Thursday, January 10, 2008


50 BOOKS...

when my first book, AN IMAGE OF YOU, was published in December 1992, it seemed hardly credible that fifteen years later, I'd be holding my 50th book. Where did all those words come from? The stories? It's the one thing writers are always asked -- where do you get your ideas from? Truthfully, really, I don't know. Except that today, standing on a ladder, trying to fit a fiddly piece of wallpaper into an awkward corner, I had a glimpse of an idea. And that's how it happens. A little spark of something.

There was a house glimpsed in woods in Gloucestershire. A busker in a shoe shop. A television documentary about a calendar shoot. Or a title that leaps out of nowhere -- The Sheikh & the Shopgirl.

Nothing at all. Just a glimmer in the corner of the mind that gradually grows until it is an idea, then a character emerges, then an incident and suddenly you have the beginning of a story.

Not sitting in a brown study waiting for the muse to strike, then, but decorating the hall...

My Sheikh & the Shopgirl, became The Sheikh & the Chauffeur (because you need to keep your characters together and it seemed to work better) and finally -- because "chauffeur" still apparently suggests "male", THE SHEIKH'S UNSUITABLE BRIDE. Book # 50.

This is Sheikh Zahir al Khatib. Tycoon and sometime playboy, he's coming to London to tie-up the biggest deal in his life, having finally given his mother the go-ahead to line up a suitable bride -- his father is desperate for a grandson.

One encounter with his lively new chauffeur sends all his good intentions out of the window.

This is Diana Metcalfe. She's a single mother, working hard to provide for her little boy.

She drives a minibus for a car hire company. Gets the less thrilling jobs. Driving groups to the airport, the school run, hen parties. The kind of job where a bit of "lip" is useful.

Her ambition is have her own London taxi. A pink one. Meanwhile, a chance to show what she can do behind the wheel of the company's most luxurious car will do very nicely. Just as long as she keeps the "lip" buttoned and remembers that chauffeurs are meant to be unnoticeable.

Romantic Times gave the book 4 1/2 stars and say it has "...oodles of sizzle...Pure magic from beginning to end."

The "desert prince" is as an enduringly popular theme as Cinderella, or Beauty and the Beast. So, tell me, are you shaken? Stirred? Or just bewildered by the appeal?


Wendy said...

Sheikh Zahir looks super hot! I can't remember the guy's name in real life, though. Whatever, he's so gorgeous! *g*

My interest is stirred, I'd like to read the book! :)

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Wendy

He's Eduardo Veratagui in real life. And you're right -- he's hot!

Liz Fielding said...

As, of course, is Sheikh Zahir!

Kate Walker said...

Oh great - another place to say Congratulations to you Liz! Congratulations on those 50 books - and here's to many, many more.

. . .Pure magic from beginning to end . . .

Yes, I'd say that would describe any Liz Fielding book.

So looking forward to the next 50


Donna Alward said...

What a great way to kick off celebrations! Congrats on book 50. And you are so right about kernels of ideas becoming stories - that's often how they come to me too.

Love Donna

Estella said...

Congratulations on your 50th book. It will go on my ToBuy list.

Wolfy said...


Congratulations on your 50th book. And look forward to reading it.

On another note, is your home improvement project just about done. I remember doing wallpapering with my husband and we would cut one piece of wallpaper and wet it down and discover that it did not fit where we wanted to put it but fit perfectly on the other wall. I swore never to do that hats off to you.

Liz Fielding said...

Hi everyone -- thanks for all the lovely comments and congratulations.

Cryna, the hall is finished (apart from those two little triangles above the door that I missed when I was doing the "fiddly bits"). then the dh can get out the floor polisher and buff up the floorboards while I start a new book!

felinewyvern said...

My interest is stirred big time :D Looking forward to reading the book one day. Especially with that hot Sheikh Zahir ;)
I also love Dianas idea of a pink taxi, reminds me of the fact that my DH says if I ever learn to drive my car should be bright orange to warn other drivers LOL.

Anonymous said...

Liz, You make wallpapering sound the most romantic of endeavors and mini-cab driving a career of choice for the ambitious. I think I was close to hooked before I came here to read your contribution; you’ve sealed my fate and made several sales with your magical presentation. Thank you, Eric

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Ilona

Actually, I do hanker after one of those de-commissioned black cabs myself. They turn on a sixpence and are just so cool. They do come in other colours but a sparkly pink one would be so cool, don't you think!

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Eric --

I do think that doing stuff together is romantic. We have all kinds of stupid jokes and silly words involving DIY and while the sparks fly on occasion, we laugh more and that's the big secret to a long marriage -- lots of laughter.

I've been Trigger to the dh's Roy Rogers on every kind of DIY job -- we built the house we live in (with a little help from some beefy blokes!) Amazingly, despite the fact that he's a chartered engineer, he can never understand why the same piece of wallpaper won't go under the lip and round the side of a recess. I have to explain it to the dumb jerk every time. :)

Nathalie said...

As I have won your book and read it... I really liked it... the part of a chauffeur was quite original!

I read an older Mills&Boon about a chauffeur, but can't remeber the name of the book! So it is quite unique!

Liz Fielding said...

It's fun coming with a some new way to present a heroine, Nathalie. I was looking for a "Cinderella" theme and started out with The Sheikh & the Shopgirl but couldn't see a Sheikh hanging around a shop corner. Putting her behind the wheel of his car kept them together and I thought the title The Sheikh & the Chauffeur would have been cool -- but apparently we still see "chauffeur" as a male role and it was nixed by the ptb.

Lily said...

Hi Liz,

Your book is great :) I don't know why we are so appealed by Sheikh's in general!