How an outrageous idea becomes a story


I remember clearly the day I had the germ of an idea for the story that became Miss Foster’s Folly. It was a Saturday morning in June of 2009. Someone asked about how to think up a hook for a historical romance, and I blurted out “A wealthy American spinster decides to sleep her way across Europe.”

The idea went over so well, I decided to write the book, but first I needed a heroine.

It would take quite a woman – a virgin, no less – to decide to do something like cross an ocean in order to take lovers in several different countries. In the 19th century, she’d have to be someone who’d spit in society’s eye if it tried to tell her what to do. She’d be unconventional and fearless. She’d also have no idea what she was doing. Juliet Foster came to life in my mind.

Of course, I couldn’t really send an innocent out into a world where she might be exploited or worse. I needed someone as strong as she was and equally determined to keep her for himself. Enter David Winslow, the Marquis of Derrington. He needs a marchioness and an heir, and the moment he lays eyes on Miss Foster, he realizes she’s the woman for him. Now, his only challenge is to convince her to marry him.

Juliet’s interested in a casual affair. Winslow’s interested in ’til-death-do-us-part. They both pursue their goals with a singleness of purpose that made my work as an author pure pleasure.

This story wrote itself in my head. At times, it felt as if each of the characters were using me to win a battle over the other. Juliet and Derrington did most of the work for me. But they’re rich, so I’ll keep the money for myself.

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15 thoughts on “How an outrageous idea becomes a story”

  1. Jamie Walker says:

    That sounds like a really fun read! Thank you for sharing your process behind the story. I love how fun little ideas like that can turn into wonderful works of art.

  2. Liz Fichera says:

    Love the background on how you developed your story! Juliet Foster sounds like a riot!

  3. Fedora says:

    Ooh, very fun premise! Very much looking forward to reading this!

  4. Alice Gaines says:

    Thanks, Jamie, Liz, and Fedora. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did writing it.

  5. Amy Kathryn says:

    I think it is amazing how a throwaway comment or blurt can evolve into something wonderful. Definitely looking forward to meeting Miss Foster!

  6. Pearl says:

    This one is definitely going on the buy-list! I just LOVE the premise of this story and it sounds like it will be a lot of fun to read this one! Kudos to Carina for snatching this one and to you Alice for writing it!

  7. Mimi Riser says:

    Hey, I remember when Alice first thought of this story – now I can hardly contain my delight. Trust me, everyone, Alice Gaines is a mega-talented author, and this is one heck of a great book. You soooo want to read it. :)

  8. Lara Kairos says:

    What a fun premise! Especially that the story is set in Victorian era. Loved reading your excerpt!

  9. Estella says:

    This sounds like will be a fun read.

  10. Alice Gaines says:

    Thanks, Amy, Pearl, and Mimi. Yes, Mimi, you do hear about my stories, don’t you? :)

  11. Alice Gaines says:

    And to you, too, Lara and Estella!

  12. Sharon says:

    Alice, I love your story. A modern tale set in Victorian times. Not only do you have the crossed-purposes of the hero and heroine’s intentions, but you have the setting where perhaps this was accepted behavior for a man, but not for a woman in Victorian times, yet you’ve started with the opposite. Can’t wait to read it.

  13. Alice Gaines says:

    Thanks, Sharon. It sure was fun to write.

  14. Tricia says:

    Sounds very interesting. You apparently have caught the eye and interest of many an avid reader. Just what every author wants, a devoted fan base. And just what every reader wants, an intriguing story to draw them in and take them away…. Cheers to up, up and away. You go girl.

  15. Want! :-D

    And apparently that was not enough for a comment which is why I’m writing on…

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