Moonlight Masquerade is not just the first in the Regency Masquerade series, it is also the first book I ever wrote. It began life in 1976 as The Silk Purse. Since then it has been, variously, The Master of Hawkwood, The Cat’s Cradle, and finally Moonlight Masquerade. The names of the character’s have also changed several times as has the nature of my heroine. To quote myself in one of my Delia Darling monologues ‘When I first began to write the heroine was of course a virgin and remained so throughout the book. Now editors just demand sex, sex and more sex. How they expect one to find the time to write I really don’t know!
So the innocent, submissive little heroine, Arabella, of The Silk Purse transformed over a period of nearly 40 years into strong, sensual, and far from submissive Amarylis Trent. She is still a girl wooed for her fortune by the handsome hero, who naturally falls deeply in love with her, but she is playing her own game with the dashing Marquis and Merry Trent is nobody’s fool.
I’m so glad now that The Silk Purse never saw the light of day. It was, quite frankly, rotten. Most writers should probaly trash their first efforts. Georgette Heyer, indeed, successfully supressed several of her early works. I found them all in the UCLA Graduate School library and I think she overreacted. They aren’t bad, they’re just not as brilliant as her later works when she had found her wonderful, distinctive voice.