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Goodreads asked Daniel de Lorne:

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

Daniel de Lorne Set the Stage comes out on 27 July 2020 in ebook and about a week later as part of One from the Heart, a three-book printed anthology with Nikki Logan (Tread the Boards) and Fiona Greene (Take a Bow).

Set in the fictional town of Brachen in New South Wales, Australia, the series centres around the Rivervue Community Theatre and its final play, written by the Banksy-like ‘Draven’.

So where did this idea come from?

In 2018 at the Romance Writers of Australia conference I was sitting at breakfast with Nikki Logan. The day before we’d been at a day’s workshop put together by Harlequin Australia, in which one of their staff members was touted as a theatre geek.

Over breakfast, Nikki asked where were all the romance books for theatre geeks as there must be a decent intersection between those two interests. Neither of us could bring any to mind so we decided to make our own.

Armed with a few pairing ideas, I spoke to the managing editor Escape Publishing about the idea and received an enthusiastic response for a more fully realised pitch.

We brought Fiona Greene in on the idea and came up with the idea of a phantom-esque playwright bestowing a much sought after play upon a struggling community theatre.

We discussed potential plots and submitted the ideas for consideration, and were thrilled that we were given the go ahead to proceed.

We set to work.

While writing is generally a solitary affair, there was a lot of discussion via Skype, email and OneNote as we created the town, the play, the characters, the conflicts and the timelines.

What did the artsy town of Brachen look like? Who were its weirdos? What were its secrets?

And, specific to my characters, what past hurts do wannabe fashion designer Gabriel and redheaded stage manager Bruce Clifton hold for each other?

The collaborative part of pulling this series together was my favourite aspect of the project, helped by a friendship that we already shared, and I think that comes through in the three stories.

We submitted the books in April 2019 and Harlequin accepted them in August, with publication set for July/August 2020.

And now, we await the reviews!

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