Sunday, June 7, 2015

Filling in the Backstory

Good Morning.  Backstory is the past -- who the characters were, what they did, where they came from to get them to this point in the book. Some characters have no backstory and just appear on the page. Others have too much backstory and need to have their own book just to keep up.

Henry in 1811
This is where I am with Henry Wade, Marquess of Dunbury. In the Reluctant Grooms, Henry appears as Olivia's old flame. All of sudden he's there and messes everything up between her and her new boyfriend
John. Well isn't that what old boyfriends are for?

But Henry's got his own problems and he quietly goes away in the last book. The thing is, I liked Henry and his backstory and that's what THE LADIES OF DUNBURY is going to be about. Henry, and how he arrives in London, why he's been away, and what he's going to do with 6 nieces.

 I'm a "visual" writer, meaning I can't write without a picture. In creating my backstory for Henry, first I had to come up with pictures. And because Henry's life
Henry in 1777
spans such a significant part of Olivia's, I needed an actor who was young and then old. Enter Sean Bean.

We all know Mr. Bean from Sharpe. He played a soldier. And I'm sure this is the wrong uniform and probably even the wrong time period, but this is how I "see" Henry when he was young and in love with Olivia.

And then we have Henry when he finally returns from the wars. When he begins his life again in London as the Marquess of Dunbury. When he doesn't really yet know how Olivia feels about him. When he realizes he has six nieces he has no idea what to do with except marry them off.

Henry is a complex character. He's held on to a lot of baggage over the years -- his love for Olivia, his hatred for Reginald, leaving his father for the wars. It's almost as if he's spent thirty-five years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. I only want to make him happy (as an author), but it's going to be very hard. Henry doesn't know how to be happy. As a Colonel in His Majesty's Army, he's a soldier whose job is to kill people. I don't think you can find happy in that.

As I told you last week, I've written several chapters in the first book. However, this may not necessarily be the first book that gets published. I'm still working out the details with the writing. And I also realized, writing this series is going to be a LOT harder than the last one. I knew it, but as I started writing I said to myself, "What was I thinking tackling this project?" I know what I was thinking, I wanted to get to know Henry a little better. For such a secondary character in The Reluctant Grooms, he was very complex and I wanted to show the world who he was.

Henry striving to find the happy

Thanks for stopping by.

Anne Gallagher (c) 2015


  1. I have soooo much of your wonderful writing and amazing characters to catch up on... something I am looking forward to beginning to do! :~)


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