“Love, Victorian Style”
by Janet Fox
by Janet Fox
When I began writing Faithful, believe it or not, it was not about the romance. Maggie started out as a slightly younger character whose main concern was her mother’s mysterious disappearance. I was responding to my own mother’s passing, and placing Maggie in Yellowstone seemed right since Yellowstone is a gorgeous place to stage a story.
But very early in writing I realized that Maggie’s voice is closer to 16 than 14, and like any teen, she’d be preoccupied with things that impact her directly. In 1904 in her position in society the importance of potential suitors and her social standing would be paramount. The tension in the story, then, became largely romantic. And what better way to create romantic tension than to pit two potential love interests against one another?
Tom Rowland is the kind of guy I was drawn to as a teen (hey! He’s a lot like my hubby!): he’s kind, quiet, thoughtful, and a bit dorky. Edward Tyson does exactly what’s expected: he’s proper, stiff, concerned with status and how things “look”. My challenge was to increase the tension and make Maggie choose between them. I had to make Tom a bit inaccessible, and Edward just likeable enough, so that Maggie would be drawn to each of them for different reasons and be forced to face who she is, as reflected in her choice.
I brought in Kula to increase the tension with Tom and make him less available to Maggie. I made Edward rise to the occasion and play the hero and attempt to rescue Maggie from the awful Graybull (who deserves his own blog post, perhaps). Then I let Maggie examine Edward and Tom and make a choice, and through Maggie let the reader choose, too.
Ultimately, I wanted Maggie to make a choice because girls her age in 1904 had so few choices. Romance Victorian style in the upper classes was usually not about choice.
What do you think of Maggie’s situation? Do you feel lucky to be alive today?
Order Faithful from Amazon.com
Want to hear more? Janet Fox will be on Blog Talk Radio on Saturday, May 15 and at The Story Siren on Monday, May 17. Be sure to stop by!
About the Book:
Sixteen-year-old Maggie Bennet’s life is in tatters. Her mother has disappeared, and is presumed dead. The next thing she knows, her father has dragged Maggie away from their elegant Newport home, off on some mad excursion to Yellowstone in Montana. Torn from the only life she’s ever known, away from her friends, from society, and verging on no prospects, Maggie is furious and devastated by her father’s betrayal. But when she arrives, she finds herself drawn to the frustratingly stubborn, handsome Tom Rowland, the son of a park geologist, and to the wild romantic beauty of Yellowstone itself. And as Tom and the promise of freedom capture Maggie’s heart, Maggie is forced to choose between who she is and who she wants to be.
About the Author:
Janet Fox is a full-time resident of College Station, Texas, and a part-time resident of Montana (just outside of Yellowstone National Park). Visit Janet at her Official Website & Blog