kenneth Fraser and also with the life Charles might have had if he hadn’t married Mélanie (a life in many ways exemplified by Honoria Talbot). I talked about this in one of the video clips I recorded last summer:

Writers, where do you get the inspiration for your books? Readers, do you think about what an author’s starting point for a book might be? Any questions about what inspired a particular element in one of my books? What unresolved issues or characters would you like to see me explore in future books? What issues do you think Charles and Mel may face working together to solve a mystery with the truth of Mel’s past out and their somewhat divided loyalties out in the open? Will it be easier or harder than it was before?

I’ve been having a lot of fun with the exchange of letters between Mélanie and Raoul in the Fraser Correspondence, dealing with the loneliness of being an outsider and Mel’s adjustment to life in the British aristocracy. Sharon’s had some great comments as well, so be sure to scroll down the comments section. This week’s addition is a reply from Mélanie to Raoul’s letter last week.