When it comes to inspiring story-telling, a picture can be worth a thousand words, so I thought I'd do a series here at the Hot-Spot about some of my inspirations for my Total E-Bound novellas.
My latest release, Playing with Prudence, caught fire in my imagination the second I thought of the premise. Unfortunately, writing got delayed as I spent a little too much time searching for yummy illustrations to inspire me!
Whether it was searching up archival photos of the brand-new Victoria Station (Pru's deliciously dominant husband Ned is a railway engineer and I'm a London geek), or imagining the gowns Pru might wear to entice Harry (the lover Ned's chosen for her, lucky thing!), or fantasising about getting lost with two gorgeous men in my very own hedge maze (damn you, childhood rewatchings of Labyrinth) -- my "ideas" folder ended up with a picture for every scenario...
....Here's a few!
Ned Lyell, as modeled by James Purefoy. Prudence Lyell, as modeled by Keira Knightly. Harry Sterling, as modeled by Rupert Penry-Jones. Imagine them in a threesome. Go on. Just imagine it. See? Mmmm. Don't worry, I've written it for you ;)
Keen-eyed readers may have noticed that Glenfield, Pru and Ned's Surrey home in Playing with Prudence is the same loction for Max's party in His Christmas Present. When I envisioned the cocktail scenes in HCP, I knew that I was going to have to revisit the grand conservatory I'd created because it was just too much fun not too. Prudence's love of gardening 150 years earlier was born! This is a photograph of one of the Victorian masterpieces at Kew Gardens. I rather fancy the architect consulted on the Lyell's glass-house as well!
Don't you wish your partner would make you a present like this? Such a gorgeous toy, and as soon as I saw this photo I knew it needed to have pride of place in my story!
This simple-yet-fantastic dress is technically few years too late for the story, but I thought it would do very nicely to stun Harry into lustful obedience ;) For more detail on this gown, and other looks from the 1860s, see the V&A's wonderful online collection.
(Also, it was hilarious trying to write a sensuous kiss with her in that get-up...I really wanted Pru to feel Harry's growing, ahem, interest through her skirts, but nothing was getting past that crinoline cage!)
Is there anything else you'd like to see/hear about? I'd love to talk more about Prudence, so fire away! :)