Today over on Twitter (#WhyIWriteHistoricals) the discussion is why writers write historical romances. There is also a discussion on why people read historical romances (#WhyIReadHistoricals).
This looked like a fun topic to post about, so I thought I would add my two cents. 😀
Historical Western Romances
These are the ones that grabbed me first, and this is why I got into writing romance at all. It really started with Falling In Love With Her Husband. This was the first romance I wrote. While I was writing it, I kept expecting to go back to fantasy or YA thrillers when I was done. But then another romance idea came (An Inconvenient Marriage, which is not western but still historical). I wrote that. Then there was another one and another one. By the time I got to Eye of the Beholder with Dave and Mary Larson (my fourth romance), I was hooked. I knew I had to write about Dave’s brothers and sisters. In writing their romances, I got other ideas, and from there, the ideas multiply on a regular basis. I will never have enough time to write them all.
But I LOVE the historical time period. I’ve never had as much fun writing until I stumbled upon the writing historical romances for these reasons:
1. Cowboys are sexy.
I don’t know what it is about a man wearing a cowboy hat, belt, and boots who is off to ride a horse, but it’s an image I love to see. When I think of cowboys, I think of men who are brave, work hard, and provide for their families.
2. The atmosphere.
When I think of the historical west in the United States, I think of men opening doors for women and helping women into a buggy. I think of a time when men lifted women on a pedestal and wanted to take care of them. (Okay, I knew in reality not all men lifted women on a pedestal, just as they don’t today. But the culture as a whole encouraged men to treat women that way.)
3. Romantic feel.
Something about the old west just lends itself to a more romantic and tender feel to it. I don’t know if I truly can explain this. I just know when I slip into the historical west, it’s easy for me to show the greatest level of tenderness in a marital relationship. I can’t do that as well with contemporaries or Regencies. But I can with historical westerns. The historical westerns that make me cry the most end up being my favorites. (The crying always comes with a happy ending. I hate books that are depressing. Mine are made to be uplifting.)
I wrote The Earl’s Inconvenient Wife as an experiment to see how things would play out. As it turned out, the experiment was a big success, and I’ve come up with other Regencies since then. I’ll be finishing up my second series in June, and then I’ll start on my third series. So more Regencies will be coming.
This is why I LOVE Regencies…
With all the rules in this society, it’s way too easy to create scandals, and that is what makes this time period so much fun to write. A single kiss or innocent tumble can mean chaos. When there’s chaos, sparks fly, either between the hero or heroine or someone in the family.
The reason why I love these stories the most is because of the characters. The way these characters interact is magical. Any of these characters alone would be boring, but when you mix them together, the books take on a life of their own. What would Lord Roderick (Nate) be without Mister Robinson (Christopher) pestering him…and vice versa? What would the Duke of Ashbourne (Camden) be without Mister Robinson encouraging him to create a scandal? And though Lord Toplyn (Logan) has annoyed some, he’s one of my favorite Regency characters because no matter what the situation, he had a way of looking at things that made me laugh. The more serious gentlemen wouldn’t be the same without the troublemakers in the group. This is why I’m having all of my Regencies take place in the same world, even though I’m breaking the books up into different series.
In my next Regency series, however, I think it’ll be a heroine who ends up initiating some mischief to mix things up a bit.
My favorite Regencies are the ones that make me laugh the most.