Inside My American Duchess
Warning! In describing relations between characters, I may wreck a book for you by making it clear who someone marries, or the outcome of a book. Please do not read about The Inside Take if you're wary of knowing who is paired with whom!
- My American Duchess was supposed to be a novella. One of my best friend’s sons, Joe, brought a diamond ring in his pocket all the way from England and asked his beloved Leeanne to marry him in Central Park while staying with us! I decided to write a novella in honor of their romance. But Merry and Trent were so much fun to spend time with…before I knew it, 100 pages had turned to 400!
- I was living in London the year when I wrote the novel, so my own culture clashes informed Merry’s. I made wonderful friends in London and we ended up sitting around in pubs and talking about how one really should take tea, and whether to eat pizza with a fork and knife.
- The idea for the crucial pineapple scene popped into my head while I was visiting No. 1 Royal Crescent, a wonderful historical house in Bath, England. See the pineapple they have on the table? We asked the docent to explain why it was there. It was one of those lightbulb moments: I knew I could weave a wonderful story about “rented” fruit.
- The funny moment at the table when an old gentleman whispers “She’s asked for the pineapple,” came from a story about a Canadian scholar who attended High Table at Brasenose College, Oxford. High Table is frightfully serious and involves wearing gowns and drinking a lot (think Harry Potter). She asked for the mango that was poised atop a pile of fruit, to the great shock of the elderly gentleman opposite her. It turned out that the mango was there every night, but no one ever asked to have it cut up.
- George Washington, Merry’s rescue dog, was great fun to write. I photoshopped my idea of George (found on the internet) into the stepback just for fun. So here he is!