In Which An Author Surprises Her Heroine

Highlighting Historical Romance: Michele Stegman joins us today.

It is a pleasure to be on your site, today, Caroline! Thank you for inviting me.

fortunes_foe_1000-200x300-200x300 Guest Author In Fortune’s Foe, which scene was the hardest for you to write?

The basic problem in this book is that the heroine, Mariette Fortune, wants to save her twin brother from captivity and possible death at the hands of the Spanish. During the book she falls in love with the Spanish captain in charge of the prisoners, and finds out that if even one of the prisoners escapes, the captain will be shot. Now, she has to make a choice. Plans are set to save her brother, but that will mean the death of this man she has come to love.

Ideally, she would save them both, but how? As I worked my way through the book, I really didn’t know how I was going to pull this off. I had some ideas, but no hard and fast plan. Someone was going to end up feeling betrayed no matter what she and I did. So all through the book my heroine and my brain were struggling for a solution. The night before the rescue, my heroine and I came up with two different ideas. Of course, I couldn’t tell her what mine was. I had to let her think her awful plan was what would happen. I had to write her through it and hand her my better idea just when she thought all was lost. That scene ended up being a fun scene to write in spite of all the struggle I had coming up with it. And let me tell you, Mariette and I were both relieved.

What is your favorite scene in this book?

Before I could put Fortune’s Foe back into print, I had to reread the book to make sure there were no typos, etc. I was surprised at how many scenes I really enjoyed rereading. I forgot to look for errors and got lost in the story again. But one scene I particularly enjoyed is when Mariette manages to let her brother know she has come to St. Augustine to rescue him. He can’t give her away, but he lets her know he would rather stay a prisoner than for her to risk her life to save his. It’s a humorous scene between the twins and the Spanish captain that ends up putting prisoner and guard on the same side and she goes away wondering how men can manage to bond even when they should be enemies.

What, aside from writing, do you like to do best?

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Michele Stegman demonstrating hand spinning to third graders

Read, of course! And I do have a lot of hobbies, many of which help me make my historical romances more realistic. For instance, I am a hand spinner and weaver. Until the late 1700’s, that’s the way all clothes had to be made—by hand. I also tat, knit, make my own soap, and bake bread two or three times a week.      

I am also an artist and a member of the Southeastern Indiana Art Guild and play piano for church.

Why do you write historical romance?

When I was working on a master’s degree in history, one prof and my fellow students kept telling me I put too much romance in my papers. I couldn’t figure out why history books and papers had to be boring. So I just threw in a bit more romance and decided to write historical romance.

I have written one contemporary romance, but for me, it is far easier to write one set in the past! I think I had to do more research for the contemporary book than any of my historicals!

Thank you, Caroline, for hosting me today! I enjoy writing blog posts, especially when all I have to do is answer some easy questions!

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Michele Stegman with one of her paintings

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Caroline Warfield, Author

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