Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hilarity and Hijinks: 11 Amusing Facts about SCOUNDREL FOR HIRE

Welcome! I’m so excited to be here!

The official tour for Scoundrel for Hire (Book 1, Velvet Lies series) will give you oodles of exclusive sneak peeks, plus the chance to win 1 of 10 fab prizes when you participate in my Scavenger Hunt at: 

Meanwhile, in the spirit of “hilarity and hijinks,” I’m taking you behind the scenes to learn the “real” story behind the story.  (You realize, I probably shouldn’t admit ANY of these things in public . . . LOL!)  Enjoy! ~ Adrienne deWolfe

Hilarity and Hijinks:
11 Amusing Facts about
by Adrienne deWolfe

The real name of the hero, Rafe Jones, is Raphael. In the Velvet Lies series, all of the Jones siblings have angel names:  Michael, Gabriel, and Seraphina.  However, all of them are lying through their teeth about something. (Except for Gabriel – who shows up as a ghost in HIS WICKED DREAM, Book 2.)

After writing 3 salt-of-the-earth Texans as heroes (Wild Texas Nights series,) Rafe is my first “bad-boy” hero. However, Rafe almost didn’t see the light of day.  My Wild Texas Nights publisher (Bantam) kept rejecting Rafe’s story:  First, the “editorial committee” told me that they didn’t think any Romance reader would like a hero who’s a thief.  Then Bantam told me I need more “angst.” (This is why the prologue is a tear-jerker, while the rest of the novel is a farce.) After I re-wrote the book’s proposal for the 3rd time, my editor said (and I quote,) “There’s still something wrong with this book.  I know! Why don’t you make the hero a thief!” (At which point, I told my agent, “SHOP THIS BOOK.”)

I'll be donating a portion of my royalties from
my Velvet Lies series to urban tree-planting efforts.
BTW: SCOUNDREL FOR HIRE became a #1 bestseller on Barnes and Noble, and Rafe, the rascally THIEF, won a K.I.S.S. Award from Romantic Times Magazine. (So much for prognostications by number-crunching statisticians.  Crystal ball, anyone?) I’ll be donating a portion of my royalties from all the ebooks in the Velvet Lies series to tree-planting efforts in the cities. (See press release.)

From the beginning, I envisioned SCOUNDREL FOR HIRE as a comedy in which all the characters were hoodwinking each other. That’s why I chose outlandish character names for my wealthy heroine (“Silver Nichols”) and her mining-mogul of a father (“Maximillian Nichols.”)

Rascally Rafe's alter ego, "Lord Chumley," was
inspired by my all-time favorite swashbuckling
hero, the Scarlet Pimpernel (the title character
in the historical novel by Baroness d'Orczy)
Octavia, Rafe’s “ward,” isn’t Human. Tavy gets into all kinds of trouble in the book ~ especially when Rafe tries to teach her how to swim in Silver’s bathtub. My favorite Tavy scene is when she crashes the oh-so-serious seance, heaping hilarity upon hijinks when her crab-puff chasing makes attendees think they’ve seen a real ghost! (What kind of beastie is Octavia?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.  Or you could play my Scavenger Hunt for 1 of 10 cool prizes.)

SCOUNDREL FOR HIRE was originally planned for 550 pages. Then my literary agent, who was vacationing in Scotland, called me on the phone and said, “Uh, by the way. Did I mention that your (new publisher) will only accept 400-page manuscripts?” I was writing the “piano scene” at the time.  And that’s why that particular scene had to advance EVERY SUBPLOT in the book.

Rafe's an accomplished pianist -- but so is Silver! She
serenades him with Schubert's haunting "Standchen."
The lyrics include the line,
"Anxious, fevered I await thee,
Come and bring me joy!"

(Naughty! ;-) )
Speaking of pianos, Silver had to have hers hauled over the Rocky Mountains by mule train.  (Ah, the privileges of wealth.) Rafe serenades her with Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in Chapter 8.

In SCOUNDREL FOR HIRE, Silver is afraid of spiders. Not me, baby! I think spiders are some of the coolest critters on the planet.  I once stopped Austin, Texas, traffic to protect a tarantula that was crossing the street.  (Okay: I only stopped ONE car.  And yes, the driver thought I was Looney Tunes.)  Hey, spiders need love, too!

One of my favorite scenes in Scoundrel for Hire
is the seance -- which Rafe's four-footed ward
crashes! (LOL!)
It is a GROSS EXAGGERATION that I learned how to talk to dead people through a crystal ball, so I could write the seance scene in SCOUNDREL FOR HIRE. (I learned how to read Tarot Cards, silly.)

Speaking of research: in order to bring you Rafe’s and Silver’s thrilling love story (which is set in Colorado,) I took a “writer’s vacation” to the Rocky Mountain State, where I suffered altitude sickness; got attacked by a mad (pet) dalmatian;  tossed out into the snow by the dalmatian’s psycho owner (snow is especially traumatic for us Texas folk;) stalked by a mugger through a grocery store parking lot; and denied the ONE cool vacation thing that I’d planned – a hot air balloon ride over Pike’s Peak – because a storm threatened for the wrong 5 minutes of my trip. (Sunny skies reigned over Colorado for the rest of the week.)  Fortunately, bestselling Romance novelist, Julia Quinn, took pity on me and invited me to stay at her Denver home so I wouldn’t have to sleep in the snow (or a Motel 6.)

I LOVE that Goddess Fish Promotions “randomly” scheduled SCOUNDREL FOR HIRE’S book tour from Nov. 11 through 22. Celestia, the fortune-teller in my novel, would tell you that 11 and 22 are both “master numbers” and especially important.  Now I’m expecting to win the lottery. Or have a comet fly over my house. Or be abducted by aliens!! (Stay tuned … )


Mary DeSantis said...

Main characters that are thieves make everything cooler. So if you do get abducted by aliens, make sure and write a story about how they "thieved" you from your home.

Adrienne deWolfe said...

Great idea, Mary! I'll have to dedicate that Outer Space Adventure to YOU!! Hugs, Adrienne

Glenda said...

I'm curious. What part of Austin were you in when you saved the tarantula? In many areas of town, that is considered normal. :-)

I'm adding your books to my wish list btw. I laughed at your facts - that is enough to interest me in the books.

Adrienne deWolfe said...

You must be a fellow (or former) Austinite, Glenda! I thought the tarantula was weird, since I was driving through a quiet, stately subdivision in Westlake. (No woods in sight.) So glad you laughed at my "top 11" facts. Looking forward to your thoughts on the Velvet Lies series. Hugs!