I've been in manic deadline mode, so I barely know what year it is, much less the date. But when I saw Jessica's post, I had to do a little celebrating myself. So I'm going to share with you a few behind-the-scenes snippets about TARNISH.
- My Anne Boleyn doesn't have a sixth finger. She isn't a poisoner. She doesn't sleep with her brother. But she isn't boring.
- There is some love geometry. Not exactly a triangle. More like a...pentagon. Fun stuff.
- It was especially fun to write Henry VIII as a charming, sexy younger man--more like Jonathan Rhys Meyers than Ray Winstone.
- Though all of my characters are based on actual people, my interpretation of them is influenced by people I've known or see around me. Including ex-boyfriends, Benedict Cumberbatch and my husband.
- My playlist for this book included songs by No Doubt, Mumford and Sons, Of Monsters and Men, Coldplay, the Spin Doctors, KT Tunstall and the Dave Matthews Band.
- I was terrified to write about Anne Boleyn. But when the voice grabbed me on a long car journey, I couldn't say no. I'm definitely a fangirl now.
And just because I feel like it, here's a little hint of that voice. If you want to see more, check out the Tudor Tuesdays Blog Tour that will be run by A Glass of Wine beginning May 7 (the date of the GILT paperback release!)
“Well, if it isn’t George’s little sister.”
The duchess jerks her gaze to find the speaker at the table of gamblers who have been slapping down cards and groats and boasts and bets at the far end of the room. And I whisper a blessing before I turn as well.
George looks how I feel, surprise glimmering for an instant on his face and then vanishing behind welcome. His hair is expertly tousled, his inky velvet doublet smooth and clean, his soft hands no indication of the dirt he gets into. He sits with Henry Norris, who appears to be paying more attention to my bustline than to the conversation around him. James Butler, my future spouse, is next to him, glowering, his hair thick and coarse over his beetling eyebrows. And at the far end of the table sits the speaker, dressed in green like a modern-day Robin Hood, his gold curls sporting a hint of red at the temples—the Kentishman from the king’s disguising.
He leaps from behind the table to approach me, moving with the hidden strength and lissome grace of a cat. I get the feeling this man will always land on his feet.
“Haven’t seen you since I broke my toe climbing the courtyard wall at Hever.”
I swallow a knot of vanity, and it sticks in my throat. Because he has seen me. He just doesn’t remember.
Or perhaps I just made no impression.
He stops and crosses his arms. Leans back and appraises me with his devastatingly blue eyes. He is still several strides from me, so we face each other like players on a stage, our audience all around us.
I glance at my brother, who expects my silence, and then back at this Robin Hood, who expects my response. He expects me to know him.
“Forgive me, sir. But I do not recognize you.”
I do know him, or of him. His exploits are infamous in the maids’ chambers. Word is, he’s incomparable in bed. And he’s shared many. He’s a poet. An athlete. A miscreant.
“Your neighbor, from your days in Kent? We used to play naked in the fountain at my father’s castle at Allington. Without our parents’ knowledge, of course.”
He winks at me.
The other men laugh, and I hear a rustle of skirts and whispers from the duchess’s confederacy. I twitch a glance at George, who is glaring at me as if this man’s innuendos are somehow my fault. Wyatt smiles like a gambler who has laid down a hand full of hearts. I can’t let him get the better of me. I can’t let this man win.
“It’s no wonder that I don’t remember you, Master Wyatt, for we must have been much smaller.” I pause, blink once, and then open my eyes into blank innocence. “Though for all I know, some things might still be quite small.”