Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Sue! Prince Vivaan would send you
jewels but he’s currently too busy wooing Ashley…
I write what I call “international romances” because I’ve always enjoyed armchair travel – and because I’m a child of a mixed marriage, so I love multicultural love stories. Even my royal romances take readers around the globe. Some of the countries in my previous books of the series are Maldives, Germany and Kenya, and “The Indian Prince’s Scandalous Bride” obviously takes place in India. While I created fictional kingdoms in Europe for each of the first three books, I decided to go for a fictitious Rajasthani royal family for my new release. And that meant research, research, and yet more research…
From the bigger picture to the smaller details
First, I read up on the remaining royal families in India, trying to get an overview about where and how they lived and what they were called. Then I thought of a name for my royals, as well as a location. Next came hours of looking at palaces and at the sights in Jaipur (I know, I have such a hard life *wink*). I used those as inspiration for my setting and also incorporated some sight-seeing in Jaipur into the novel because my heroine Ashley is from England. To make the setting more authentic, I also mentioned some typical food and clothes, details which make international romance novels come alive while reading.
During my online research – thank you, Wikipedia and YouTube – I remembered something I had once seen on TV in Germany. One occasion was the old television series “The Far Pavilions” and one was the Bollywood movie “Paheli”. Both showed intriguing glimpses of something called ‘stepwells’, and suddenly I just HAD to include those in my book. Below is a picture of what these magical, old structures look like. They were several stories deep and elaborately made, and many of them remain throughout India. If you read my novel, you’ll experience such a place alongside Ashley and Prince Vivaan.
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