Mark was absolutely right! My favorite way to “find” a hero or heroine is to look at genuine documented family histories, fabricate another family member (or several), and then weave those fictional characters into the backdrop provided by related historical events.
My upcoming release, To Ruin a Rake, is largely set in a very real facility, London’s Foundling Hospital, a home for the city’s unwanted children (for more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundling_Hospital). It became the battlefield for Roland and Harriett. The modified family history of one of the Hospital’s founders became Roland’s background, and Harriett’s family history was similarly borrowed from truth and altered to fit fiction.