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"A reigning queen of romance" - CBS Monday Morning

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Bookcode: wild

Wild: Hero of the Year

Stephen Fairfax-Lacy has won The Historical Romance Club’s VALIANT HERO OF THE YEAR AWARD for 2004.

Inside A Wild Pursuit

  • Sebastian’s mother originally began as a truly tough, nasty character (I wrote Sebastian’s visit with his mother, now Chapter Six, first). But I’m not much good at writing truly villainous types – and how did Sebastian become so great if his mother was a true horror? – so before I noticed it, she wiggled her way into the book and I grew fond of her.
  • One of the most fraught decisions in writing this book had to do with Esme’s baby. On one side, I wanted sweet William to be Miles’s baby, because Miles wanted a son so much. And I knew that Sebastian would love William with precisely the same passion as he would have loved a son of his own blood. So everything was set, and I was typing along… and suddenly a little birthmark appeared on William’s back. There are, by the way, literary antecedents for this sort of thing: in Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus returns home after years and years, and his nurse recognizes him by his birthmark. So there you go… me and Homer.
  • Stephen Fairfax-Lacy, of course, first appears as a character in Duchess in Love.
  • To my utter surprise, a reader pointed out that my hero, Stephen Fairfax-Lacy, borrowed his last name from one of my favorite novelists, Georgette Heyer. In The Grand Sophy (one of my favorites!), the heroine’s name is Sophy Fairfax-Lacy. I can only say that it was an unconscious tribute to one of my favorite novels of all time.

Mea Culpa, A Wild Pursuit

  • Philip wrote me from England to point out that I mix up billiards, snooker, and pool in A Wild Pursuit: “In all three games, when you score, you continue playing and not until you miss does your opponent get a go.” I can live with that particular mistake.
  • Deb wrote me with a couple of pronoun mix-ups: on page 154, it’s the gentleman’s arms that present a problem, not Bea’s (though her bare legs are certainly problematic), and on page 196, Stephen looked at Bea through his lashes (not hers!).
  • A reader named Molly saw that on page 71 of A Wild Pursuit, Gina is referred to as Ambrogina Camden, though Camden is her husband’s first name and Serrard is their surname. Argh! Someday I promise to get the hang of the whole title thing. In the meanwhile, I’m sending out apologies hither and yon!
  • Kit points to the following line on page 33: “Holding a seat in the House of Commons hadn’t left him a great deal of time to spin women around the dance floor, especially in this new fangled German dance.” But the waltz hails not from Germany, but from Vienna!
  • On page 158, I write about the poet Stephen Barnfield, and in my historical note I refer to him (correctly) as Richard Barnfield. I don’t know who Stephen is…
  • The epilogue of Fool for Love...ah, how I wished I hadn’t written that little round-up of my characters. Because it messed up everything when this trilogy suddenly became four books, and I needed more time. There’s a little time problem between the epilogue of Duchess in Love and the timing of Esme’s baby… if you didn’t notice it, hurrah!
  • Exactly two days after A Wild Pursuit was published, I had an email from a wonderful, accurate reader named Lanny… what follows are her observations (sob!). “If Cam and Stephen are childhood friends in Duchess in Love, why does Stephen appear to be thirteen years older in Wild Pursuit?” Well, good point. He shouldn’t be so old. In Duchess in LoveStephen mentions that Cam is five years younger than he is. Think of Stephen as being in his thirties, because that’s what I was doing.
  • “Why does Esme think about Bonnington as an earl when he’s really a marquess?” Another good point! I seem to have mislabeled his title only in Esme’s thoughts. Rather than try to think of arcane excuses for her (and my) lapses in memory, I just want to put in a silent rant about copyeditors here ($#*@~!).
  • There is a certain kind of book reviewer whose knowledge of English history is positively frightening; Your Wicked Ways was read by one such, who pointed out that Helene is sometimes addressed as Countess Godwin, which is all wrong, and sometimes as Lady Godwin, which is apparently correct. Stephen is the heir presumptive to a duke and has a courtesy title, which he says he does not use. Only sons of peers who are heirs have courtesy titles, heirs who are cousins like Stephen do not have them. Who knew?