Inside Just Like Heaven

  • Writing Just Like Heaven took a lot of research. Not of history or of music, but rather of my own novels. I had included Smythe-Smith characters in so many books that I had to take several days just to compile all of my previous mentions. Once I did that, I had to decide which set of Smythe-Smith cousins I was going to write about. I discovered that I had written about musicales taking place in 1816, 1819, 1824, and 1825. I settled on the girls from 1824/1825, in part because I wanted to be able to spread the quartet of books over two seasons.
  • Families and family relationships are very important in my writing, so when I develop characters for a book I have to understand their family structure. This meant I had to figure out how many brothers and sisters each character had and where they were in the birth order. Because the Smythe-Smiths are such a large family, I had to come up with eight separate nuclear families. To do this I had to recreate nineteen years of Smythe-Smith quartets. Yes, you read that right. Nineteen years of them! If for some reason I ever need to know who played the viola in 1815, I’ve got the info at my fingertips. (Literally, since I do have to type to pull up my computer files.)
  • I descHeaven_Queen_ab=nd_Kateribed Honoria’s preferred shade of pink as “primrose.” Imagine my horror when I read that the lovely yellow dress Queen Elizabeth wore to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding is being described as “primrose yellow.” I maintain that primroses come in many hues. (P.S. I thought the Queen looked lovely. Mrs. Middleton, too.)
  • My husband is a physician, specializing in infectious diseases, so naturally I asked him to look over the scene when Marcus is so ill. After I read it to him, he paused for a moment, then said, “He has to die.” I said, “Perhaps you don’t understand how this works.” In the end, I modified the scene to make Marcus’s wound a bit less infected.
  • I’m actually not that crazy about the name Honoria and probably would not have used it for a heroine except that I had already mentioned her in a Lady Whistledown column in Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. There was no way I could resist a scene in which Lady Danbury destroys a violin!
  • Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron rides again! My favorite novel-within-a-novel first appeared in It’s in His Kiss, then came back in What Happens in London and Ten Things I Love About You. It’s so much fun to write bad prose; I’m sure we haven’t seen the end of the intrepid Miss Butterworth.
  • All of the books Honoria brings Marcus during his convalescence are real. Except Butterworth, of course.
  • Mozart’s Piano Quartet, No. 1 is indeed thought to be an extremely difficult piece and the Smythe-Smiths absolutely should not have attempted it. Then again, Mozart also wrote “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” and they probably should not attempt that, either.

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