Teaser Tuesday: THAT SUMMER Fun Facts

That Summer (3)With less than a month to go until That Summer appears in stores, here are some fun bits and pieces behind the story:

— The modern hero is a descendant of Miles and Henrietta Dorrington (of The Masque of the Black Tulip fame– not to mention the winners of every Pink Carnation popularity contest I’ve run on this website). Ever wondered what happened to the Dorrington family in later years (and why the title is in abeyance)? Nicholas Dorrington is here to fill us in.

— And speaking of Nicholas Dorrington, yes, he is very fond of ginger biscuits. There might also be a floppy lock of hair around somewhere….

— My modern heroine, Julia, is fired from her job at an investment bank not long before the action of the book begins. I couldn’t use a real I-bank, so I borrowed one from my friend Beatriz Williams. Yep, the Sterling Bates from which Julia is fired in That Summer is the same Sterling Bates at which Beatriz’s heroine works in Overseas. If Beatriz’s and my book are any evidence, they have a rather poor track record with employee retention.

— The house isn’t actually called Herne Hill. I’ve noticed this mistake in every review of That Summer that has come out so far. It’s the neighborhood that’s called Herne Hill. (And it is, indeed, a hill, as I can testify, having trudged up it in the midst of a July heat wave.) In That Summer, the people with whom we’re dealing are solidly middle class. They’re not the sort who have houses with names. Although I can definitely see where the confusion comes in.

— My historical heroine is named Imogen after the heroine of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. There was very little of a pseudo-medieval nature that the Preraphaelites didn’t mine for inspiration. Cymbeline was right up their alley. Initially, I had planned for the hero and heroine to have some deep and allegorical conversations about the nature of her name– but it didn’t happen. And the painting hidden in the wardrobe, instead of being a Cymbeline turned into a Tristan and Iseult. It worked much better that way. But by then my heroine was Imogen, and Imogen she stayed.

— Is there anything else you want to know about That Summer? Just ask me here!

And speaking of Preraphs… this was me channeling Waterhouse while I was in the UK, researching That Summer back in the summer of 2012:

Roses waterhouse

Less than a month until That Summer appears in stores!


  1. Gina on May 6, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    The floppy lock of hair (well, that and the looming) might be what first made me fall in love with Miles. Glad to see it’s making a reappearance!

  2. Sue Luce on May 6, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Isn’t Colin a descendent of Miles as well?

    • Lauren on May 6, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Yes, there’s a female line that marries back into the Selwicks.

  3. Am7 on May 6, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    But the last branch of Miles and Henrietta’s family died out years ago or married into Richard’s…..

    That’s how all of her (Henrietta’s) papers ended up at Selwick Hall.

    I am sorry this kind spoils the book for me.

    • Am7 on May 6, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      Sorry if I came off a little crabby, I’m having a tough time. I really did think their family had died off, so it’s really surprising to see them alive and well in 2000s.

      • Lauren on May 6, 2014 at 10:42 pm

        No worries! I hope things look up for you….

  4. Rachel Adrianna on May 6, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    In Elizabeth Kostova’s The Swan Thieves, the plot also revolves around a painting that doesn’t exist in real life– is it easier for copyright purposes to write about a fictional work of art rather than a well-known one? [Obviously not too well known since it is, after all, hidden in a hosue 🙂 ] Or have you actually painted something yourself and used it as inspiration? [Please, please say you have, for that would be so amusing to imagine! Babe in one arm… paintbrush in another… a true Jill-of-all-trades!]

    • Lauren on May 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      This is what I get for sneaking out for coffee breaks during all those Copyright classes in law school…. You’d think I should know this. For the most part, my (uneducated, on coffee break) guess is that it doesn’t make a difference, vis a vis copyright. One isn’t reproducing the painting, after all. On the other hand, from an artistic point of view, it affords the author a great deal more license to have a make-believe painting, because it means you can mold it to shape the plot and circumstances. In my case, I wanted to have an unknown Preraphaelite, someone who was part of the gang and then dropped out– so, for the purposes of my story, I needed a fictional artist and painting.

      No painting, I’m afraid! My fine arts skills never progressed much beyond Lower School art class….

  5. HJ on May 8, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Copyright in an artistic work lasts the authors/creators life plus 70 years after death. Waterhouse died in 1917, so the copyright in the painting itself has expired and you can write about it freely.

    Because I’m always careful to avoid any plot details before I read, I don’t know what use you make of the Tristan and Iseult painting in the book. I would think that your only problem might be if you have one of your characters doing something before 1987 which would be in breach of copyright — and that’s a problem in plot credibility rather than one which could get you sued.

  6. HJ on May 8, 2014 at 5:49 am

    PS Apologies for the lack of apostrophes – I copy/pasted the text about copyright duration and didn’t check it.

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