Two years ago, I might have disagreed that I would write romance. When I was younger, it seemed all I read were romance novels. But in the last five to ten years, I've read mostly general fiction and fantasy, not so much romance, although in the last year I have read quite a few Colleen Hoover books. So . . . why do I write romantic suspense and historical romance?
Let's start with romantic suspense. I definitely didn't set out to write The Gangster's Daughter since I gravitate toward history naturally because I love history. I love learning about it, and I'll get to that later. But let's talk about romantic suspense and current day stories. I didn't seek to write a romantic suspense. You might have even heard me say I tried to get The Gangster's Daughter to be a historical romance, but it just wouldn't have worked out that way. Regan was too progressive to be a historical woman. If I think about it, I could have pulled it off, but I LOVE the way it turned out. I couldn't be prouder.
It started with an idea of a modern day betrothal. That wouldn't have worked with a historical because people were getting arranged into marriage until the 18th century, depending on which country. I believe most countries ceased within the 18th century. Not everyone has read The Gangster's Daughter, so I won't give away anything, but I knew what I wanted to do with that and it just seemed to work better in current day. I didn't realize when I started my search for an editor exactly what genre I had just written. It crossed over so many genres. I finally had one editor read my general synopsis and tell me it sounded like romantic suspense. That put that to bed.
Now, historical romance. Like I said, I love history. I love learning about it. All historical information. It's fascinating to learn about times before we lived. What they wore, what they ate, how they talked. When I research things, like The Duke's Daughter and the treatment of women in the eleventh century, I knew I had to create a strong heroine. Evie had to fight back. There were very few women, Matilda the wife of William the Conqueror, being one of them, who gained the respect of men during those times.
It's not just medieval times that hold my fascination, though. My next historical with be post-civil war. I would have done, and eventually will do, civil war or pre-civil war, but this story-line worked best with after the civil war ended. I'm not sure how many people know the facts about the civil war, but it was the deadliest war in American History with the loss of over 600,000 men. In my previous blog, I talk about interesting research. I could write dozens of blogs on interesting research I've come across. My next historical romance has a lot of interesting research, such as how many women tried to get away with posing as men and fought in the civil war. Or did you know that in the nineteenth century, a husband could sell his wife instead of going through the scandal of a divorce? Fascinating, and makes for some good story materials if you write it right. The possibilities are endless if you're in my head.
My thing is, I could write so many genres but I'm already taking a risk of writing in two genres. Maybe someday I'll dabble in fantasy. Most authors write one genre, but there are some that write in two. Nora Roberts writes in more than one genre, but she has a pen name for her other genre. She is best known for her contemporary romance with her romantic suspense under the pen name J.D. Robb. She also has two other pen names, one for a magazine story she wrote and another for a series in the UK. Stephen King is well-known for writing horror, but he also engages in non-fiction and realism writing. Lisa Kleypas writes historical and contemporary romance, which is most similar to me because I don't write in a pen name for either genre. I can only hope it works for me!