Although I don't remember where the actual idea for Stately Pleasures came from, as it's was in my head for so long before I wrote it, I can definitely tell you where my inspirations came from. Inspirations for setting and characters, that is.
The setting, Davenport Manor, is a totally fictional place made up of various real places I've been to and ones I imagined. It's like a patchwork quilt, or something. A facade from here, a maze from there, a schoolroom from X, servants' quarters from Y, a library from Z... you get the idea. It all pieced together nicely in my mind to make up a very rich and exciting place for my characters to play. I loved writing about the setting just as much as what was actually happening there!
As for character inspirations, well, that's easy. Imagine Jeremy Renner with a posh British accent and you have Jeremy Davenport. Imagine Jared Padalecki, also with a posh British accent, and you have Ethan Hayes. Told you it was easy ;)
Alice Brown is much more difficult. She's a curvy chick, and I looked around and couldn't find a Rubenesque celebrity I wanted to base her on. Sadly, there are also far too few Rubenesque celebrities around! So
Alice is a total figment of
my imagination, but if I got asked to select someone for casting in a film, I'd
choose Melissa McCarthy.
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Alice Brown has just landed her dream job. Property manager at Davenport Manor, a British stately home. It's only a nine-month contract to cover maternity leave, but it's the boost up the career ladder she so desperately needs.
Unfortunately, things don't get off to the best start, when
Alice finds her boss, Jeremy
Davenport, in a compromising position. Far from being embarrassed by what's happened,
Jeremy turns things around on Alice
and makes her out to be the one in the wrong. So when he and his best friend and
head of security, Ethan Hayes, then throw an ultimatum at her, she's so stunned
and confused that she goes along with their indecent proposal.
When the dust settles and
Alice has time to think about things, though,
she realises that perhaps it isn't such a bad thing. There are worse things she
could be doing to advance her career, after all.
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