To clarify a bit, partly because I think it is interesting and partly to show how my mind works.
In October 2005, Anna Lucia kindly drove me back to my house after an all day RNA workshop where Kate Walker was one of the chief speakers.
Somehow the back seat conversation came around to Kate's revisions and she started to explain about motivation and her troubles with The Antonakos Maraige. The basic gist was that a woman has a one night stand to experience life before she gets married to a Greek tycoon because she trying to save her ill father from jail, but the man she has the stand with turns out not to be just a stranger in the night...
Now I thought she said that the Greek tycoon that the heroine was supposed to marry was the man the heroine ends up spending the night with. At this point, my hamster wheels were turning loudly and I nodded as Kate explained about motivation etc and how she had to make the heroine truly sympathetic and strong as there were potential for mis-steps. And I couldn't be sure. I thought the thing wa far fetched -- why wouldn't the heroine recognize her husband to be? But Kate is a master, and I figured -- if anyone can pull this off, she can.
And having read the book, I can say that I heard completely wrong. In the Antonakos Marriage, the hero is not necessarily the Greek tycoon the heroine is marrying. I don't want to spoil the story for any who have not read it yet, but it is far more complicated than that. As I said, I really enjoyed it and do think she succeeded in telling her tale.
Now I knew in the context of the Roman historical I wanted to do, I could not do a one night stand (too many problems), but a man forcing a woman to marry him to save her father from certain disgrace that I could do. It could really work. In fact it could really work with the hero that had been lurking in the back of my mind ever since my editor told me that she loved and adored pirates as heroes. And it was very much Beauty and the Beast. That particular fairytale has been one of my favourites since I was about 8. If you will recall Beauty sacrifices herself for her father's sake once the Beast discovers him in the garden picking the white roses that he promised Beauty. All I had to do was figure why my heroine Lydia would want to sacrifice herself, why she would feel responsible, and the consequences of her actions.
Light bulbs started flashing etc and I suddenly knew that I had to write this story rather than the more vague story about a soldier returning from the wars to a wife he barely knows. (This story may be written some day, but just not yet)
Now for Kate, the essence, the essential part of the story could have been different. She has done a number of Beauty and Beast themes before and often with a twist. It could have been the one night stand, and what happens when you think you are doing something that has no consequences...but that didn't matter. For my story she had given me a kernel, an idea and I could run with it.
It is the taking of the kernel and twisting, moulding and fashioning it into your own story that is the interesting part. But I know without Kate Walker and her revision tale, S&S would not have been written.