Once Upon a Wedding Night - Sophie Jordan
The inspiration for ONCE UPON A WEDDING NIGHT is a bit sketchy for me. I had the idea for the book for so long, lurking in my mind for years before I wrote it, that I forget what first motivated the story's somewhat unconventional premise.
Hmmm, let me retrace the best I can …
I married shortly after college. In fact, the morning after returning home from my honeymoon, I reported to my first “real job” teaching 10th grade English. For the next three years I focused on work, on teaching literature to others, but in the back of my mind lingered a desire to write, to create books with stories and words that could leave their own unique impact. I taught a lot of tragic stories: Julius Caesar, Antigone, Elie Wiesel’s Night. This took its toll. Imagine reading passages of these works six times a day for five days a week. I wanted to write a story where a tragic figure actually got her happy ending -- the story of someone brought low who actually finds love, security and that oh-so-elusive happily ever after. Such figures pull at my heartstrings. I’m so much more gratified when a drop-dead sexy hero becomes irresistibly drawn to a heroine nearly broken by life … nearly but not quite. She’s heroine material, after all, because of the very fact that life has not succeeded in breaking her.
So, a premise for a novel gradually took shape. This premise focused on the plight of the heroine (as most of my books, I’ve learned, do). Meredith is all that is tragic – yet no Antigone to go “gentle into that good night”. Neglected and overlooked for most of her life by her father, her community, and later her husband, she meets all my necessary criteria for a sad figure. And by sad, I don’t mean someone weak and pathetic who sits around and bemoans her lot in life. Meredith, if you recall, is indomitable … even though I heap plenty of grief upon her. I widow her and leave her penniless with dependants -- an elderly father and a somewhat dotty aunt. Having suffered much, Meredith is a consummate survivor. With the help of her aunt, she invents a desperate scheme in the hopes of keeping her home.
I had to claw through my mind to come up with a hero that would be a suitable match for such a bold heroine. Although Nick was not in my head at the beginning, he turned out to be, in many ways, more tormented than Meredith. A bad-boy of London, this hero is too sexy for his own good and thoroughly opposed to loving any lady – the heroine, in particular … but I don’t want to give away too much of the story. If you want to learn more of Meredith’s desperate scheme, you’ll have to read ONCE UPON A WEDDING NIGHT! It is a rather unconventional regency-sey romance -- at least that's what it is being "touted" as. Also, check out my “physical” inspirations for Nick and Meredith on my Bookshelf page on my website: http://www.sophiejordan.net/.
I must say, Nick is quite yummy. While you’re also there, check out my physical “inspirations” for my next book, TOO WICKED TO TAME. More yumminess! Now I can distinctly recall the inspiration behind that book … perhaps in March I’ll confess those details.