I’m not quite sure why I decided to write a Russian set book. I don’t always know where my ideas come from or why they only seem to work in a specific setting. I could have written BEHIND THE PALACE WALLS with an Italian hero. Or a Greek. Or even a sheikh.
But Prince Alexei Voronov had to be Russian. Beyond that, I knew with a certainty that the opening scene took place in Red Square. There was a woman running from something, though I didn’t know what or why. And Alexei was there to save her.
That’s all I had when I started writing. Scary to begin a book that way, but I often do. Yet I had the most amazing adventure as I got to know Paige Barnes and Alexei Voronov! One thing I absolutely knew Paige and Alexei must do was to take a troika ride through the snow. (It’s my homage to one of my favorite movies, Dr. Zhivago.)
I suppose it’s very American of me to want that scene, but then Paige is American too—she also wanted the romantic ride with the handsome prince, snuggling beneath a blanket, whisking through the snowy landscape. Alexei has a plan when he takes Paige on that ride, but he quickly discovers that all his plans are spiraling out of control.
I so love it when a hero loses control…
What happens next has consequences for them both that will change their lives forever. That’s why I love writing these stories! They’re so dramatic, so much larger than life. How many of us will ever meet a Russian prince or take a troika ride in the snow? But in the pages of a novel, we all can.
I’ve included a few pictures I used as inspiration for settings in the book. If you could go behind the palace walls for a day, what kind of prince would you want for your guide? I’d take a Russian. But tomorrow I might want a desert prince or an Italian…