January 29, 2013
I’ve always maintained that an author has to have a great deal of empathy for his characters in order to do them justice.
When I finished A Scandalous Scot, I couldn’t help but be appalled at Catriona Cameron. What kind of amoral, insensitive nitwit was she? I didn’t like her, but I was curious about her. How were two sisters, having lived through the same circumstances, so different from each other? Was there something to Catriona that I wasn’t seeing?
I have to KNOW a character in order to portray them correctly, and I knew I was missing something about Catriona. I started wondering about her. How had the tragedy of the sisters’ past affected her? How had it changed her?
Let me tell you what happened. The process started before A Scandalous Scot was over. You might say it was Catriona whispering in my ear. By the time I was ready to plot the next book, I had finally had the AHA! moment with Catriona. I understood what had happened to her. I knew what made her tick. I knew I had to write her story, and I knew the book had to be called The Lass Wore Black.
I wanted readers to understand and empathize with Catriona. More importantly, I wanted readers to agree that she, too, needed a happy ending.
First, however, she had to go through a little more hell.
Did Catriona go off to Edinburgh and learn what she needed to take her place in society?
Did she charm the socks off a Duke or an Earl?
Did she learn any lessons about humility?
Most of all, did she turn into a nice person?
Ah, but you’ll have to read The Lass Wore Black, won’t you?
I will tell you this – Catriona was perhaps one of the most difficult characters with whom I’ve ever wrestled. She challenged everyone every step of the way.