This is an ongoing series for the blog.
Thomas Merrit, the Earl of Davingdale is one of my favorite characters. He's a good decent honest man, who's had incredibly bad luck thrown his way. I touch on a little of his father's ruining the family name with
But the one thing Thomas has always had is his Uncle Harry. Deep in the heart of this curmudgeonly uncle lies all the truth Thomas ever needed -- to just believe in himself. Even when the chips were down, at their lowest, and nothing he thought would ever come right, Uncle Harry always cheered him on.
When Thomas meets Ophelia for the first time by smashing her to the ground, he is stunned to find a rather plain bespectacled woman as the holder of his heart. Love at first sight. One of my favorite themes. Ophelia is sweet, and kind, and doesn't treat him like an invalid, or as someone who is "less than" because he can't use his arm properly. Thomas wants to know her better, to figure out if she truly is "the one". Because as we know he's been burned in the past, but there's just "something" about Ophelia. She's not like the other women Thomas has known. Quite possibly because she's not from Society.
The idea to come up with this story came from the movie Serendipity with Kate Beckinsale and John Kusack. They meet briefly, both think they fell in love at first sight, and then are parted. Serendipitous events cause them to almost meet again, but not until the end of the movie are reunited.
With Thomas and Ophelia, I only had 3 days to bring serendipitous events to life. And what better way to bring it to light than by having Thomas literally bump into her. I thought it was fun. Of course, the overturned carriage was a stroke of genius, what man can resist a damsel in distress, and then the night of the ball when Thomas snubs the woman he's been looking for is classic fairy tale romance.
Thomas and Ophelia have one of the simplest plot lines I've ever written. The only thing they have to overcome is time. There are no wicked step-mothers, no evil villains in France, or ugly backstories. Just two people who meet one day, fall in love at first sight, and are parted. Simple it seems, but to make it work at the end, we needed for the both of them to finally see each other for who they really are. And could they live with that reality?
Naturally. I wrote the story and happy endings are my specialty.
Anne Gallagher (c) 2013