Deborah Hale’s newest novel, The Baron’s Governess Bride, is an interesting twist on the classic story of Cinderella – a beautiful woman forced to disguise herself as a frumpy governess from the man she’s beginning to love.
Q: WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION DRIVING THE STORY IN THE BARON’S GOVERNESS BRIDE?
I have written a number of secular historical romances based on popular stories and fairy tales, but had never done a Cinderella story. Since it was also a governess story, I wanted the hero’s children to play the “fairy godmother” role to transform their drab governess.
Q: WHEN MAKING UP STORIES, HOW MUCH DO YOU DRAW ON YOUR OWN LIFE EXPERIENCES AND PEOPLE YOU KNOW, VERSUS DRAWING ON RESEARCH ABOUT COMPLETE STRANGERS?
I tend to draw characters’ emotional reactions from my own experience – happiness, fear, hope, envy, etc. – though often taken to greater heights and depth by the dramatic action of the story. For external story elements I rely on a lot of research and a dose of imagination. In The Baron’s Governess Bride and the other books in my Glass Slipper Brides series, I also draw on my experience as a teacher to make my governess heroines and the relationships with their pupils as authentic as possible.
Q: WHO IS THE CHARACTER IN THIS STORY WHO SURPRISED YOU MOST?
The hero’s daughters ended up doing and saying things I didn’t always expect — they were almost as unpredictable as real children!
Q: WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
I recently finished final edits for the next book in my Glass Slipper Brides series The Earl’s Honorable Intentions, which will be released in June, and I am hard at work writing the fifth one The Duke’s Marriage Mission.
Q: WHAT DO YOU WANT READERS TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR BOOK?
In each book, I often learn some lesson along with my characters as I accompany them on their journey. In The Baron’s Governess Bride, it was how easily small deceptions can snowball out of control and that loving someone takes courage, especially after suffering a hurt or loss.