Lots of authors make mood boards as they write. I don’t do a mood board, but I do use Pinterest to refer to characters and clothing that go in my books. For Lady Lydia, I thought of the actress Shannyn Sossamon, mostly because of the this look she’s giving in a ton of images. So put her into some bulk weight-training, like basically all the women in the first Wonder Woman film, and there you have Lady Lydia. You can dress her up and she fits the part of a delicate miss, but take away the ballgown, and she just wants to kick someone’s butt.
For John Arthur, I imagined him as a cross between Michael Fassbender and Kevin Kidd. I never quite hit on the right mix, until recently, when a friend ran across the actor Toby Stephens. The light red hair, the blue eyes, the touch of ruddy skin that only gingers have, those were my hallmarks that I wanted to get right.
Have you read the book? What do you think of my casting?
Description of the book below, just in case you’re tempted by the pairing.
A Lady’s Revenge
$3.99 ebook $10.99 print
Lady Lydia Somerset is an earl’s daughter. At the ripe age of twenty-five, she still wears the lavish gowns and dances the dainty steps of the haute ton as if she were pursuing a husband; but her goals are far more personal. Instead, she pursues her tormentors: the men who bet that taking a girl’s virginity–her virginity–really can cure a brothel’s plague. She has her cousins and sister to aid her, but no one can understand what it feels like to be helpless. Pugilism, England’s manliest pastime, is her only relief. Training in secret with a female boxer keeps her sane, but when her instructor is hired away by one of the men she is seeking to destroy, she is in a bind. Her new teacher, a former prizefighter with a ready joke and a quick wit might do more than just correct her technique.
John Arthur is made of money. A street kid who dazzled with his fists, he now impresses as a miracle worker on the London Stock Exchange. But a man can’t forget a boyhood spent in the gutter. Easy-going and affable, John Arthur knows he shouldn’t tangle with bluebloods. He should be happy with a full belly and coin-filled pockets. But when he meets a woman who finds boxing as vital as he does, his life suddenly gets complicated.
Caught between revenge and finding love with a man who might truly understand her, Lady Lydia must commit to opening her heart or closing it forever.
*Winner of the Golden Leaf Best First Book Award in 2020