So it's not quite the new year yet, but I made some changes to the look of the blog. Now I didn't plan this initially; I was monkeying around with the background (which I loved!) and then realized that I no longer had the saved image. Excellent. So now I have a new background, and I've also added an "About Me" section and a "Works in Progress" section, which can be accessed on the left hand side bar. Check them out!
Anyhoo... Today I have been researching the very complex world of the English peerage. Since the last half of The Enemy Within occurs in England, and Alex is a viscount, I thought I should make sure that I was addressing everyone correctly.
I thought I knew the basic rules being that I am an Anglophile, but I actually learned a great deal. For example, an earl is always addressed by his title. In the case of my book, Alex's father is Charles Caulfield, Earl of Winthrop. He would be addressed simply as "Winthrop" by his good friends or children, while in more formal situations he would be addressed " Lord Winthrop" or simply "My lord."
Now when the book opens, Alex is actually a viscount. It's a courtesy title from his father who is not only the Earl of Withrop but also the Viscount of Gresham. Being that Alex is the eldest surviving son, he takes the title of Viscount until his father dies and he can inherit the earldon. As you will learn, Alex is very uneasy about this. He was raised as the younger son of the Earl, so he actually would have been a simple "Mr." although he would have had the courtesy of being announced "The Honorable Mr. Alexander Caulfield." Of course, Alex has to make his own way in the world, and that is when he decides to join the Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard). His father is furious of course, since being a policeman would be considered quite degrading to an aristrocratic family. Alex makes a reputation for himself quickly, and is promoted to Inspector. He easy evades his father's criticisms until...his older brother dies. Henry Caulfield was the Viscount Gresham, and drinks himself to death (like all good wastrels). Alex assumes the title as the new heir, but refuses to take up his responsibilities (namely his seat in the House of Lords). Ooowww...bad peer!
As punishment for facing down his father, Alex is "cut off" and his father gets him fired from the Metropolitan Police. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Alex gets to America. Of course, there a little more backstory there, but as the popular saying goes, "Buy the book!"