Lori Perkins, then-Editorial Director at Ravenous Romance, suggested I write a modern, romantic M/M retelling of the classic The Prince and the Pauper. I liked the notion and the challenge, though at first I didn't have much to go upon other than some very bare bones, one certainty being that the story would take place in the world of music. But once I put the nib of my fountain pen to paper and began to write what I hoped would be an unforgettable opening chapter, The Duke and the Deadbeat literally dashed to the finish line over the course of three weeks, the characters and the settings so vivid in my imagination that I lived the scenes as they played out for that longhand draft of 51,000 words.
Duke was published last week and has, as of this posting, maintained the top spot on the company's list of best-selling novels. Credit is also due to Allan Penn for his incredible cover design, which took my suggestions to stratospheric levels. Allan totally captured Duke Donovan -- the aforementioned rock star "Duke" -- and struggling musician Seamus Whyler, who switch places, each seeking to fix their damaged lives by assuming one another's identities.
"I love making
Greg's covers. His characters have so much depth and color that bringing them
to life is always an adventure," said Allan when I asked him about this particular project's artwork. "Can't wait for the next one."
I remain particularly fond of those characters and the situations they ultimately triumph over. Now, with other stories and situations demanding my attention, I love that Duke, Seamus, Joe-Kev, et al, are having their time in the spotlight, and that readers are getting caught up in the music with them.
From the Ravenous Romance Website: