I'm sure readers wonder sometimes how much of an author's real life influences his or her work.
In my case, there's a reason I tend to gravitate to the "stranger rides into town" type of character and plot. We moved a few times when I was growing up, so I'm familiar with that "stranger in town" feeling. But because I'm also aware of the disruption that sort of thing can make in one's life, I can also relate to the people who are in the place into which the stranger rides.
However, in the case of THE VISCOUNT'S KISS, there was one character I could really relate to. It wasn't the heroine, or the hero. It was the hero's mother.
Buggy wants to go on another expedition and his mother is very upset about it. While I was writing this book, my son was considering a job in a foreign country far away. It was a good opportunity and of course now there is email and phone, etc. etc.
That particular situation made it much easier for me to imagine how a woman in Regency England would worry about her son sailing off to the far ends of the earth, and what she might be prepared to do to keep him safe at home.