Royal Wedding Invitations: plotting and dreaming

Last night I dreamed I went to San Michele again … or, rather, that I was still writing my book in the Royal Wedding Invitations series published by Tule.  In my dream, I was sitting with Liz Fielding, Sophie Weston and Anne McAllister when Liz said: ‘I’ve got a great idea. Why don’t we sew buttons on the back of Hope’s wedding dress and make them in San Michele colours?’

‘Ooh, yes,’ said I, ever one to follow where Liz leads, even when asleep, ‘and we could put stripes around the flounces on her dress in San Michele colours too. (Don’t send in the style police; this was a dream, OK?) Then they’ll shimmer when she walks up the aisle.’

In case you’re wondering, San Michele is a fictional principality conjured up by Sophie Weston for a romantic new four book series, ROYAL WEDDING INVITATIONS, written by Sophie, Liz, Anne and Jessica Hart (that’s me).  The series is published by Tule, and you can pre-order all the books here.

Back in my dream, Sophie Weston was looking doubtful. ‘It’s a bit late to change the dress now, isn’t it?’ she said.

And it is indeed too late, because her book, The Prince’s Bride , featuring Hope and Prince Jonas of San Michele, will be out on 13 October.

It will be closely followed on 16 October by my own book, The Baronet’s Wedding Engagement,

by Liz Fielding’s The Bridesmaid’s Royal Bodyguard on 18 October

and The Best Man’s Bride by Anne McAllister will round off the series on 20 October.

I’ve always loved the plotting stage of writing a book, when you’re fizzing with ideas and possibilities. This time, I was plotting with pros. Between us, we must have at least 200 romances to our names, so there was no shortage of ‘what ifs’, and I know I was as interested in the others’ characters as in my own – which is no doubt why ended up dreaming about Hope.

Emails whizzed to and fro between the four of us, and we built up a whole fictional world built around a royal wedding, an English village and, of course, San Michele whose prince, Jonas, falls in love with Hope – she whose dress was the subject of my dream – and triggers the whole series.

We had a huge amount of fun writing these books, and even managed a meet up in Wiltshire earlier this year, when Anne was over from the U.S.  On a lovely sunny day, we drove to Castle Combe, inspiration for Combe St Philip, for lunch and to bat ideas around.  As you might imagine, there were not many awkward silences.

Sophie Weston, Liz Fielding and Anne McAllister in Castle Combe, March 2017

So if you’re in need of a good dose of escapism, why not indulge yourself with all four books?  We hope you’ll have as much fun reading the stories as we had plotting them – and you’ll have to read to the end to find out what Hope’s dress is really like!


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