Just because I write romance novels, it doesn’t mean I don’t have to do the research. Romance − even hot and sexy love stories − still needs to be authentic. Why? Because regardless of genre; the story and characters have to ring true. Well, that and I’m a perfectionist. I can’t write something unless I know I’ve got it right.
So what are the chances you’re rolling your eyes as you mutter, “Yeah, right”?
(Actually you wouldn’t be rolling your eyes because that’s Independently Acting Body Parts and that’s a whole different blog post)
If you’re writing Sci-Fi or Fantasy you can let your imagination run wild creating your own world, but if your story is set in a real life place then accuracy is key. You have to get your facts right.
From the symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol, to criminal offences and Heathrow to Dublin flight times (plus a whole lot more I can’t mention because it would give away the storylines) you’d be amazed what I researched when I was writing Frost Trilogy and Torn.
Real Life Inspiration
Annabelle’s and The Mayfair Club were the inspiration for Lulu’s,
the club Nick & Aiden own on Berkeley Square.
More than that, I wanted Frost Trilogy and Torn to feel real; not just with realistic characters and plots, but locations too. So it made sense to draw inspiration from the real life city I lived in and places I knew.
“I felt as though I was being taken not only on a tour through the hearts of these two characters,
but also on a tour of London at the same time.” − Amazon reviewer of Beguiled.
London is my home city so of course Frost Trilogy and Torn are set there and (with the exception of Prestige, Lulu’s and the restaurants Nick & Aiden own which are made up) all the places are real.
This is partly because I wanted the reader to have a sense of place, but also because, being a born and bred Londoner, I’m proud of my home city. Using real locations and venues lends a realism to the stories.
The Crush Bar at Victoria House where Mia first meets Nick Frost and
the Beaufort Bar at the Savoy where Mia has drinks with her mother.
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The George Fourth Pub and Zizzi Restaurant in Chiswick
where Mia and Jen go on Girls Nights Out
Mia was surprised when she learns how much Nick’s Chelsea penthouse is worth. His luxury apartment complex really does exist and yes, the apartment I based his on was on the market for £12 million. Although I did change it from a duplex penthouse to being on a single floor (mainly because I couldn’t be doing with writing Nick & Mia going up and down stairs all the time lol) and he has a roof terrace rather than balcony.
Aiden’s gorgeous home in St John’s Wood is real too, and again really would set you back £10 million. I have to say, as much as I love Chelsea, I think of the two I’d rather live in Aiden’s house.
Home Sweet Home.
Henry Moore Court, Chelsea where Nick lives and Aiden’s house in St John’s Wood.
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My attention to detail (or anal retentiveness depending on how you look at it) knows no bounds.
Right down to the Semifreddo dessert Mia has at Marinello’s.
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Along with creating believable characters dealing with realistic challenges on their road to finding happiness, I like to think this all helps to make Frost Trilogy and Torn more authentic, and readers seem to agree.
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