Risky Regencies

Swimming Upstream

I turned in Balthazar’s book last week (yay! I love writing The End and sending a story winging off) and have started my next book, or at least the preliminaries for it. This is the 3rd in my Regency-set trilogy “The Muses of Mayfair,” and is set in Bath. So, I got out postcards and photos of the city to add to my Inspirations Board (pictured here).

But the Board is not quite complete. Like many writers, I do like to “see” my characters (or maybe I just like looking at pictures of handsome actors?), and thus have to add images of them to my Inspirations. My heroine, Thalia (the youngest of the 3 classical-scholarly Chase sisters) was easy enough. She is young, blonde, and very very cute. Her sisters compare her to a porcelain shepherdess, and she hates that. But she does like the advantage that appearing fragile and fluffy can give her. No one expects her to cause mischief, so she never gets in trouble for it. She looks a bit like Kirsten Dunst.

The hero, Count Marco di Fabrizzi, was harder to picture (hard to picture for a dark, sexy Italian, that is!!). I can see him in my mind, but my usual Hero Inspirations just weren’t working quite right. Orlando was the hero of my last book–he needs a wee rest! So, when I mentioned my dilemma in the comments of Elena’s Wednesday post, Elizabeth Mahon reminded me of Rodrigo Santoro. Perhaps he’s best known for 300 (though totally unrecognizable there). I loved him in those Chanel No. 5 commercials with Nicole Kidman, the ones where she wears that big pink feather dress and goes running through the streets to live in a garret with him. Voila, I have my Marco! I am now ready for Chapter One, Page One. Maybe.

And it was on this day in 1810 that Lord Byron swam the Hellespont on his Grand Tour. This is still quite a feat today (every August, there’s a Turkish Remembrance Day Hellespont swimming race), and Byron accomplished it despite his clubbed foot! And then he wrote a poem about it.

For me, degenerate modern wretch,
Though in the genial month of May,
My dripping limbs I faintly stretch,
And think I’ve done a feat today

Do you swim? (I enjoy a few laps in the pool, but seriously doubt I could brave the Hellespont!) What do you do for Inspiration when starting a story?

Oh, and in my never-ending quest for the perfect English real estate, the place for great Riskies retreats, I found this property this week. Now I must go buy a lottery ticket…
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Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Wow, Amanda, I was ‘visiting’ (ie vicariously drooling at internet photos) Bury St. Edmunds just last week.

So googling “Italian Hunks” didn’t yield you a hero, eh?

You are being very prolific! Congrats for writing “The End”

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

“Bury St. Edmunds just last week.”

I think this would be a great spot for a Riskies retreat–7 bedrooms, plus a two-bedroom cottage! 4 bathrooms! That great study! And a pretty town nearby. If I just had $4 million sitting around… 🙂

Susan Wilbanks
14 years ago

Wow, that house is AMAZING! Maybe if we all play the lottery and pool our winnings…

Congratulations on finishing and moving so quickly to your next project!

14 years ago

Kudos on finishing one and starting the next one! Great job!

Wow! What a great house! Actually I think Bury St. Edmunds is close to Kelsale where we lived and I think my Dad used to drive over there to get some really great fish and chips from a little shop there. I will have to ask my Mom.

Sign me up for a couple of lottery tickets!

14 years ago

I’ll put up a buck for a chance to live anywhere near a place called Bury St. Edmunds! Does the Italian hunk come with the package? He could be an ex-patriot living in England following the Italy’s Reunification.

Okay, so it’s the wrong time period but still….

Congrats on finishing!!! More yummy books for me! I ADORED A Sinful Alliance!

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

“my Dad used to drive over there to get some really great fish and chips from a little shop there.”

Beautiful house AND near a great fish and chips shop! It just sounds better and better. 🙂

Santa, I definitely think we need some Italian counts around the place. Maybe a dark Scotsman for Diane, too! 🙂 And thank you SO much for the ASA compliment. I was a bit sorry to say “good-bye” to this group of characters when I sent in this WIP. I may have to revisit them.

Megan Frampton
14 years ago

Congrats on finishing!

I like the way you start creating the next project, now I have room for an inspiration board, I think I’ll try it.

14 years ago

Cara and I visited Bury St. Edmunds a couple of years ago, when we took a driving tour through Suffolk and Norfolk. It’s beautiful countryside, and the towns are charming, too. We stayed in a little town called Lavenham near Bury St. Edmunds, full of half-timbered houses–one of the old medieval wool towns.


Elizabeth Kerri Mahon
14 years ago

Ooh, Amanda, I adore the house! Jane Seymour sold her house near Bath about a year ago, and I was dying to buy it, if I had a spare $25MM lying around. Victoria’s Secret once had an English estate in their Christmas catalog about 10 years ago that I was dying for. I’ll have to buy a lottery ticket this week. And I’m glad that you found your hero!

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

“Spare change. Could spare some change.” Troll for money to play the lotto. For a chance to live a day or seven in that place? Sign me up.

Ammanda, you write so quickly and move from one historical period to another without pause. How wonderfully talented you are!

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