I took this opportunity to write a Princess. But a girl who has everything and then gets the hero, well... somebody hold her down while I slap her. So I invented a modern-day princess, a socialite down on her luck. If you had anywhere in the world to put her where would it be? For me, it was Monaco. I re-watched "To Catch A Thief"... oh, a couple of million times.
Which explains why the first version of this story I sent to my editor came back with "this hero will not do"... yes, too much Cary Grant. In so many films he made, Cary is the love-object, he is pursued by the female lead, he is - a homme-fatale. The Presents hero is indeed a fatal male, but of the predatory variety. DO NOT make him Russian was my only brief from my editor (she phrased it much more politely and reasonably) so I made him Australian. I think she should have added, DO NOT make him Cary Grant.
Lorelei grew out of an appreciation of Grace Kelly's performance in the Hitchcock classic, but she also had a fair measure of Gloria Grahame, who played tough/vulnerable and tawdry glamour in some great noir films of the early '50s. Lorelei struggles with the idea of being the lady her grandmother pressed upon her and also with the seamier side of life she saw through growing up with her gigolo father.
My hero, Nash, is a rev-head with a genius for design, looking to make a racing comeback. I watched Eric Bana's "Love the Beast" and Steve McQueen in "Le Mans" in preparation for creating him and learned more about Formula 1 than I care to know but probably got it all wrong. I paired him with my blonde French-American socialite, Lorelei, and spent some months speaking very bad French as I inhabited her. And yes, I must have watched "To Catch a Thief" if not a million then a hundred times while writing Lorelei and - like many people before me - every time I found something new to adore.
Signature Song: "I'm Just A Lucky So-and-So", Ella Fitzgerald