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Guest blogger: Charlotte Anne

21 February 2021

Hello everyone

Thanks for having me on the ARRA blog. Today I wanted to share some photos of my writing journey for The Unworthy Duke. Every person works differently, and I personally love seeing the process of other creators—whether they be writers, painters, gardeners etc … The list is endless. Almost every person has a creative outlet, and the way we go about expressing our creativity is such a personal and unique process.

For me, I tend to write in short bursts. The reason for this is I have to fit my writing in around my day job. This meant that when I was working on The Unworthy Duke I carried a notebook with me wherever I went so I that I could write during my free moments, no matter how short they were—on the bus, on my lunchbreak, between appointments. I wouldn’t have been able to keep my thoughts straight without my notebooks.

Quite a few of the ideas I recorded in my notebooks didn’t even make it into the final book, but the notebooks offered a safe place for me to explore and tinker.

Like many people nowadays, I can type much faster than I can write, so on the weekends I would collate my notes into one document and spend hours working on the actual manuscript. The process of writing the first draft probably took me close on 12 months. As soon as I finished, I printed a hardcopy so that I could edit by hand—on the bus, on my lunchbreak, between appointments. You get the idea! In total I probably edited The Unworthy Duke four times through.

For example, this scene is actually the last few paragraphs of chapter 4 but I edited it so significantly that it’s now virtually unrecognisable—and a whole lot better! (You can see the fold marks from when I was carrying the paper around in my handbag.)

After that, The Unworthy Duke went to my amazing copyeditor at Escape Publishing for a final two rounds of edits. During those last weeks, we mainly worked on fixing inconsistencies and fact checking. Then, almost unbelievably, it was done.

Writing this book was such an amazing journey, and there isn’t anything I would change. As for book 2, let’s just say that I’m already well on my way through my second notebook.

You can find Charlotte here: Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Unworthy Duke

She’s running from her past; he’s hiding from his.

​Miss Ellen Burney doesn’t have a penny to her name. Determined to escape scandal, she flees to London and becomes Miss Smith: spinster and lady’s companion. London offers security in anonymity. So long as Ellen can rein in her overactive imagination and become the perfect picture of propriety.

Calum Callaghan spent ten years in the Royal Navy fighting Napoleon and has the scars to prove it. Now he’s a duke, but all of London thinks he murdered his brother. Heartbroken and battle weary, he’s locked himself away for four long years, a prisoner in his own townhouse.

That is, until Cal’s grandmother comes to stay with him for the London Season, her new lady’s companion in tow. A lady’s companion with a passion for life and love that can hardly be contained by even the most spinsterish of lace caps. She’s fooling nobody, especially not this grumpy duke.

  1. 22 February 2021 6:35 am

    Great post!

  2. 21 February 2021 12:35 pm

    Congratulations Charlotte, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to many more.

    I am guessing you are going to have a lot of notebooks in the years to come

    Have Fun


    • 12 March 2021 12:18 pm

      Thanks Helen. I love looking back at my old notebooks. It’s a great reminder of how much a story has evolved with all the rewriting and editing.

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