I thought I’d talk about using an older literary work as some inspiration for a new romance novel. I got to talk about this at Romance Lives Forever recently and i want to reprise the topic here. I’ve used literary inspirations twice so far. The first time was for my LGBT beach romance, Fire Balls. I knew I wanted it to be a romance between a flamboyant artist and a more conservative firefighter. That was a fun premise but I wanted more complexity. I knew my artist was tiny and it occurred to me that maybe he didn’t think of himself as the type to appeal to the firefighter who he loves. What flashed into my mind was the classic story of Cyrano de Bergerac who has the big nose and helps his friend Christian woo the woman whom Cyrano loves. That gave me a wonderful twist to my story as I made my artist help his friend the surfer hook up with the firefighter. Plus, since Cyrano was a great swordsman, I made my artist a black belt in karate. Presto. Just enough patterning but not so much it was a take-off or satire.
Now, I’m doing it again. We all love Cinderella romances! And most authors have thought of writing a book based on Cinderella. I wanted to do something a little different. Far from a satire, I wanted to write a serious, contemporary LGBT romance based on the pattern of the Cinderella story. The result is my new release, Sinders and Ash. A poor young man, Mark Sintorella, who wants to be a fashion designer, earns money working in the housekeeping department of a luxury resort in upstate New York. There he meets a wild little man who convinces him to dress like a woman in order to show off his designs to some guest fashionistas. And Mark falls in love with the son of the fifth richest family in America--Ashton Armitage--who has to marry in order to receive his inheritance. Writing the book was terrifically fun because I got to ask the question, “What if Cinderella was real?” I got to imagine how the story might play out in today’s world. As you read the book you’ll see that the story stands alone but at the same time it’s kind of fun to notice the parallels to the Cinderella tale.
A lot of people are enjoying this book and i think i may use a fairy tale trope for another book in the series. What do you think? Do you have any books that use other stories as inspirations? Share.
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