Anyway, I'm hugely grateful to Lynne for solving the mystery. Now we just have to work out how to get them from there to here, but while we wrestle with that issue I’m going to get on with saying a little bit about the book and come up with a question or two so I can give away some copies when I finally get my hands on them. Here in the UK the new series of The Tudors began on Friday and so lovely Henry Cavill (face of Tristan) has been on my TV screen and my mind a lot of late. Let’s remind ourselves what he looks like, shall we?
Oh yummy. (Did I mention that I actually came face to face with him last summer when I went to visit Abby Green in Dublin? Oh I did?? Only 252 times???) In writing and in childbirth, the distance of time has a funny way of erasing the pain so that when you look back you only remember the excitement. However a quick glance back into the archive here (and here) shows that in this case my mind isn’t deceiving me. I loved Tristan and I actually, honestly, genuinely loved writing this book.
I think I’ve already mentioned somewhere that the idea for Tristan and Lily's story came to me while I was putting on mascara. It was during the period of stress-related insanity we now fondly call the writing of Taken for Revenge, Bedded for Pleasure, and I could see instantly that the conflict in this new story would be so simple and straightforward that I almost wept with relief. Given the mascara situation would have been very foolish indeed, so I reached for a pen and wrote the synopsis on the back of an envelope, wondering as I did so whether it might just be a teeny weeny bit depressing, even by my standards.
However, I’m nothing if not shallow and the lure of a handsome playboy tortured by a difficult past was too strong to resist. Tristan Losada Montalvo de Romero is staggeringly wealthy, fearsomely intelligent and breath-catchingly gorgeous, but happy he certainly isn’t—a fact which he attempts to blot out in the classic, time-honoured alpha-male way—ie by sleeping with as many beautiful women as humanly possible. When he meets Lily Alexander at a party at his best friend Tom Montague’s ancestral home he is interested only in temporarily blotting out the nightmarish reality of his complicated life and adding her to his list of one-night conquests.
Lily has reached a crossroads in a life that feels empty and purposeless. Along with her best friend Scarlet she was spotted by a modeling scout in her home town of Brighton at the age of 17 and from there drifted into a career she never actively sought, in which she has always felt ill at ease. Secretly she longs for a life that is far removed from the sterile, shallow world she finds herself in. She wants the warmth and security she lacked as a child... she wants marriage and motherhood; feelings which are intensified by Scarlet's blossoming relationship with Tom Montague.
And so it is that, a few weeks after her magical night with Tristan, the news that she's pregnant doesn't feel like a disaster. A shock, definitely, but also a source of secret, surprising joy. It's what she's always wanted, so she can’t think of it as being a mistake. However, telling Tristan about it is a whole different matter. That's the bit where it all starts to go a bit off road.
I incorporated into Lily all my own youthful and very politically incorrect yearnings to get married and have babies. When I was a teenager the phrase ‘what do you want to do when you grow up’ failed to stir ambitions of global travel and corporate success in my chest, but conjured images of a house with a fireplace and a big old brass bed, shelves full of books and a pram beneath the apple tree. (Oddly enough, a towering pile of ironing and liberal quantities of Rice Krispies scattered across the floor were absent from this vision.) I suppose Lily’s story is a slightly cautionary tale about being careful what you wish for, but I like to think that it also proves that if you love wholly and selflessly; if you have faith and keep on believing, you can find happiness in one form or another. Lily almost loses everything, but she hangs on to her dream… and in doing so discovers that it wasn’t quite what she thought it was.
Anyway, back in reality we're now in the final week of the summer holidays (news which came as a shock to me when He broke it to me at the weekend. I was firmly of the impression that we had another week...) so chaos reigns around here and I must go and sort it out before it becomes a job for the professionals. Back soon with more background info on the book. Tomorrow-- the setting and locations.