Cara/Andrea here, Today I’m talking about craft—on both an both abstract and physical level. Part of the fun of starting a new book is thinking up how to weave in the small details that give color and texture to the main plot and characters. In Scandalously Yours, which releases next week in paperback, I decided to have the opening scene revolve around a midnight chess game. I’m only a neophyte player, but the complex strategies of thrust and parry seemed to suit my cerebral heroine and soldier-hero. So naturally, being intrigued by the game, I needed to do some basic research . . .
The origins of chess are said to lie in a game called chaturanga, which developed in India during the sixth century. It quickly spread into Persia and became popular with the nobility. After the Muslim conquest of the empire, it spread west, reaching Europe by the late 900s. The Moors brought the game to Spain, and from there it made its way to the farthest reaches of the known world. The cerebral challenge, and the complex strategies of attack and defend played apparently played well across cultural divides, for chess was adopted with great enthusiasm wherever it was carried.