Saturday, September 01, 2007


So, my third book, The Serpent Prince, is out today and really you ought to stop reading right now and go and buy it.


Okay, then.

Every now and again readers ask me how I come up with ideas for books, and while I usually don't have a more coherent answer than, "I was staring into space one day and the idea came to me," with The Serpent Prince I actually have something more concrete. Sorta.

Like many writers I was a voracious reader as a child. I loved science fiction, mysteries, and of course romance. I read so much that sometimes I ran out of new books to read. It was during one of these dry periods that I picked up what looked like a very dull book in my middle school library. The book was cloth-covered with no illustration on the front. In fact, the only thing that decorated the old, faded book was the title: Scaramouche.

Now, if you’ve ever read Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini (or seen the movie staring Steward Granger) you will know that it is very far from dull. The book is full of duels, despicable villains, secret identities, and romance, all set during the French Revolution. I loved that book!

But one thing bothered me. During one of the most exciting parts of the book, the hero calls out a series of men in succession and kills them in duels. Make no mistake, these are villainous men. Sabatini has made sure to tell us that they deserve their fate. Still, I was troubled by the fact that the hero doesn’t seem to have any self doubt about basically murdering several men.

I thought of that paradox when I wrote The Serpent Prince. What if a moral man—a good man—felt he had no choice but to revenge his brother’s death by dueling the murderers and killing them? What if he knew full well that what he did was murder…and he did it anyway? What would happen to the soul of such a man? And what would the woman who loved him, but hated what he did, do?

Pretty nebulous, huh? And yet I wrote a full book about these ideas. I hope you enjoy it!


1 comment:

Pam said...

Hi Elizabeth. I've been waiting so long to read Simon's story, going over to download it so I can start reading tonight! Cant wait to see how you handled this.