Monday, June 21, 2010

Story Behind the Story - Convincing Arthur

Stats – Received contract 2/23/09. Turned in manuscript 5/8/09. Published 7/21/09 by Loose Id.

I was asked if I would be interested in writing a historical for Loose Id’s Past, Present and Future promotion for July 2009. I already had the idea for Convincing Arthur and had planned to write it after I finished Bound to Him. So it worked out quite nicely.

Little known fact – Convincing Arthur is my only book cover with fully clothed men. All my other covers feature nekkid guys. Well, Object of His Desire has Underwear Guy in breeches, but he doesn’t count as fully clothed since he’s showing off his abs.

Extremely little known fact – In the original outline for the book, Leopold’s first name was Sylvester. Yeah…Sylvester Thornton. Why did I ever think that was a good idea? The name Leopold actually came from a secondary character in my first Evangeline m/f book. I loved that character, but my editor thought the character would work better as a woman (she was right – it did end up working better with a female cousin instead of a male one in those scenes). So when I decided my bad boy wasn’t a ‘Sylvester’, I gave him the name Leopold. He’s nothing like the other Leopold, and I love him even more than that other guy.

How did I get the idea for the book – Leopold was the catalyst for the book. I loved the idea of an utter bad boy who is desperately, hopelessly in love. And I didn’t want him to be a typical rake you’d see in a m/f historical. He didn’t have a horrid childhood, he isn’t poor. He has everything that should make one happy, except he doesn’t have the man he loves. Since Leopold’s not a strong soul (he falls easily into vice and is rather emotionally volatile), not having Arthur takes a heavy toll on him.

If I could edit the book now, what would I change (if anything)? - I’m actually happy with the book as-is. Well, it could maybe do with a couple more paragraphs right before the last smex scene. As it stands, it goes from super angst to red-hot lust in the space of a paragraph. Could have lingered over the kiss a bit longer before Leopold asks Arthur if he locked the study door.

Will there be a sequel – Yes, that’s the plan. Current title is Convincing Leopold and it will take place 3 months after Convincing Arthur, with Arthur and Leopold in London. The chapter outline is done and it’s in the To-Be-Written queue. I plan to work on it this winter…that is, if my schedule doesn’t get wacked.

Misc stuff – The scene toward the end where Leopold chases after Arthur in the rain is one of my favorite scenes of all the books I’ve written thus far. I find it just so…romantic. *sigh* And I think Leopold’s my only hero who could have pulled off such a scene.

I often model the exterior of a character’s country house after an actual country estate in England or Scotland. Ramsey House (Leopold’s country house) is modeled after Farnborough Hall in Oxfordshire. Here’s a pic of it -

That's the Story Behind the Story for Convincing Arthur. If you have any questions, ask away!


  1. Good God. I didn't know it was possible to have a book on my to be read list that isn't even written yet... but Convincing Leopold is now number one. *sigh*

    I love these two guys. My favorites of yours, bar none.

    And the Ramsey house matches what I had in my head perfectly. Great job, Ava!

    Can't wait for more! :)

  2. I absolutely adore this book. And a sequel..I may faint into my coffee. So excited!!!!

    Thanks for the background info :)

  3. I am going to be impatiently waiting for that sequel!

    I'm so glad you didn't go with Sylvester. I wouldn't have been able to keep myself from seeing him as a "puddy tat."

  4. Good choice to go with Leopold. Thanks for the info, these are fun posts!

  5. Well I liked the old Leo as well (although Esme is good) but I'm with everyone else. I can't wait for the sequel to it and I think it ought to be moving up the queue. Especially since I get to read it before anyone else, mwaaa haaa haaaa

  6. Thanks, Em! I'm rather fond of Leopold & Arthur, too. Leo's my 2nd fav hero (Ollie, of course, is #1 *g*)

    Thanks, Mandi!!

  7. Hi Eyre - the 'puddy cat' thing is one of the reasons why I changed his name. He even has black hair, just like the cat. LOL

    Thanks, Lily! Glad you enjoyed the post.

    Hey Shawn - very nice evil laugh. LOL. And don't tempt me! I've got to finish Bound Forever first, then an all new one with new guys. I am determined to stick to the schedule. ...really, I'm gonna try.

  8. I'm so excited there will be a sequel! And I have to agree, that scene starting with the butler closing the front door and Leopold chasing after Arthur in the rain is so moving.

  9. This is SUCH a cool feature - I'm enjoying the peek behind the scenes. :) (LOL about Underwear Guy, too!)

  10. Hey Ava! I loved this story. As you put it, "I loved the idea of an utter bad boy who is desperately, hopelessly in love.' I couldn't agree more. I love the bad boys who really aren't as "bad" as they think they are ;)

  11. Thanks, 69512!

    Hi Chris - how could I not mention 'let me take off my underwear' Underwear Guy? He may be a bit of a slut (...okay, more than 'a bit'), but he's got really nice abs :)

    Hey Barbara - Thanks! Oh yeah, those are the best types of bad boys. So angsty and yummy and reformable. ;)

  12. Yes, yes, yes!!! um, sorry, got carried away...

    More Leopold and Arthur, oh, I'm so happy!

  13. Well, you already know of my feelings for Leo. I'm not going to lie to you Ava, Sylvester doesn't really offend me. I think Leo would have made a good Sly. :) Looking forward to the sequel.

  14. Yes, I do know your feelings for our smutty, drama-boy Leo :D And he'll need another hug in the sequel ;)

  15. This was the one historical that I read last year...

    and I really really liked it...

    You already know my issue with the house and that castle looks perfect.

    Looking forward to the next book..