How to capture the power of a comet…

Take one prince sitting on a bench

under a magnoli in open park land, and a thief creeping up on him.

At the time I had no idea of the identity of the thief or of the man on the bench or why he sat there. All I had was this image. Then while looking in a baby-naming book for a name for another character I came across Shavar meaning ‘Comet’. I suddenly knew the man and why he sat there.

I complicated the story by making my man a crown and by making this a same-sex romance, creating a race who freely take lovers of either sex.

To add conflict I threw in the power of a comet. A power my hero had to struggle to control.

Not all ideas emerge fully formed, and as I began to write I realised that the greatest part of my story was the constant pressure and conflict my main character fought with each day. I soon realised that my prince would one day be king, and he needed to marry for he needed an heir.

So I added a queen who needed rescuing. This created more conflict for there was not only war to avoid, this complication meant that even if the prince could overcome the rules he had to live by, would he still lose his new found love? Would his princess be happy to live with a marriage of convenience, while he loved another?

There was one more complication, not of my making. At least it was never my intention but you see my prince had a personal guard .

As I wrote the story, I realised I couldn’t leave this character behind. He was very much part of my prince’s life, his conscience, his voice of reason, his confidant, an undeniable love interest. Eventually, I ended up with a far more complex romance web than I ever originally envisioned, and when the publisher expressed an interest in a series, I almost baulked. Where could my characters go from here?

Writing the sequels proved far easier in ways I hadn’t expected, and more difficult in others I never imagined. I also realised that with this story I couldn’t please everyone. I couldn’t convince everyone to stick with the whole series to discover the final outcome. I could only take delight in those who endured and who have sent me personal notes, thanking me.

The first novel set the stage and the seeds had been planted for a great series and a wonderful adventure, but that first book has an end that’s slightly misleading…for, as I’ve come to know, in the world of the Swithin anything can happen.

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