Sunday, December 29, 2013

Intimate Portrait -- Captain Richard Gaines

As we approach the release of THE CAPTAIN'S COINCIDENCE, I thought now would probably be a good time for his Intimate Portrait. I know who Richard is, but you might not.

Captain Richard Gaines is one of my most endearing heroes. Well, I like him anyway. However, Richard is also one of my most troubled heroes. He's suffering from mental battle scars.(In doing my research I found Trafalgar was the bloodiest sea battle in the Campaign with over 20,000 men, and 52 ships lost - however not one ship was British.) He's filled with angst and anxiety, sleep deprived, depressed, PTSD, can't find anything to snap him out of it. Until he meets Amanda.

Problem is, Amanda's married. Yes, she is. To a despicable man, the most villainous villain I have ever created. (Worse even than Thomas Entin-Hicks from MASQUERADE.) Amanda was also best friends with Penny when they were children, so that's part of the plot line. 

When I first began to write Richard's story 10 years ago, I think (looking back on the manuscript now) he was actually my prototype for Ellis (Marquess of Haverlane LADY'S FATE). You know, that strong silent type, feels inwardly, doesn't say much. However, in  rewriting this book, I'm going to give Richard "more".  I'm not sure what the more is at this point, but he won't be too much like Ellis when I'm done.

After Trafalgar, Richard resigned his commission. I know, that's really not done but he did. (It's my book after all.) Since then, he's become somewhat of a detective. Not so much a Bow Street Runner, more like Columbo. He has bodyguards to let out for visiting dignitaries and such, and is often hired to find missing or stolen objects that no one else can seem to find. And because he's rich and has impeccable connections, (His father is cousin to the Earl of Brumbley, Winsbarren's father -- which is how Richard met William through Winsbarren as Winsbarren and William went to school together -- follow that logic if you dare) he's often invited to balls and parties. 

However, he doesn't go to be sociable, he only attends to keep his ear to the gossip. Which is why he's such a good detective. After he helped save Penny (MASQUERADE) Lady Olivia took a liking to him. He's quite possibly the only man in London who isn't afraid of her -- only her matchmaking schemes. 

Amanda's husband
In this story, Amanda has come back to England with her husband who's interested in the cotton mills. (He's a Southerner, with a cotton plantation and slaves, which is how he made his fortune, among other ways.)

Richard meets Amanda briefly one night in London and falls in love with her at first sight. Unfortunately, she's on her way to Manchester to view the cotton mills with her husband. Richard thinks she's a witch and woven a spell over him as he just can't forget about her.

As I started rewriting this novel, I found Richard had more than his fair share of coincidences. Hence the new title. It's been a twisty-turny road to get this novel finished. I had to chuck all my previous research and start from scratch, which has led to more research. And in trying to get it finished quickly, I missed two very important scenes that my lovely critique partners were more than happy to point out to me.

However, we're almost there. Just a couple more chapters and I think we can publish by the end of January. At least that's what I tell myself.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a great week!

Anne Gallagher (c) 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013


I know, it seems lately I've been taking blog breaks every other month. I think so anyway. If I haven't told you before, I took a volunteer position at my daughter's school and it's a lot more work than I thought it would be, which is why I spend almost all my time at school these days instead of at home writing.

I am trying desperately to get THE CAPTAIN'S COINCIDENCE finished before Christmas, or at least by the middle of January and it's not going the way I wanted. I probably should not have added the Dread Pirate Moody so late in the game, but he's a good character. Now I just have to flesh him out.

I'm going on break for the next couple of weeks. Believe me, as soon as I get this book wrapped up I will let you know. Perhaps I'll even have the cover made for inspiration. That usually gets my fingers flying faster.

I hope I'll see you before the holidays with some very good news.

Anne Gallagher (c) 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Exploding Brains and the Dread Pirate Roberts

Good Morning. Yes, that is exactly how I feel -- like my brains are exploding. Last week I mentioned how I was writing rather nicely along and then I spent 5 days (total) outlining my new series. Well, no sooner had I gotten back to Richard, and was writing  rather nicely along, and I got stuck.

I had a great story, but by Chapter 10, there was nothing left to it. 28,000 words would leave me with a novella. I messed up somewhere. No matter which way I wrote, I got stuck. Couldn't move the story along. Not forward, not back.

On Thanksgiving night, somewhere in the back of my stupifed, triptophan-ed, way-too-much-dessert-sugar-rush-brain, I realized I wanted to watch a movie. (Bear with me) "Oh, what is on Thanksgiving night, I wonder," I said to myself. And as the years of Thanksgiving nights zoomed through my memory banks, The Princess Bride came to mind. What a funny movie. I thought to myself. Cary Elwes is so cute. And I just love Inego Montoya. Who wouldn't love Robin Wright. And Andre the Giant. He used to wrestle in South Attleboro when I was a kid. What was her name in the movie? Buttercup, that's right. and she was in love with Eric, who was really the Dread Pirate Roberts.

And BOOM, there is was. A small eruption inside my head and then my brains exploded all over the desk. I would have screamed I was so excited, but I was afraid I would scare my daughter.

THE. DREAD. PIRATE. ROBERTS. was going to fix my book. Okay, not the real Dread Pirate Roberts, but after some searching on the internet, I added my own pirate. The Dread Pirate Moody. Christopher Moody was a real pirate. From 1713 or so in the Carolinas.

So on Thanksgiving night, when all I wanted to do was crawl into my yummy jammys and nap on the couch, I ended up at my desk in the cold cold basement, working out a perfectly new plot line with a pirate (yay) that I can easily insert into the already written narrative and finish writing Richard's book.

My brother used to say, "I'm so smart, I scare myself sometimes." I know how he feels.

Tell me -- How do you feel about pirates? They were big in the 90's when Fabio graced every romance cover. Do your brains ever explode? Have you ever used a pirate in any of your stories?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2013