Olly kind of came to me first, because the other stories I'd read seemed to have an alpha male sort of prince or king. I wanted to flip that on its head and so Olly with his over the top, flamboyant, yet closeted in his sexuality - he kind of appeared to me. He's expressive, wears his heart on his sleeve, cheeky and flirty. In short, he was splendid fun to write! A sort of wish-fulfillment version of myself in some ways I think!
I love an opposites attract trope - I've written it many times - so I wanted someone completely different from Olly. I also wanted some form of forced proximity because who doesn't love that in a romance, right?
So I came up with Ezra, a bodyguard / security guard contractor. He is anti monarchy because he thinks it's an out-dated institution and a waste of money for the Meltivian people. He needs to take the job guarding the prince, because he really needs the money and it's too well paid for him to refuse. He's recently divorced so wants to work to ignore all the feelings he has about that. Ezra is quiet, doesn't talk about his emotions in the same way. At first I struggled with his conflict, and having discussed the story with my local writing group a good friend pointed out Ezra is a Jewish name and that homosexuality for some Jewish people, is viewed as an abomination.
Boom! There was Ezra's conflict. And the rest of his upbringing in foster homes etc, flowed from there.
I loved making up the country, and I explain more about that in the book's preface.
I hope this has been interesting and please do grab yourself a copy on Amazon.