|CEO's Marriage Seduction|
Millionaire's Wedding Revenge
An Improper Affair
Captivated by the Tycoon
Cause for Scandal
Tycoon Takes Revenge
Under the Tycoon's Protection
|CEO's Marriage Seduction|
I Left My Heart In San Francisco: Like the Tony Bennett song, I visited San Fran and was conquered—too bad that my apartment and job were still in New York. Nevertheless, I knew I had to set a book in S.F.
The Last Supper Club: My husband and I had a delicious Italian meal there. Naturally, I thought it was an aptly-named location for my intrepid heroine to ditch her scummy fiancé.
Griffin’s Napa Valley getaway: My husband and I visited the wine country around San Fran, but for inspiration in decorating Griffin’s cottage, I looked no further than the NapaStyle catalogue. Salute!
Catching a Cheating Spouse (or Fiancé): I love the directions that writing takes me in! Check out this particularly illuminating article from The Washington Post on the Valentine’s Day “Cheating Season.”
S.F. Weddings: Apparently plenty of people get married in San Francisco, and research for this part of the book took me back to my own wedding planning days. For some more high-brow venues, check out this resource.
Millionaire's Wedding Revenge|
The Garrisons: I was happy to be asked by Silhouette to participate in this six-book continuity series about the mighty and scandalous Garrison clan and their hospitality empire in hot, hot, hot South Beach. Although Millionaire’s Wedding Revenge can be read alone, why not multiple the fun by checking all the books in the series? Here they are in order of publication:
The CEO’s Scandalous Affair by Roxanne St. Claire
Seduced by the Wealthy Playboy by Sara Orwig
Millionaire’s Wedding Revenge by Anna DePalo
Stranded with the Tempting Stranger by Brenda Jackson
Secrets of the Tycoon’s Bride by Emilie Rose
The Executive’s Surprise Baby by Catherine Mann
The Delano: South Beach’s “it” place for celebrities and the like, and the inspiration for Stephen’s Garrison Grand.
White House Situation Room: Believe it or not, when I was looking for some interior design inspiration for Megan’s work on Stephen’s hotel, I looked no farther than the recent overhaul of the White House Situation Room. Ha! Love that “sound soak” material!
Yachts and Hurricanes: Ever wonder how to keep your yacht afloat in a hurricane? Neither did I until I was writing this book! While I daydreamed about the particulars—30 feet or 60? leather or suede upholstery?—I looked for some help in case of emergency.
|In An Improper Affair, Ryan’s family owns Sperling department stores. Growing up, I associated department stores with Macy’s, parades and Santa Claus, and Miracle on 34th Street. In short, sugar and spice and everything nice. I was kind of bummed then when department stores seemed to be going the way of dinosaurs, but it may be too early to write an eulogy: “Showing a New Style, Department Stores Surge.”
I knew I’d eventually—somewhere, somehow—be writing about my alma mater. When fellow author Susan Crosby approached me to be part of a six-book continuity series about seven friends who’d gone to college together, I jumped at the offer and, when asked, suggested Harvard for the setting. For more about the United States’s oldest university, check out www.harvard.edu.
For those of you who didn’t recognize it, my inspiration for Kelly Hartley’s decorating style is Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic, which actually started in California, where the book is set. My own style tends to be more streamlined and practical—certainly since marrying a guy with an aversion to flower prints, and now with an active toddler around—but I’ve always admired the Shabby Chic aesthetic.
Ryan Sperling got started on his millions by buying up cable companies. My inspiration was former Microsoft executive Paul Allen, with his belief in a wired world, and his company Charter Communications. Except I gave Ryan a happier ending *grin*.
The inspiration for the 9,000-square-foot lodge, which features in all six Millionaire of the Month books, comes from the homes featured in a nifty magazine called Log Home Living.
I dressed Kelly straight out of the Anthropologie catalogue. I only wish they offered more petite sizes!
|I’ve always wanted to write about a matchmaker, and in Captivated by the Tycoon I got my chance. Lauren Fletcher runs an old-fashioned matchmaking business, where she painstakingly searches for an ideal match for her clients.
These days, of course, the field is littered with tech-savvy counterparts like Match.com. But I thought it would be fun—and très more romantic, won’t you agree?—to give Lauren the job of a more traditional matchmaker.
Somewhere: I’ve already had one reader write to me about the poem I refer to in the book. For those of you looking for some good wedding verse, here it is in full:
Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904)
Somewhere there waiteth in this world of ours
for one lone soul, another lonely soul -
Each chasing each through all the weary hours,
And meeting strangely at one sudden goal;
Then blend they - like green leaves with golden flowers,
Into one beautiful and perfect whole -
And life's long night is ended, and the way
Lies open onward to eternal day.
Men’s fashion shows: In the book, Lauren gets Matt Whittaker to participate in a fashion show (for charity). Yes, girlfriend, they do exist, though modeling may the only field apart from figure skating where men earn less. For an interesting look behind the scenes (ahem), check out this NY Times article.
Matchmakers: They’re still thriving—even the old-fashioned kind that’s a person, not a computer. For a real-life look at Lauren’s type of business, check out this CNN article.
|Cause for Scandal is the first book I’ve written that’s part of a larger continuity series involving other authors (it’s the third book in the year-long Silhouette Desire continuity series Dynasties: The Elliotts). I did worry about whether I’d play well with other writers, and how much I’d like writing a story that wasn’t generated completely by my own imagination. Somewhat to my surprise, however, I had a great time.
