Remember this scene?
“If you want to make it up to me, talk up Number Eighteen to your friends.”
Once again, Simon was impressed by Maggie’s devotion to her business, when he could barely bring himself to mention his own trade to prospective customers for fear of being thought over-forward. But as business-mindedness was a quality associated with Jews, he refrained from saying so.
Originally, Simon did say so, and Maggie role-played doing a pitch with him…
The threesome that never was!
In the first draft of Listen to the Moon, I wrote a threesome. Because John and Sukey dirty-talk about one, and I felt like it was Chekov’s threesome. Like if I hung it over the fireplace I had to fire it in the third act. And also I was really excited to write it! It didn’t hurt that I totally pictured the third person as Hayley Atwell.
Unfortunately I just didn’t have space in the finished book for 5000 extra words of sex PLUS the emotional fallout and everything. So! Here it is, for the dedicated fan (or, you know, the pervy fan!).
In the original opening of Chapter 16, instead of the coach already being in Chichester it was still halfway through the journey. The scene follows directly from:
When her feet and hands had gone good and numb, the coach pulled off the road into an innyard. Sukey was afeared to stand. Her legs might not hold her, and then she’d fall to her death and they’d have to fish her out of a snowdrift and bury her in this strange town, away from all her people.
But John helped her up, holding her elbows until she found her balance. He clambered down into the unsteady snow and caught her when she jumped, his hands strong and familiar at her waist…
In the first draft, Molly’s plotline took up a bit more space. Among other things, Sukey interrupted John’s midnight talk with her in the kitchen…
This was my original ending. Leah, my editor, asked me to change it because it wasn’t fair that the poachers had to leave their homes. She was right, of course, and I think the new ending is much better. But pranks are always fun. (In this version, Amy did convince Edward that Penelope was in danger, so he witnessed the scene where Nev offers to free the prisoners if the poachers will help him save Penelope from Sir Jasper.) Continue reading
This scene originally followed the one in Chapter 12 where Lady Bedlow suggests that Penelope must naturally feel more comfortable with Percy because he is so much nearer her own class. In my first draft Nev had a little brother, Charlie. In that version Sir Jasper had also had a son, Jamie. Charlie and Jamie were friends until Jamie (instead of Sir Jasper’s wife, who died of a fever or something) was killed by a spring-gun while the boys were out playing “Robin Hood.” Charlie was, understandably, rather traumatized by this experience.
Charlie didn’t serve much of a purpose beyond me really liking a couple of his scenes, so he was one of the first things to go in revisions. I kept the bit with Nev working in the fields, of course, and the last part of this excerpt led into a conversation between Penelope and Nev that now appears in Chapter 14, the scene where Nev reads to Penelope from the Morte d’Arthur. Continue reading
This scene originally went between the end of Chapter 7 (Nev and Penelope’s meeting with Kedge and Snively and Nev’s explanation of the 1816 riot) and the beginning of Chapter 8. In it, Nev and Penelope visit the local village and meet Josie Cusher for the first time. It was one of the first things to go when I had to make major cuts (in fact, only one mention of the village remains in the final draft), but I always liked it. Note the original first appearance of Agnes Cusher’s satin ribbon, and also of the ribbon Penelope is wearing in the first scene in Chapter 8. Continue reading
Epilogue: the wedding. When I wrote this, I didn’t realize that Regency weddings were organized very differently from post-Victorian ones. But I still like the scene. Continue reading
The original version of Solomon’s nightmare. Continue reading
Another scene about Serena’s scary reputation. It’s rather silly and I’m glad I cut it from the finished book, but it was fun to write and I’m still fond of some of the jokes. Continue reading
Serena’s reputation as a dangerous woman with underworld connections played a much larger role in my early drafts. Here are two small scenes in which Solomon eavesdrops on gossip and fails to learn anything of value. Continue reading