A few years ago, if you had asked me would I find romance novels interesting, I’m pretty sure I would have struggled not to laugh in your face. Like many people, I thought of them as “lightweight”, formula driven books and I was pretty sure if you read one, you had read them all. Boy, was I wrong.
That isn’t to say there aren’t certain rules governing some of the primary points within a romance novel. For one, most readers of romance novels want a “happy ending”. They also want some serious romance, how serious and detailed may depend on the reader and author. They also want a classic bad vs. good kind of set-up. All of that I think I sort of knew, somewhere in the back of my mind.
What I didn’t know at the time was how some authors go about stretching the limits of the genre to write something fresh and new. I also didn’t know how much research goes into writing about an actual period. Get it wrong and you’re going to hear about it.
My education came about when I joined a critique group and met a friend who writes under the name of Edie Cay. She recently had her first book, A Lady’s Revenge, published. If you haven’t already, I urge you to pick it up. Her heroine is anything but a damsel in distress and her friends are so much more complex than what I was expecting. Also,the amount of research she does for the books she writes is overwhelming. I learned more about the Regency Period during our critique meetings than I thought was possible. It was fascinating; and the best thing was I got to learn it while indulging in a really good book instead of wading through pages and pages of facts, figures, informational documents…you get the picture.
Anyway, I read the book before it went through some major rewrites and edits, and it was fabulous. Katie, my friend’s real name, is an incredibly talented writer who understands how to write in a way that “shows” you the action rather than “telling you” about it. That’s a talent I’m still working to develop in my own writing.
Katie has moved across the country now, so I don’t have the advantage of reading her books early and getting a peak at how to edit and improve what you are writing. I miss that, but even more I miss the characters she created. They were complex, three-dimensional, and unconventional for their time. What more could you want?
All this to say, do yourself a favor. Stop by your local independent bookseller, or check your library, or get a copy how ever you usually get your books, and spend some time in the Regency period. I’m adding a link here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/998879 for you to use if you want to purchase a copy via the internet.
I sincerely hope this is just the beginning of a shelf full of Edie Cay books. Personally I’m waiting for the one that features Bess, a…wait a minute; that would be telling. You need to find out for yourself. As always, Happy Reading.