I love thinking about the characters in my books. I love to imagine events in their lives before a book starts and after it concludes (which is why I so love to write series and why it’s so fun to fill in the blanks with the Fraser Correspondence). I like to imagine events in the lives of characters my favorite books by other authors as well (what was it like for Elizabeth to arrive at Pemberley as its mistress? did Venetia and Damerel really go to Rome on their honeymoon and take Aubrey with them? what adventures did Holmes and Russell have in France after the end of ‘The Beekeeper’s Apprentice”?).

Sometimes I find myself going one step farther and imagining what might have happened in my own books or in books I love to read if the story had taken a different turn. I’ve considered the different ways Charles and Mélanie’s marriage would have played out if the truth of Mélanie’s past had come out differently, without the pressure of Colin’s abduction forcing them to work together. I’ve imagined scenarios where Mélanie left England (more like Irina Derevko or Fiona Samson), perhaps faking her death to give Charles a clean start. And then returned for some reason (possibly with Charles about to marry again), with Colin and Jessica confused, Charles deeply ambivalent… (more…)