Bad Boy Inspiration by Shana Galen
When we think about Regency England, we tend to think of the balls, the carriages, the gowns. We forget that for every duke or marquess, there were hundreds of thieves and pickpockets living in the slums of the city. Covent Garden was an area of London with plenty of rookeries, and the thieves who lived there often banded together because there’s protection in numbers. My fictional gang called the Covent Garden Cubs is made up of the leader Satin, his second-in-command Beezle, and an assortment of pickpockets and house-breakers with names like Gap, Racer, and Stub. The gang also has one girl, Marlowe, and I wrote about her in Earls Just Want to Have Fun. Her best friend in the gang in Gideon, and he’s the hero in The Rogue You Know. Gideon is the ultimate bad boy who can cheat, lie, and steal with the best of them. He was orphaned at a young age and had no choice but to steal to survive. Now Gideon wants a different life for himself, and if he can just complete one last job, he’ll have it…or die trying.
When writing about my bad boy hero, I had plenty of inspiration.
1) Han Solo
The captain of the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars was my first crush. I adored his sarcasm, his cynicism, and his devil-may-care attitude. He was the perfect foil for the naïve and wide-eyed Luke Skywalker. What’s a bad boy without some baggage, and Han had a price on his head. Gideon too is running from his past and the crime lord who’s made him a wanted man. But desperation can lead to soul-searching and eventually Han and Gideon show that at their inner core, they are good.
2) Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre
Described as ugly, brooding, and dark, Mr. Rochester is more than a little foreboding. Jane meets him when he all but tramples her on his huge black stallion. He’s not at all kind to her, but she’s drawn to him anyway. Her sweetness and innocence help him to remember what it is to love again, but like every bad boy, he has a dark secret…
3) Tony in West Side Story
Like Gideon, Tony is a member of a gang. Whereas Gideon wants away from the Covent Garden Cubs, Tony wants out of the Sharks, but his loyalties to his friends make it hard to leave. He doesn’t have the hardness and hatred the other gang members seem to have when Maria falls in love with him, but the death of his friend Riff brings out a violent, dark side. Every bad boy has a shadowy side he must contend with, and like Tony, Gideon has to decide whether love or hate will rule his soul.
I enjoyed taking inspiration from each of these bad boys and creating the character of Gideon. He may be a thief and a rogue, but at his inner core he’s a good man. He just doesn’t know it yet. And that’s what my books are about—characters discovering that love reveals unsounded depths.
Who are your favorite redeemed rogues?
Title: The Rogue You Know
Author: Shana Galen
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical Romance
She’s beyond his reach…
Gideon Harrow has spent his life in London’s dark underworld-and he wants out. A thief and a con, he plans one last heist to finally win his freedom. But when everything goes wrong, he finds himself at the tender mercies of one of Society’s most untouchable women-Lady Susanna Derring.
…and out of her depth.
Susanna has spent her life in London’s glittering ton, under the thumb of a domineering mother-and she wants out. When a wickedly charming rogue lands at her feet, she jumps at the chance to experience life before it’s too late. But as she descends into London’s underworld, she finds that nothing- not even Gideon-is as it seems. As excitement turns to danger, Susanna must decide what price she’s willing to pay…for the love of a reformed thief.
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Shana Galen is the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Kirkus says of her books, “The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun,” and RT Book Reviews calls her books “lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching.” She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers, so send her an email or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter. Stop by her website at shanagalen.com.
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