I didn’t want to be the heroines in their novels; I wanted to be me, a woman from the 21st century, visiting that time period, having interesting experiences and perhaps meeting some dashing chap. So one night as I lay in bed waiting to drift off, probably after reading a Jane Austen novel, I started to tell myself the story of a beautiful red-headed woman, a brilliant scientist and virtuoso pianist who time travels to the early 19th century, rents a mansion in County Hampshire, and begins to insinuate herself into the neighborhood. She meets a handsome violinist and they have an affair. (Cassandra, as I call my protagonist. is a much more attractive and talented version of myself.)
It was just a silly fantasy at first, but then I started to think about the logistics: how would the time-travel happen? How would she manage to just appear there in the past? What might happen to complicate things? What would throw a monkey-wrench into her plan? I developed the story night after night, lying there in bed, and when eventually it got so interesting that I couldn’t sleep, I knew I had to write it down. It took me four years to get from that fantasy to my published e-book, my first draft hand-written in a series of notebooks, then many, many subsequent computer drafts, reader critiques, agent rejections and one acceptance, and finally several months working with a professional editor who taught me some things I really needed to know about writing a novel.
Finally I just want to give a shout out to the designers of my cover, which I think is so incredibly beautiful, sensual and elegant. Mostly it was my dad’s concept, Bill Josh Young: www.fundingbydesign.org. But since his health wasn’t great at the time he was designing it, my husband Jonathan Ellis stepped in and put on the finishing touches. My husband wears many hats, media guru that he is, and here’s the link to his website: www.ltbprod.com. He and I have a philosophy: make art. It’s as simple as that.