Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Genre - Romance/ Sub-genre - Regency

Most of you may be wondering (especially after reading my Valentine's Day post) what in the hell I am doing writing romance. All of my real romances (for the most part) have been bad. Not to say there weren't a few good times in each of them, but in the end, they ended. Badly.

I have also maintained I am a pessimist. So no wonder, you may be thinking to yourself, does she have bad romances. That is the funny part...I am not a pessimist when it comes to love.

I love love. I love being in love. I love reading about love. I love sappy movies. I love Hallmark commercials. I love hearing that love has conquered all. Hence my proclivity to write romance. I love the way the characters meet, the way their eyes light up, the way they get stupid and tongue-tied and nervous when that special someone walks into a scene.

I started reading Historicals when I was in high school. Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers. Hey, who hasn't read that. And from there it just never ended. Anyway, as I read more historicals, it was plain I didn't like the longer ones, the medieval, the Scottish, Edwardian or anything that wasn't Regency.
Every once in awhile, I'd be able to get into a Victorian, if the plot was okay, but when I find something I like (from ketchup to toilet paper) I stick with it.

There's something about the class system in Regency England that I really enjoy. Perhaps it had to do with my upbringing in the 70's, the city where we lived, the religious ramifications my parents placed on me that I couldn't date a non-catholic boy. Yeah, hey, I know, but they're my parents.

I lost myself in those books. I became the heroine. I loved the hero. Back then they were all rakes and blackguards, but every one of them was redeemed by love. That thought has never left me. Music calms the savage beast, blackguards can be reformed by virgins.

Nowadays, the hero is called an alpha male, the heroines, although still technically virgins are much more savvy than they used to be. They're not simpering and scared, most of them are pretty smart, and have minds of their own. In the Regency, they still have the strict moral code, the strict socal class system, the strict adherence to social custom and forms of address. How cool is it that people get to address you as 'My Lady'? (Even if she is a peasant you know by the end of the book she's going to be a duchess.)

I love the Regency for all that and more. There was no greater architectural, artistic, musical or gardening movement in Britain, before or since. King George, before he went mad, was a patron of the arts, his Queen, of horticulture, and their son, Prince George, everything in between. (But more on the Prince next week.) It was a time of building, rebuilding, forging new ideas, and creating art in all its forms. You gotta' love that.

So tell me -- What kind of romance do you like to read? Contemporary, Erotic, Historical, Vampirey, Paranormal, Sappy? Did I forget anything?


Davin Malasarn said...

Thanks for this post, Anne! I've never read a romance novel all the way through, but I have tried! I try to keep an open mind, and maybe someday a romance will catch my attention fully. Will it be yours?

Shelley Sly said...

I'm glad that you've found your place in Regency Romance. It's always good to have a genre that you call home, so to speak.

I'm much more of a contemporary romance person, though I don't find that I read much straight up romance. I read chick-lit and YA and literary fiction that happen to have romance in them.

Falen said...

i've actually never read a straight up romance novel. huh. i guess i never realized that.

Summer said...

I like all kinds of romance! I haven't read much historical romance, but what I have read, I enjoyed. I read a lot of paranormal romance. There's actually a PNR series that's set if not in, then close to Regency period--the Gardella vampires series, by Colleen Gleason. Wasn't crazy about the first book, but my faithful Goodreads friends swear the rest of the series is great.

Piedmont Writer said...

Davin -- If you would like to try mine right now, I'd be glad to send it to you.

Shelley -- I can read contemporary but I'm just not that into it. I don't know why. I guess my imagination just lets loose better with historicals.

Sarah -- Well, while you're waiting to tackle your revisions, why not try one. There're some great authors out there.

Summer -- I can't read any kind a paranormal anything. Vampires, ghosts, weres, even if it's only got a hint of it in it, I can't read it. I get too spooked out. Kind of wimp that way. and I know I've missed out on a lot of great writing.

sarahjayne smythe said...

I also have to admit that I have never read romance. I'm looking forward to reading yours.

But I love how you break down the Regency and why you love it. It's nice to know that you found your comfort zone and home.

Piedmont Writer said...

Sarah Jayne -- I'm surprised in that you've never read a romance. I don't know why, but you seem like you'd be a closet reader at least. You have a lyrical tone to your work that speaks of love and loss. One I admit, I envy.

Ryan said...

I enjoy romance, but unlike you it almost has to be paranormal for me to get into since my favorite genre to write in is horror. Lol.

My favorite romance reads so far have been the Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark Hunter books. She's writes historicals under the pen name Kennly MacGregor, but I've not found the chance to sit down with one of those yet.

I've also read, and enjoyed, Setphenie(sp?) Meyer's work, both the Twilight Saga and The Host.

I also intend on trying to write a romance with my upcoming novel. Its paranormal, leaning towards horror, with a male Vamp pov. It started out as an erotica project, but I think it'll work better if I take it in a romance direction.

Piedmont Writer said...

Ryan -- Hey good for you. I like a man who's not afraid to read romance, and then write one.

Dominique said...

I have to admit, I'm a Regency girl as well. I'm not too fussy about a decade or two plus or minus, but there's just something about the Regency period, really, that I just love. Plus, with strict moral codes like that one, it's hard not to get into some interesting mischief. ;)

Piedmont Writer said...

I knew there would be one of you out of all my friends. Thank you Dominique for understanding what I'm talking about.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome said...

I used to read a ton more romance novels. Especially when I was running the all the genres at Barnes and Noble but I've become a little jilted when it comes to love. I still LOVE the Outlander series. Jaime Fraser is like the most perfect male character. I would marry him in a New York minute! But as far as love goes, I'm not bitter...I'm better!