An article about workhouses in England stirred my anger and the idea for Almost Taken, the first book in my Almost series. At first it was the accounts of working and living conditions for the thousands of children that toiled ten, twelve hours a day that upset me, and then I read about parents selling their children because they couldn't afford to raise them. (girls especially because they weren't able to do the heavy work the boys could)
I wanted the setting to include a place other than England and London, the most common settings of the Regency historical romances I'd read. But I didn't go very far. I chose Wales, a small coastal town of miners. I had my reasons for wanting that particular trade. My leading lady, Ava, had to come from a poor background for the dichotomy between her and Deran Morissey, the Earl of Atherton, to really work. Such diverse backgrounds would make for some fun dialogue and opportunities for me to help my characters grow, and argue, and then make up!
There's something wildly sensual and appealing about a self-assured, used-to-getting-what-he-wants male getting caught up in utter emotional chaos. I don't know what that says about me, that I like making my hero suffer a little before he captures the love of his life, but it's fun writing those scenes!