Friday, August 10, 2007

Milestone Book

No Place For A Lady, out this month, is my 20th title for Mills & Boon – which seems impossible until I count them all lined up on the shelf!

I've blogged in the past about the fun I had taking carriage driving lessons in preparation for this one, and how useful it was to be able to get inside a real drag – the boy racer’s vehicle of choice in the Regency – to see if it really was possible to have a passionate encounter in one. It was, and Bree and Max take full advantage of my research in the course of their rather rocky romance.

Bree is a woman with a foot in two worlds –she runs a stagecoach company and her half brother is a viscount. Max falls heavily for Bree – but he has a dark secret of his own, and one that takes a very Gothic twist before the end of the book.

My most recent research involved obtaining the accurate measurements of a bathing machine to see how suitable that would be for a romantic rendezvous. Not very, was the answer, not because of the size but because apparently the floor would have been covered in very soggy carpet. Faced with that, my hero and heroine have taken to the sea under cover of the umbrella-like canopy invented by a Quaker gentleman to preserve the modesty of lady bathers. I doubt he would have approved.

Anyone interested in bathing machines, or the history of seaside life, will love Margate museum where the wonderful Terry and Peter helped me delve into the archives.

That trip was for The Outrageous Lady Felsham, book 2 of my new series of six books – Those Scandalous Ravenhursts –about seven cousins and their intertwined lives and loves. The first, The Dangerous Mr Ryder is due out in the UK in March next year and in North America in July. Lady Felsham is due out here in May and in North America in August.

I have never tried to link more than two books before and I am finding this fascinating – but rather like three dimensional Fair Isle knitting! What do you think about series, either as a writer or a reader? I’d love to hear your views – and tips on staying on top of the constantly entwining plots!

Louise Allen

Buy No Place For a Lady from:
Amazon on
or Mills & Boon on

1 comment:

Jen Black said...

I enjoyed reading about Max and Bree, and the stagecoach angle was so very different that it stands out in my memory.
Some authors link characters between books very well. I'm thinking of Mary Ballogh here. Perhaps you've read her, too? After 20 novels I should think there might be a feeling of deja vu when trying to create new characters, so it makes sense to re-use old ones that your readers are already familiar with, and just introduce a new "pair" that are somehow related or linked to them. As a reader I enjoy seeing how older characters have moved on, too. It adds an extra dimension to their stories, and to my enjoyment.
I imagine a good A-Z indexed notebook would help enormously to keep the salient points of each character handy. If you are really lucky you will still have notesfor your earlier novels and can just update them.
Do keep writing, for I enjoy your stories so much.
Jen Black (Yes, we met briefly at Leicester when I bought a couple of your books.)