GUEST BLOG: Love Those Bad Boys by Alexandra HawkinsTuesday, November 12, 2013 8:00
With the recent release of my two ebooks: The No Good Irresistible Viscount Tipton and The Scandalously Bad Mr. Milroy, I’m finally able to share more details about my earlier books that I wrote under the pen name, Barbara Pierce.
For those who haven’t heard of my other pen name, I debuted in February 2000 with a Zebra Splendor, A Desperate Game. Haven’t heard of it? Most readers haven’t. Six months before the book’s release, the Splendor line was discontinued by the publisher and the print runs for the remaining books scheduled were cut in half. It wasn’t an auspicious beginning for my publishing career.
However, I’d come too far to allow one setback derail my enthusiasm. I wrote two more historicals for Kensington before moving to St. Martin’s Press. To date, I have published sixteen Regency historicals. Needless to say, since my Kensington novels have been out-of-print for more than twelve years, I was thrilled when SMP picked up Tipton’s and Milroy’s books and had me update them.
The No Good Irresistible Viscount Tipton and The Scandalously Bad Mr. Milroy are part of the Bedegrayne family series. There are two other books in the series: Tempting the Heiress and Courting the Countess. They are currently available only in ebook.
The Bedegraynes will always have a special place in my heart because they were my first series. In fact, my debut is my only standalone book, though that wasn’t my original intention. I had a companion book planned for that book as well.
My original idea for The No Good Irresistible Viscount Tipton began with a television documentary. I had been watching a program on the history of resurrection men and people’s fears of being buried alive, and from there the idea for Tipton began to take form. What if a young man was buried alive and lived to tell the tale? What if the experience made him an outcast, even to his own family? What sort of man would he become?
The origins of Keanan Milroy came out of the research I had done for Tipton’s book. I had wanted a hero who was distinctly different from my first two books. While I was hunting for research books, I had come across some wonderful old books on pugilism, and the idea of tough, streetwise hero emerged. He was precisely the sort of man who could handle the prim Miss Wynne Bedegrayne, who, to her father’s chagrin, had been turning away all suitors.
I loved revisiting these books. It also gave me a chance to compare my first series with my current one, the Lords of Vice. After sixteen historicals, it’s fairly obvious that I have a predilection for the bad boys and outcasts of the Regency. My love affair with roguish heroes began when I picked up my first traditional Regency as a seventeen-year-old, and it hasn’t waned.
The hero in my upcoming November 26release, Twilight with the Infamous Earl, believes he is the ultimate Regency bad boy. From the amount of email I receive on his behalf, fans of the series concur. Vincent Henry Bishop, Earl of Chillingsworth—affectionately known as Frost—has captured readers’ attentions and hearts from the very beginning.
Honestly, I had a few doubts about Frost. While I was writing the first draft for All Night with a Rogue, I worried that he was a little too over-the-top. He was too arrogant, too pretty, and possessed a devilish nature that made it almost impossible (especially in the beginning) to decide if he was friend or foe. Oftentimes, he was a difficult character because he had a bad habit of ignoring my carefully plotted scenes while he took me in a different direction. This wasn’t always a bad thing. Frost has always been something of a trickster, and I was willing to let him have his way because with each book he began to reveal more of himself—Well, besides his gorgeous backside and sharp wit. As the series progressed, he proved to be a loving father-figure to his younger sister, a loyal friend to the Lords of Vice, and a complicated man who preferred to flaunt his wickedness but rarely spoke of noble qualities.
In Twilight with the Infamous Earl, Frost meets Miss Emily Cavell, a young lady who stubbornly sees only his notorious reputation and she is determined to keep her distance. Frost is confident that he can change Emily’s opinion of his character, but if he hopes to succeed in winning her trust, he will have to overcome old prejudices and risk something he never thought he possessed—his heart.
When I had originally pitched this series to my editor, I had set out to write seven books for seven friends. Finishing Frost’s book has been bittersweet, since I have reached the end of my journey with these wonderful men and their ladies. I will miss them.
What’s your favorite romance series? Share your favorites (it doesn’t have to be historical) or post a comment. I’m giving away two ebooks: The No Good Irresistible Viscount Tipton and The Scandalously Bad Mr. Milroy (sorry, U.S. readers only). I’ll let the winners pick their prize. I’m also giving away three Lords of Vice books, winners’ choice from the seven LOV books (international readers welcome).