02 February 2007

Unusually Yours

Hello, my name is Anna, and I am a time traveler. At least when it comes to writing. My first release was set in colonial New York, (with a hermit who sticks his hand in the fire on purpose as the hero) upcoming releases cover Edwardian London and Italy, (with an over-fifty heroine) and the Cornish coast of the 16th century (with a Spanish hero.) I’m currently working on two Georgian-set books (one with a set of Yoruban twins as strong secondary characters, the other with an actress heroine who makes a bunch of her own trouble) and the manuscript I’m shopping around plops my Manx heroine into the tail end of the English Civil War and Charles II’s court in exile. After that? We’ll see.

I do have ideas for a medieval where the hero chases the heroine on Crusade, ideas from different spots in the Tudor times, more colonials, a few more Georgians, definetly more Restoration…pick only one? Not this gal. I’d even like to play with the Edwardians a time or two, maybe edge into the 1920s, because Brideshead Revisited rips my heart out and I love it for that. I like angst, and I like happy endings.

Ooh, I didn’t mention Vikings, did I? Or Dark Ages? I could do those, and discovering Diana Groe this year makes me tingle at the thought of a dragon ship of my own. Deliver us from the fury of the Norsemen, indeed. Those guys got around.

My introduction to the historical romance was a pilfered copy of Bertrice Small’s The Kadin when I was eleven. Scottish noblewoman ends up in the Ottoman Empire and rises to the highest position of power a woman could have? For me, that set a bar regarding historical romance. I want sweep and scope and lovers worthy of legend. A reason we’d want to remember this man and this woman hundreds of years after their lives are over. That, for, me, is the essence of the genre, and I knew at that young age, I’d found what I wanted to read and write for the rest of my life.

Romances that play out over years rather than weeks? Fine by me. Long separations? Hey, they happened, but as long as hero and heroine are together at the end, what's the harm? Real historical figures? Wonderful in supporting roles. I'm excited by buzz of the big historical coming back, and I fully plan on being part of its return.

How about you?


Kady said...

You already know my response to your post - SISTER!!!!!

Jacquie said...

Ah, my fondest desire--a historical that sweeps you away to another time and place, with characters who'll be part of you for the rest of your life, and at the same time, learning a few new things that make history exciting. :)

I'm a late-comer to the romance genre but my daughter has been reading romances since she was 11. Her favorite authors are Roberta Gellis and Bertrice Small. Oh, and btw, she's 29, the age NYC is targeting. No marketing person has asked her opinion of the newer books, though.


DDB said...

One of my favorite authors is the late Celeste DeBlasis. Her books were sweeping romances that covered several life times. About once a year I get out her Swan trilogy and visit my old friends.

Anna said...

Kady: It goes without saying.

Jacquie: Aren't those the best? Small, of course, and Gellis is wonderful. I have high hopes for The Sea King by Jolie Mathis, which I should be starting soon.

Deb: I've been eyeing the Swan trilogy for years. Soon, I hope.

Marjorie Jones said...

I love the big sweeping adventures in a romance. I love that fact that I can make anything happen. I'm not a stickler for historical accuracy on all fronts, but my knighs don't carry cell phones either LOL. Someone once told me I couldn't have an Inn on a certain border between Scotland and England, so I said prove it. Dig up the border and prove there wasn't one. And they said a woman couldn't own it. Blah. I wanted a woman to own it and I'm not convinced she won't have her own story at some point.

As for Jolie Mathis, The Sea King: IT'S FABULOUS!!! I had the great honor of critting it while she was writing it, and reading the official ARC after it has been accepted. The author is incredibly adept at sweeping one away to the time and place she's writing. I've learned a great deal from Jolie over the years that we've been crit partners. When I first joined her critique group, Romancing History, I was thrilled, because I had to 'audition' and it was the first time someone I didn't 'know' said, in effect, "You've got it babe!"

Then I submitted my first chapter for crit, and got back a file that three of the members had opened a vein over LOL... wow... had no idea what I didn't know.

Sorry, rambling, but Jolie is AMAZING... you'll LOVE The Sea King.


carrie_lofty said...

That first bloodletting -- the crit group opening a vein on a rough draft -- is pretty damn scary. I made the mistake of reading one response I'd received in an e-mail, just before I had planned to go to bed. NOT. I couldn't sleep for hours, mulling over what they'd said and generally doubting the foundations of my existence :) I got over it, obviously, but that was like hazing!

Lisa Yarde said...

I love a sweeping historical novel, but it seems so hard to push that with agents and publishers. I admire the Diana Gabaldons of this world who can get away with such epics, and sympathize with the aspiring authors (like me) who are trying to do the same.

Tess said...

I'm jazzed about it too!!! And I write in various periods - have mss or outlines for mss set in High Medieval, late Medieval, Stuart England and late 18th C Europe :-)

Anna said...

Tess, I love all those periods and would be thrilled to see more books utilize them. Or should I say more publishers? We lovers of varied settings are out there, we're doing our parts in writing. As soon as the publishers and readers start buying, we'll be on our way.