Itching for more material while you wait for the sequel? Take a peek at some extra trivia about the making and inner-workings of The Duchess Quest.
1. The name “Dainy” was created when I misheard someone saying the name “Janie.” “Ducelle” is a reference to DuSalle, a family name (on my mother’s side).
2. The working title for the novel was originally The Search Party. Once I’d finished, I knew I needed to come up with something far less boring!
3. The first draft took less than three months to complete – including many sleepless nights and every weekend locked in my grandmother’s old bedroom – and was almost 700 pages long. From there, it required nearly a year of editing to become suitable for publication.
4. The original outline had Dainy romantically linking with a different character (I won’t say who, but you’re welcome to guess). One-third of the way into writing, however, my (and as a result, Dainy’s!) heart was unexpectedly stolen, and the whole story changed.
5. The first word in Chapter 1, “Inconceivable,” is a reference to The Princess Bride, one of the great fantasy/adventure films that very much affected the writing of this story.
6. Jon Cosmith was originally called Rex Harrington, in honor of my childhood crush on Rex Harrison in the classic film, My Fair Lady. When conceptualizing his character, I wanted him to possess the same sort of grating charm as Harrison, but with the moral ambiguity of a character like Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. The name “Jon Cosmith” popped into my head while writing the initial chapters, and he ended up being even more delightfully obnoxious than expected.
7. All of the characters speak with British accents. No idea why; it’s just how I hear them in my head.
8. I’m often asked about my “dream cast”. While I try not to write with celebrity appearances in mind, Jim Sturgess fits the bill for Mac, and Christoph Waltz would make a killer Gatspierre.
9. If the main characters were sorted into Hogwarts houses, Bos and Dainy would be in Hufflepuff, Selu in Ravenclaw, Macmillan in Gryffindor, and Cosmith (no surprise) in Slytherin.
10. On my 24th birthday (August 19, 2013), I was one week into writing The Duchess Quest, and made a wish on my birthday candles that, by the same time the following year, the novel would be complete and contracted for publication. Exactly one year later, when I turned 25, I had two novels complete and contracted for publication! Wishes really do come true if you work hard and find a kick-butt publisher. 🙂