Historical Romance and Regency
My first love was the Middle Ages, and I explored castle life, town life, and court life, respectively, in My Lord Roland, Catherine of York, and Simon’s Lady. I enlarged my scope to include more time periods, thereby permitting other rich themes to be intertwined with the love story. Accordingly, post-Shakespearean theatrics animate And Heaven Too, the art of warfare in the Age of Marlborough informs Suspicious Hearts, and the rise of modern international finance in the face of the French Revolution motivates and bedevils Tangled Dreams.
Historical novelists (this should surprise no one) tend to be bookish. It felt natural for me to endow Elizabeth Cameron, the heroine of MacLaurin’s Lady and the sole female member of the eighteenth-century Royal Historical Society of Scotland, with a passion for clan genealogies. We historical novelists are also not without our senses of humor. Thus, I fashioned Eve Marie Sedgwick, the heroine of Swept Away, into, among other things, a disarmingly imperfect seventeenth-century cultural anthropologist when she finds herself and her hero adrift on a Caribbean island.
All of my stories are stand-alone, but four feature a set of intertwined characters, and they are in my Americana Series: Dawn’s Early Light, Unexpected Company, Carolina Sonnet and Heart’s Wilderness. The historical backdrops range from the Second War of Independence (the War of 1812) to the Oregon Trail, and I loved telling some of the stories that can be imagined to form the patches of the colorful quilt that is the American people.
The Regency is a world unto itself and derives its name from the time period when the Prince Regent served as the proxy to George III when the latter was unable to rule (1811 – 1820). Brought to its current form by the not-to-be-missed novels of Georgette Heyer, the genre is flourishing today. Lord Laxton’s Will, The Temporary Bride, and French Lessons are my tributes.
Now, then, when does a relatively recent story become a historical? One answer is: When the time period matches the young adulthood of one’s grandmother. By this definition, Drawn to Love, set in post-World War II London, is a historical. It is also an unassuming story of two people from two different parts of the city who meet in the workplace and have to determine their feelings for one another.