Last week I was chatting with a mother and daughter who had read and loved Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland, and they mentioned how much they love Wiley. Which, of course, made me realize I'd better finish up that proposal for a sequel wherein he'd be the hero so my agent can get it out to my editor. See if we can get the publisher to agree that a story about Wiley would just be perfect. ;-)
Thinking about that so soon after trying to figure out an actor to represent Thad, hero from my second Culper Ring book, made me realize that one of my potential Thads would in fact be the perfect Wiley. So sorry, all you fans of James Paul Marsden--he's out of the running for Thad and gets the distinction of being my fun-loving, fiercely loving Wiley Benton. =)
For those of you who have read Annapolis, you know Wiley pretty well. On the whole, he's a fun fellow. He himself says in Lark's story that he detests being in a foul mood--it doesn't suit him. Wiley would much rather be laughing, teasing, joking . . . but when someone he loves is threatened or hurt, then you'd better watch out. Because underneath the smiles, Wiley is a warrior who knows how to fight to win.
Also in Annapolis, Emerson accuses Lark of being like her brother, ready to charge into battle like a hothead, not caring about the consequences. Well obviously, I couldn't let that go ignored when plotting out Wiley's story. We're going to see plenty of his fun-loving, gentle side. And we're also going to see Lieutenant Benton charge into action--and nearly lose all he was fighting for because of it.
The funny thing is that while I was searching for some historical events to anchor this story around, I realized that nothing . . . happened in the year 1784, after the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Nothing happened in 1785. Or in '86. Or . . . you get the idea, LOL. There were things, of course, just not that could reasonably have a part in a story set in Williamsburg. And given how history played a HUGE role in Annapolis, that was kinda frustrating.
But then I stumbled across some fun little tidbits. Like, did you know that Virginia passed an act in '83 freeing any slaves who had served in the Revolution on their masters' behalf? But some were denied because they were in intelligence and not just regular soldiers. Hmm . . . I can work with that. Not that Wiley's slaves could have gone in his place, as he was there himself, but still . . . I can work with that.
And also interesting was when I looked up the College of William and Mary, which is in Williamsburg. It has some fun traditions dating back to before the Revolution, including the very first Greek-letter fraternity, a secret society that wanted to take fraternities back to their roots of academic excellence and away from revelry. (Yeah, um . . . whatever happened to that? LOL) Naturally, Wiley has to have been one of the founding members back in '76, before the war took him away. Fun, eh? Secret handshakes and all that jazz.
And so my Wiley has a face and a story. Not that we have any idea if that story will be snatched up by my publisher, but let's hope so. Because oh, this guy deserves his love story. And boy, is he going to get one, with the most unlikely of heroines . . . ;-)