Sunday, May 20, 2012

What I'm Working on Now

For the last forever, it seems, I've been working on my latest short story ROMANCING LADY RYDER. However, what I thought was a short story, is slowly turning into a novella. I just can't seem to stop writing it. Perhaps it's because I don't write along any strict outline, but rather let my characters do the talking. And they love to talk.

ROMANCING LADY RYDER is a departure from all my other books, in that, I've taken several real life people from the anals of time and placed them directly in this story. The Marquess of Wellesley, The Earl of Harrowby, his brother, Sir Richard Ryder, and the Tsar Alexander's top man, Mikhail Novosiltsov. I wanted to somehow encapsulate them all into a tale of spies and espionage -- please do not ask me why, I really couldn't tell you.

All in all, it's turning out rather well, slowly but surely. The Russians and the French are still vying for control of the upper Continent; Bonaparte has seduced Tsar Alexander into his machinations to conquer the world, but Alexander (after realizing Napoleon is a bit of a lunatic) is trying to get out of his clutches. And the only way to do that is to ally with the British.

Which is where the Earl of Greenleigh, the hero in ROMANCING LADY RYDER, comes in. It seems he is a brilliant operative for the Foreign Office, his boss, Secretary Wellesley. The only problem is, Lady Ryder is also playing a part in this deadly game of secrets. Her father (Earl of Harrowby), the third most powerful man in the British government, a right hand to William Pitt, is a Secretary without portfolio. (Which means he can give orders to whomever and whenever he chooses.) And when he gives the order for Greenleigh to deal with Novosiltsov first hand, the stakes are raised. Why, you may ask?

Because Lady Ryder is also playing by her own set of rules, to avenge the death of her intended -- Cheval (the Marquis de Chevallion) a French operative trying to overthrow Bonaparte's rule from inside the French domination. Lady Ryder wants to know who killed Cheval -- was it really the French, trying to thwart the Russian alliance with England, or the Russians, thinking Cheval was a double agent? Then again, could the order have been given by an English Duke whom no one suspects save Lady Ryder? It's handy when your dad is so powerful. Lady Ryder knows how to pick locks and no paperwork on his desk, or anyone else's for that matter, is safe from her prying eyes.

So, that's what I've been working on. And now you know why it's taking me so long to write it. Espionage is not as clear cut as it seems.


  1. I think it's so awesome you let the story take you were it wanted. Shows you can let go and just write. I really am hoping to do that today!! I so need it.

    I'm finally outlining my MG story and new YA story I've been working on.

  2. Wow sounds intriguing. A lot of research must have been involved too.

  3. What fun when the characters take over. And I love the layers of this story...and the name, Romancing Lady Ryder.

  4. Oooh, sounds really intriguing! I do love some mystery with my romance.

  5. Wow, that sounds really interesting! Love how you're incorporating historical figures.

  6. Sherrie -- Thanks. I just can't seem to write within the boundaries of an outline. I've tried so many times, but I just can't do it. Best to you with your MG and YA.

    Jennifer -- I knew next to nothing about the Napoleonic Wars before this. Now I can almost figure it all out. And so many major players. Sheesh.

    Em -- Thanks. Had a devil of a time with the title. I finally just gave up and chose this one. Whether it works or not.

    Linda -- I don't even know if it's mystery really, just some really interesting history.

    Rula -- Thanks. It's taken a lot of research but I think it worked out well.

  7. That sounds really fun! And if it wants to be a novella, then let it be a novella!

  8. Thanks Sarah. It came in at 25,576 so I think it can be considered a short one. But yay! It's done.

  9. And you planned to fit all THAT in a short story? Haha. Your covers continue to be magnificent.

  10. Sounds fascinating. Yes, espionage is a bit covert :)

  11. Nicki -- Believe it or not, I did manage to get it all in. Of course I didn't lay it out like that in the story, but a few choice sentences here and there go a long way to understanding the Russian/French/British conflict.

    Carol -- Did I say that? Gah, sometimes I just should insert my foot right in my face.


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