Inside The Duke and I

  • Of all my books, The Duke and I was the most difficult to title. I have a personal fondness for Daphne’s Bad Heir Day, but How to Bear an Heir was also a contender for the “Most Fun Titles You Never Used” award.
  • Eagle-eyed readers will spot a few of my favorite past characters in the pages of The Duke and I. The heroes from both Everything and the Moon and How to Marry a Marquis are mentioned in Chapter One (although neither actually says anything). And of course Lady Danbury is right there in the thick of it. She first appeared as a major secondary character in How to Marry a Marquis, and I liked her so much I thought it would be fun to bring her back. Little did I know that this would be the first of many, many Lady Danbury appearances. In fact, I think she might be my very favorite character to write.
  • Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, which made their debut in The Duke and I, came about almost by accident. I was writing the opening scene, and I realized that I needed to impart quite a bit of expository information. I wanted the reader to know that Daphne was from a large family and that she was fourth in the birth order, with three older brothers. I couldn’t very well have Daphne and her mother mention all this in conversation, as this wasn’t news to either one of them, so I came up with the idea of putting it all down in a gossip column. It turned out to be the most happy accident in my entire career!
  • Many people have asked me where I got the idea to have Simon stutter, and the truth is, I’m not sure. I have never stuttered, nor has anyone in my family. I did a fair amount of research into stuttering, but there really wasn’t much to go on with regards to the regency era, so in the end I tried to simply imagine how frustrating it must have felt for someone as intelligent as Simon to be unable to communicate with as much facility as his peers.
  • Finally, while I was writing this book, someone very close to me was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and so I’ve decided to donate a portion of my royalties to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Scientists are getting closer to a cure every day, and in my book, that will be the greatest happy ending of all.

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