Murdoch & Isabella

As you have all heard a thousand times already, I’m currently preparing a new medieval for publication in May of this year. THE RENEGADE’S HEART is the first book in a new series called The True Love Brides, which picks up the story of The Jewels of Kinfairlie.

I have wanted to write this story for a long time – ever since I proposed it, in fact. I love writing medieval romances and I have written a lot of them over the years. I thought it would be easy and satisfying to tell this story.

And it is satisfying, but it’s not been as easy as I expected. I have not written a new medieval romance since 2005. That’s seven years.(Where did the time go?)

Several things fall out of this reality. I had to find my storytelling rhythm for medievals again. I had to re-read the Rogues of Ravensmuir and the Jewels of Kinfairlie to refresh my memory (and avoid making mistakes). I expected both of those things.

I also anticipated that I would have a great deal of fun with this story. I have always included fantasy elements in my medieval romances, and pretty much since the beginning of my publishing career, I have encountered resistance from editors to this choice. There is a conviction that paranormal historicals don’t sell. The exciting thing is that since I had chosen to publish this book myself, I didn’t have to make anyone happy but me. In the writing, the paranormal elements in this book grew and grew. That’s fun!

What I didn’t realize was how my storytelling had changed. Of course, I have been writing paranormal romance for these past seven years. My pacing is tighter. My books have become more sexy. While my backlist titles run to 110,000 words in length, my more recent releases are less than 95,000 words – and it’s not because they have less story. In fact, I think they have more story. I forgot all of this until I crested 50,000 words with Murdoch and Isabella and realized I was already past the halfway mark in the story. I panicked – “how will I get to 110,000 words?” – then realized the book will likely be about 95,000 words in length. And that’s okay. Markets change. Books have become shorter and tighter – and romances have become sexier.

So, while this is a Delacroix book and will have many qualities of Delacroix books, it will also have qualities of Cooke books. Maybe people won’t be as surprised to learn about my alter egos once they read this book.

That’s kind of interesting, isn’t it?

2 thoughts on “Murdoch & Isabella

  1. Deb, that’s an interesting realization that you came to. I see a lot of D Cooke in Claire and vs versa. I’ve always been drawn to your style of storytelling, it always puts me in the location no matter how unrealistic it may seem, you just put me there. And frankly I have a hard time reading something where the author just tries to fill up the page count by adding words that aren’t necessary. Do you think we’ve become more educated readers, is it just the times or is it something else.
    Just know that whatever you choose to write, I choose to read because you always take me on journeys that I love.
    thanks Deb


    • Thanks Deb!

      Lost a morning today because I got a fan letter about DOUBLE TROUBLE. It’s sitting here to be proofed for new editions so I picked it up – and was tugged into Maralys’ and James’ story all over again. Wow, do I ever love that book! I’d forgotten how much.

      Which is a long way of saying, Deb, that I think there are certain stories that just appeal to us and maybe the setting doesn’t matter as much as the story itself. Hmm.



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