He was the rock star politician of his time, as if Franklin Roosevelt in his prime looked like a dark-haired Sting with a touch of Brad Pitt thrown in. But oddly enough, he isn’t the one who’s hard to write.
It’s the two women, Louise (de la Valliere, as she was known later) and Henriette (princess of England and France), both real, both intriguing, both loved him and were loved by him, and which is my heroine––that is the problem. I’ve decided and won’t spoil the plot of this book by telling all, but how I have wrestled with this, one draft focusing on one, the other draft on the other, and this draft, the polish/final (I hope, please, please) focusing on the winner.
Who’s the winner and why? The one who contributes most to the tension and forward motion of the story. The one who rises to the forefront in my imagination. In real life, I think they were both heroines. What an interesting point in history, Louis, the burgeoning young lion of Europe, loved by his sister-in-law, his wife, his sister-in-law’s maid of honor (and every other young woman in the vacinity….don’t we all love a star?). And his breaking of the most powerful man in France and his own brother. To take this story and pull it apart and find the meat, the emotional arcs, the why we do things, the consequences of what we do, which is what I love best, has been such a challenge.
I hope, when it’s done (I think this fall, but it isn’t sold yet, so I don’t know when it will come out) that you think it’s worth it. I have tremendous respect for you…the reader. I am a reader, and I love nothing more than when an author scoops me up in spite of myself and takes me to another world. It’s what I attempt in my writing, to suspend time and place, to create another time and place, where real people walked and talked and loved and lost and survived anyway, just like we do.