When we decided to tackle a dual timeline for My Rogue, My Ruin (MRMR) and My Darling, My Disaster (MDMD), we were so excited for the chance to write about two different couples falling in love under their own sets of circumstances, but over the same course of time. We had no idea what we were signing up for, but the challenge of making each story stand alone and yet having each one thread into the other was equally intriguing. We were especially delighted to write Gray and Lana’s story, and their belowstairs, secret master-servant relationship.
That said, doing a dual timeline story opened up a whole can of worms we did not anticipate. First, we created a document which included all of the days and hours we had to play around with for Gray and Lana to develop their relationship. In other words, if Lana was attending to Brynn as her lady’s maid in MRMR, she couldn’t be canoodling with Gray in MDMD. And since we know that our savvy romance readers would hold us to task, we had to be extremely careful to make sure those timelines were carefully aligned.
The second challenge we encountered were the few overlapping scenes. A couple of these scenes were relevant to both books, so we simply had to include them. While MDMD has a couple scenes drawn straight from MRMR, they’re from a totally different perspective—which was so fun to write. For example, one scene from MRMR shows Gray being a complete jerk. But in MDMD, the scene is shown from Gray’s perspective and the reader is given valuable insight as to why he’s being such a pain in the arse.
The toughest part about the dual timelines? Dialogue. There was no way around it. The dialogue had to match word for word in those overlapping scenes, because identical timeline, identical scene. Makes sense, right? We still felt that urge to change things, to alter what Gray or Lana, or some of the other characters, had said in MRMR, but we resisted! Overlapping scenes and dialogue were like anchors for MDMD, and our challenge was clear: take these anchors — the timeline, two side characters from the first book, a few of the same scenes — and work to create a whole new story for them.
We’re not sure if we’ll do a dual timeline again — in all honestly, it was stressful! — but despite the challenges, we still adore the idea of our two couples finding love at the same time. We’re both fans of reading and re-reading historical romances, so it’s nice to go back to see how certain scenes in these two different books overlap. It definitely makes for interesting reading. If you’re looking for another dual timeline historical romance, check out Julia Quinn’s Two Dukes of Wyndham duology. We loved them!
About My Darling, My Disaster
“A hearty dose of secrets and burning passion. A page-turning escape!” – Eliza Knight, USA Today bestselling author
A princess who had it all. A lord with everything to lose.
Lord Graham Findlay, the shamelessly virile Viscount Northridge, has a disgraceful secret, one he’ll do anything to hide. Holding his passions at bay, Gray has sworn off the fairer sex. But when temptation comes in the form of an intriguing woman he cannot easily avoid, Gray’s integrity—and his most depraved desires—are put to the ultimate test.
Self-assured and carefree Princess Svetlanka Volkonsky never dreamed she would one day become a lady’s maid to avoid a dangerous traitor. But danger also comes in many guises, especially in the sinful and devastatingly attractive lord of the manor who introduces her to a world of singular pleasure.
When Lana’s past emerges to threaten the life and the false identity she’s built in England, she and Gray find themselves falling into a tangled web of lies and intrigue…and the last place either of them expected to fall…in love.
About Amalie Howard
Amalie Howard’s love of romance developed after she started pilfering her grandmother’s novels in high school when she should have been studying. She has no regrets. A #1 Amazon bestseller and a national IPPY silver medalist, she is the author of My Rogue, My Ruin, the first in the Lords of Essex historical romance series, as well as several award-winning young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, School Library Journal, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Kid’s IndieNext pick. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. Visit her at www.amaliehoward.com.
About Angie Morgan
Angie Morgan lives in New Hampshire with her husband, their three daughters, a menagerie of pets, and an extensive collection of paperback romance novels. She’s the author of My Rogue, My Ruin the first book in the Lords of Essex historical romance series, as well as several young adult books, including The Dispossessed series written under the name Page Morgan. Critically acclaimed by Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, School Library Journal, VOYA, and The Bulletin, Angie’s novels have been an IndieNext selection, a Seventeen Magazine Summer Book Club Read, and a #1 Amazon bestseller. Visit her at www.AngieMorganBooks.com