Saturday, 5 April 2008


...sorry about the absence everyone, but I've been sweating away over the revisions for the latest wip - hard, hard, hard.
Hopefully I'll get there (slowly).
HAPPILY - I've had some really lovely reader mail about Mistress Under Contract - which has just hit the shelves in Australia & New Zealand. This has been wonderful - and given me such a lift at a point when I really needed it :)

Meanwhile, the lovely Aideen asked where I get the inspiration from for the stories - I get asked this a lot (altho often its tongue in cheek and they're referring to certain scenes in the books!) BUT I know you're really interested Aideen! There were several things that went into the mix that ended up as this story - here are just a few:

I wanted to write an 'opposites attract' story - just 'cos I think they're fun. And I settled on a stuffed shirt lawyer type - I worked in Wellington (where the book is set) for a while many years ago for the Judges there and was familiar with the whole Courts setup (its where our highest court is). Our Parliament is right next door - so its a really interesting spot - the whole seat of power thing. And I also knew how damn hard those lawyers work - the hours, the pressure and the smarts they need to secure those top jobs.
Lucy is actually the sister of Emma in
His Mistress by Arrangement
(or Bedded by Arrangement as it was in the UK/Oz/NZ) - and I already had her character developed and knew she was a bit lost - Daniel is in no way lost (or at least he doesn't think he is!).

At the time I was writing the book there was a very high profile rape case before the courts - one of those 'he said, she said' ones - only she was up on the witness stand having to have her life opened up for everyone, and he wasn't - it caused some fairly strenuous debate here and our Law Commission (big research type institution) is looking into that seeming inequity re evidence. (Before I started writing romance I was partway thru a law degree - I think its a fascinating area to study). So this was something I thought I could cover - not in a heavy-handed way, but just touch on it very slightly in one of Daniel's cases that had extra resonance for Lucy - I thought it might give additional depth to the story.

Also when I lived in Wellington (I was a student doing my Masters, and spent my first year out working there too) there was a fabulous bar we went to -it closed long ago but I totally modelled the bar in the book on that. Back in those days my friend (my friend - truly, NOT me!) was dating the bar manager and I DO recall a group of us having a water/lemonade fight at five in the morning across the bar with the post-mix (drinks squirter thing) - lotsa fun. In the book I thought it might be even more fun if it was just the two of them...

Another of my old job experiences makes a show in here too - when I was in Scotland I worked for a spell as a Recruitment Consultant - and the number of forms all the temp applicants had to fill in was staggering - and who doesn't have a love/hate relationship with those personality indicator tests?!!! So this was another little element I could incorporate - I thought having one of those yes/no phrases as each chapter heading was kinda fun!

So there we go - some of the bits that went into that story - looking over it I guess I do use a fair bit from my own experience/knowledge - altho this varies from book to book!!! And I always find the news a constant course of inspiration. But at the end of the day much of it comes from developing the characters themselves and finding all about them (this usually happens by finishing the rough draft). Hope you found that interesting Aideen!!!

Meanwhile, I must get back to the computer that ISN'T attached to the internet and get on with work but before I do a HUGE CONGRATS to two of my Modern Heat pals who have finalled in the RITAS with two of their fantastic MH books - way to go Kelly Hunter and
Heidi Rice!!!! So looking forward to the big day and crossing everything one of ours takes away the prize - head to Sensational Romance to find out more about their nominated books and other exciting news in the MH camp :)


Donna Alward said...

Ok, so with all those jobs and kids you should be 40. Instead you're like 20. Totally unfair.

Book sounds like a hoot!

Natalie Anderson said...

Hardly 20 Donna!!!! The mid-30s beckons ALARMINGLY - LOL - I was just a slacker and never hung round in any job for long, and let's not forget I had half my kids 2 at a time ;)
The book is fun - if I say so myself... well, I had fun writing it anyway!!!

Aideen said...

Hi Natalie,

Wow! Haven't you led the life? And ya, you really should be mid forties at this point.

Thanks so much for sharing the inspiration and sparks behind the book. Your characters were as real as my family, I hated to finish but had to finish, you know what I mean. And you certainly did add depth to Lucy with the whole 'rape' case, which unfortunately it happens all too often in our real world. But you dealt with it lightly yet effectively. Well done.

I'm so driving to Cork city tommorow to track down Emma's story.

All the best,

P.S. Donna? Fun just don't do that book justice. Its the best sex I've had (without) my husband in about ten years!!! Get your hands on it asap.

Natalie Anderson said...

Hi Aideen - thanks again! I'm still so stoked you enjoyed it so much :) LOL re the sex!!! It was hot huh? ;) I still giggle about bits in there and its over a year since I wrote it.
I'm not sure you'll find Emma - she was out in the UK back in November and here in NZ/Oz in Jan - she's out in the US in June but email me if you can't find her in Cork - you never know what magic fairies can do :)

Rachael Blair said...

Hey Natalie

Great reading about where you got your ideas for Mistress Under Contract. I've read Bedded By Arrangment but have still to read this one. So many books... so little time.

I was interested that you said you learn all about your characters in your rough draft. I'm almost finished the rough draft of my current mss and I'm slightly disillusioned, wondering if it's just to dull... so I was wondering, how much exactly do you layer and add in your rewrites.

Hope this question makes sense... it's late and I've been up early with little kids - know you'll understand that one!