09 December 2006

It's Great To Be Here!

Thank you, Carrie, for the invitation! I'm so happy to be here.

By way of introduction, I write historical romances that vary in setting. While my latest WIP is set in 1870s Mongolia, I like to think that the definition of "unusual historicals" can mean books that are set in England, but with a twist on the usual spying duke and spirited bluestocking that has become so prevalent. My characters often come from varied backgrounds and have unique professions, so that what had been a familiar setting is now made fresh.

For example, Sophie, the heroine in my latest book, Love In a Bottle, is a botanist in a time when women did not seriously pursue careers in the sciences. Botany for women was usually limited to dabbling in gardening and a genteel interest in the field, but not as a profession. But Sophie is very dedicated to her science. The hero is a mountebank, which is a person who sells quack medicines from a portable stage. In the case of my hero, Ian, he sells a potion with the promise of "love in a bottle" throughout the English countryside. He is also a traveler, having been to the Near East and India. So all of his international experiences are used in the creation of his potion. This book is set in the 18th century, one of my absolute favorite time periods.

In Lady X's Cowboy, the setting is Victorian London, and, yes, the heroine, Olivia, is a lady, but through wealth, not rank. She also isn't a typical society widow. Instead, Olivia owns and runs a successful brewery. The hero, Will, is a real Colorado cowboy who has traveled to England to find the family he never knew.

So I feel that what can make a book unusual or different is all a matter of perspective. I love taking something we're all well-acquainted with, and finding a new way of approaching it. That's part of the fun and challenge of writing romances.

Thanks again for having me on the board! I'd love to hear your opinions about what constitues "unusual" when you read, and write, romance.