BRINGING YOU THE BEST IN ROMANCE FICTION
“Her Immortal Beloved”
By M. M. Genet
When I originally got the idea for writing Her Immortal Beloved, I was already knee deep in writing the novel, Agent for the Orchestra: Rites of Spring. After writing the first chapter where Yvonne, a secret agent disguised as Beethoven’s maid steals a famous piece of music he wrote for his lover, I knew there was more to the back story. Yvonne, a cool headed agent nearly misses her portal back to The Orchestra because she feels so terrible about stealing a piece of music that means so much to Beethoven. As I wrote the chapter, I also felt terrible.
Meant to Be…INSPIRED gave me a place to explore that back story. It is historical fact that Beethoven did write a piece of music called, My Immortal Beloved. We also have proof that he wrote a letter to this same mystery woman declaring his love to her as well as describing a slightly harrowing journey to get to the town where she resided. After that, historians argue.
Beethoven had a string of lovers (like any famous musician, I suppose.) Also, much like the modern music scene, Beethoven’s love life was wracked with drama and failed relationships in which we may or may not have the whole story. Every few years there is an argument as to which lover “My Immortal Beloved” was written. While researching the possible candidates, I felt an affection for Antoine, even though at present, she has fallen out of favor with historians. Her story, much like that of Yvonne’s unfolded in my mind.
Once I had chosen which lover’s story to tell, next came the challenge of creating a love story captivating enough to hold a reader’s attention and yet elusive enough to justify a work of fiction. All of Beethoven’s relationships were kept fairly secret. Secret correspondence via letter seemed the most likely and most romantic means to tell their story.
Writing from two different voices was challenging at first. Eventually in the process, it was as if they both had so much to say that I had trouble slowing them down. I needed Antoine to be young enough to let passion consume her and yet sensible enough that she made a feeble attempt at resisting forbidden love. Beethoven is historically known for being dramatic and entirely too careless with his heart. Antoine was going to have to be the sensible one in their affair because we know that was beyond Beethoven. It wasn’t fair to pile it all on her, I know. She was in love with the rock star of her age and as I wrote her character, I demanded she have a level head….at least for a little while.
When Antoine could no longer resist Beethoven, it is all the sweeter. His love shows her another side of herself. She’s a better, braver woman for his love. But is it enough? Well, that, my friend, you will have to read for yourself.
I will close with this. In writing this story I realize that letter writing is a truly lost art form. I know in my heart that if I had been writing two characters who had been emailing one another, the words and the sentences would not have formed as they did. It makes me want to encourage everyone to write a love letter to their hearts desire. I know I’m considering it.
As for writing music, I am in awe of Beethoven. I’ve written several songs for my husband. While I thought the compositions were passionate, I dare say he married me for my cooking than any stir in his soul from my music. Still, I press on. Music, like love is ever changing and ever a source of inspiration.