Squawk Radio

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lisa squawks about "Scandal In Spring"

Dear friends,
Well, Scandal In Spring is finally out, and I am delighted by the reaction of readers so far! I have come to feel such fondness for these four wallflower characters, who encompass many of the characteristics of the Squawkers. As many of you know, I have written this series as a celebration of female friendship, and I think that’s the most evident in Scandal In Spring, which has many ensemble scenes.

If you read Devil In Winter, you probably noticed the kissing scene between Daisy and Cam Rohan, which I included because I planned to pair the two of them in Scandal In Spring. However, sometimes characters don’t always behave as we authors would like them to! I found as I was plotting Scandal that there wasn’t enough tension and chemistry to sustain Daisy and Cam through an entire novel, and my editor and I agreed to approach Daisy’s story from a brand new perspective.

The problem was, the best chemistry comes from pairing characters who are very different (like Evie and Sebastian) and unfortunately Daisy and Cam were too much alike. Both are romantic, imaginative, out-of-the-mainstream characters. Daisy needed someone to anchor her. I realized that in past books, I had created some real tension between the Bowman sisters and their father, who is unromantic, business-minded and very cold natured, and that Daisy’s worst nightmare would be to marry someone like him.

Which gave me the idea--Daisy’s father would decide to marry her off to his right-hand man, Matthew Swift.

Then I started to have some serious fun, conceiving Matthew as a kind of ugly duckling who turns out to be a swan. You see a lot of historical heroines like that, but rarely historical heroes. (Connie did this brilliantly in "My Dearest Enemy.") But every time Daisy interacts with Matthew, he surprises her. Unlike her father, Matthew appreciates Daisy's whimsical, colorful, romantic nature. And it turns out that Matthew has been secretly in love with her for years.

Daisy and Matthew are younger characters than the ones I usually write, and I think this gives the book a fresh, lively feeling. And because of Daisy's innate sweetness, it seemed the love scenes had a lightness, maybe even cuteness, rather than my usual torrid ones.

One thing no one has noticed yet is the unusual name of Lillian's daughter in this book--Merritt--which is a tribute to the late and dearly loved romance author Emma Merritt. I had the privilege of meeting Emma and having dinner with her about a week or so before she passed away several years ago, and I found her to be a gracious and graceful woman--a true lady.

If you have any questions or comments about Scandal In Spring, my future novels, etc, please don't hold back! I'll answer them in the most non-spoilerish way I can. It's so good to be back from conference and be able to visit with you again!
Lisa Kleypas, 8:52 AM