I liked the challenge of writing within the confines of a general story idea, and then using my imagination to fill in the blanks. I also got to know and become good friends with Susan Crosby, who wrote about my heroine’s identical twin, Scarlet (The Forbidden Twin, April 2006).
Because Dynasties: The Elliotts is set mostly in New York City, my hometown, I didn’t need to do much research on the setting for this book. Still, there was plenty of fun to be had…
Madison Square Garden: In the book, Zeke Woodlow plays Madison Square Garden, one of New York City’s premier concert and entertainment venues. Because “the Garden”—as it’s often referred to—figures so prominently in the book, I decided to take a tour (which, if you’re ever in NYC and interested, is given multiple times a day and is definitely on tourists’ beaten path). There are actually two concert halls at the Garden: the 20,000-seat Arena, and, directly below it, the 5,000+ Theater. Sting, I’ve been told, prefers to perform in the more intimate Theater, but I made sure to place our bad boy Zeke Woodlow in the Arena *grin*.
The Hamptons: The playground of NYC’s wealthy and glamorous, it also attracts hoards of professional young singles in the summertime to its timeshares and long beaches a few hours east of NYC, on the eastern tip of Long Island. Since I’d been there when I was young, somewhat professional and definitely not single, I gathered my remaining facts by online research.
French-Asian fusion cuisine: Summer Elliott’s cousin Bryan owns Une Nuit (French for One Night), a chic restaurant on Mahattan’s Upper West Side serving French-Asian fusion cuisine. What’s for dinner, you might ask? For that, you’ll have to read the book . But check out what Wikipedia has to say about it generally.
I had lots of fun writing and researching Tycoon Takes Revenge. I write to entertain readers, but with this book, I also really entertained myself!
I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be a gossip columnist. In doing research for this book, I not only got to find out, but I also had a chance to dream up inventive ways for one persistent columnist to skewer her main target, an apparent playboy she’s attracted to despite herself. It was hard to say goodbye to characters like Huffy, Fluffy, and Buffy the Manslayer!
Gossip columnists: In the book, Kayla Jones writes the Ms. Rumor-Has-It column for the Boston Sentinel. Did I mention that what I'm writing about has a sneaky way of turning up in my reading material before I'm done with a manuscript? In this case, my subscription to Vanity Fair included a lengthy article called “The Gossip Behind the Gossip: The New York Post’s ‘Page Six’—a dishy oral history of America’s most feared gossip column.” Let’s just say I learned that the job of a gossip columnist is more colorful than I imagined!
Nanotechnology: In the book, Noah Whittaker is working on cutting-edge nanotechnology applications for Whittaker Enterprises. In reality, we’re still several years away from the mass production of miniature computers and other technological devices from nanoscale parts (measured in one-billionths of a meter). But that’s the fun of writing fiction!
The Charlesbank Association: Kayla and Noah attend a charity gala together that benefits the Esplanade, as the landscaped banks of the Charles River in Boston are known. While doing some research, I discovered that a charity called the Esplanade Association had recently thrown its inaugural black-tie benefit. Life imitates art imitates life!
Ripped from the headlines: They say nothing is certain but death and taxes. And as long as we have taxes, we’ll have tax evasion. While I was editing the book, news hit of another alleged massive tax-evasion scheme using an off-shore company in the Caribbean.
|Under the Tycoon's Protection has so many elements that I love in a story: a feisty heroine, her bodyguard, a secret teenage crush, and the unrequited love for an older brother's friend. Don't you just love it? Here are a few behind-the-scenes glimpses of the writing of this story:
District attorneys: I've been a lawyer but never a public prosecutor. Like many lawyers, I rarely saw the inside of a courtroom, whereas public prosecutors are there all the time.
So, to get a little authentic flavor for Allison’s job, I interviewed a friend’s husband who'd worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Boston. When I asked about his office, the guy just laughed. More like musical desks, he said. So, in the book, when I got to a scene where Allison is at work at the DA's Office, I say that she's at the desk that she sometimes called hers.
Public prosecutors deal with a never-ending docket of cases. Basically, it's a question of seeing how far limited resources can go. In the book, Allison makes several references to her heavy workload. Like a lot of lawyers, she often works from home, reading briefs and doing other things that simply don't get done during the nine-to-five hours, when a ringing phone, court appearances and meetings quickly eat up the day.
100 Creative Kisses: Smooching with Confidence: I made this up, but I do own a book called The Art of Kissing, which I picked up as an impulse buy near the check-out counter of a bookstore one year right before Valentine's Day.
South Boston: In the book, Connor grew up in tough South Boston. However, what I'm writing about has a sneaky way of turning up in my reading material before I'm done with a manuscript. In this case, The New Yorker did an article about South Boston called “The Outsiders: Reinventing a part of town that people thought would never change.” According to the article, an influx of outsiders, many of them urban professionals seeking new constructions or recent renovations, has increased property values and is starting to transform the neighborhood in both good and bad ways. In the book, I have Connor allude to the fact that South Boston is changing.
Boston Brahmin: In the book, Connor refers to a minor character, Sloan Makepeace, as a “Boston Brahmin.” The first time I think I heard that term was when I got to Boston to attend college. What’s a Boston Brahmin, you ask? Good question. Just in time for the book (did I mention how what I’m writing about has an interesting way of turning up in the news?), the web site Slate ran an article called “What’s a Boston Brahmin?”
Weapons: I've never shot a gun or any other firearm, so I was surprised when I discovered how many people I know have! Anyway, my research for this book was fascinating. I had no idea, for example, that what the military calls bullets, the police call slugs.
Watch for additional Behind the Scenes on upcoming titles.
home | about anna | books | news | behind the scenes | contact | site