As some of my readers know, The Peasant Queen was a work in progress for me from age 14 to its publication in 2010. What you may not know is that the manuscript spent more time at over 100k words than it did in its current state. But, I have fans and friends who knew the story from "back in the day" and know all of my characters' secrets. Since I live in constant fear of them calling me out (not), here are some highlights:

***Krystal's father was actually a son of a duke in Brynne, who was disowned when he fell in love with and married a country girl. Abandoned by his family, he did his best to instill noble qualities in his children before he died when Krystal was seven. Hence their knowledge of the sword, and Krystal's love of reading. There's a reason why my peasant has such an extensive vocabulary--her father's books. In the original text, Gregory found out about Krystal's heritage through questioning her about her past and utilizing his own network of information (that he had developed in his years of traveling before becoming King of Demarde). He used that information to justify elevating her rank and making her an eligible match for a king, once he decided he would marry her.

***In the original story, Jareth and his men were successful when they attacked the castle the first time, and it was Gregory who utilized the secret passageway to return during the coronation. His goal then was only to retrieve Krystal, as he had completely lost his heart to her and was then willing to give up the kingdom for her.

***Related to that, it was originally Jareth and not Damen who killed Gregory. Jareth wrestled with this for several chapters, finally realizing his uncle had left him no other choice. At first Jareth favored imprisonment or banishment, as he did not want to shed the blood of a family member.

***Speaking of Damen, he used to be a female panther named Banshee. And, in the first draft, Banshee was a female German Shepherd. Krystal also, at one point, had two cats who made the journey to the castle with her, who in later versions turned into very useful pet ferrets. Eventually, though, I realized the story was stronger without them. When they were cats, however, the female got pregnant during Krystal's imprisonment, and Caprice nearly killed the cat in a fit of rage, leaving only one surviving kitten.

***I heavily favored "J" names in the original drafts. In addition to Jareth, Gregory was once Jason, then GK, and Calum was Jeffrey, later Geoffrey. Miraya was Maria, then Marianna, and Caprice had about 3 different names, one of which was Athena. I actually still call her by one of her other names in my head. That last change to Caprice is hard for me to remember. She spent a long time as Ingrina.

***Bennett was a fairly recent addition. I had a hard time deciding at first how to get Krystal to Fayterra. First she was a modern girl running away from home when she was magically transported to a distant, magical land. The running away from home bit lasted for several incarnations before I determined the best way to make it happen.

***Because Jareth successfully attacked the castle at the engagement party in the original draft, Gregory never married Krystal.  After I changed that, it upped the stakes considerably. Gregory married Krystal, but unfortunately for him things didn't work out exactly as he'd planned.

***When the story hopped dimensions, Jareth actually went back to ask for Krystal's mom's permission to marry Krystal. Initially she denied them, saying her daughter was too young, but then relented because she knew she couldn't stop them and would rather have Krystal leave on good terms than otherwise.

***Gregory was a major POV character in the earlier drafts. When I made the determination that it was better that readers not know what he was thinking, I tried to keep some of the scenes where we learn much about his character and driving passions. Because of that Krystal became a master of escape/trickery/disguise so she could be present, even hidden, in scenes where Gregory does his most despicable things. I had to scrap that when it became evident that Krystal's escapes were too convenient to the plot.

***One of my favorite original scenes from the book is where Gregory drugs Krystal with a truth serum to find out where Jareth is, but she catches on and with luck, he is delayed in joining her until the affects start to wear off. So when she tells him to jump in the lake, she's actually telling him off.

***I once owned a collection of dresses that I used to pattern each dress Krystal wore, except for her wedding dress. I also had, and still have, the replica engagement ring Gregory gave Krystal, and the ring Jareth gave her. I have a replica amulet as well, and a necklace of Alana's that didn't make the final cut of the story.

That's all for now, but stay tuned. I'm sure I'll come up with more!

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