Michille: Cosmo’s Take on Historicals

romance-novel-tropes-1478898494

Or The 10 Sexiest Nonsexual Things That Happen in Historical Romance Novels in Eliza Thompson’s opinion. She starts with hand touching that is unimpeded by gloves, which is stage four according to Desmond Morris’s stages of intimacy. She gives an excerpt from In Bed With the Devil by Lorraine Heath. I’ve never read one of hers, but I have When the Duke Was Wicked in my TBR pile. It may have just moved to the top of the pile. Continue reading

Elizabeth: (Re) Writing History

Stories Yet To Be WrittenAs a fan and writer of Regency fiction, I’m interested in the way historical events are portrayed in works of fiction and how perceptions can be changed and/or influenced, even when they are not the main focus of the story.  I’ve unintentionally learned a lot of random bits of history – especially British history – through romance novels. Not a complete education by any means, though I did recently ace the Napoleon category on Jeopardy.

I’ve been thinking about the combination of history and the arts since weekend when I came across a documentary on the musical Hamilton during a bout of random channel-surfing (after I’d met my NaNo word targets, of course). Continue reading

Justine: Taglines for Authors…The 5 Ws and the H About You

author tagline, writer tagline, eight ladies writing, justine covingtonMy tagline has been bothering me lately. Actually, it’s been bothering me for the last year, but I’ve been too lazy (or busy or otherwise occupied with “more important” things) to do anything about it.

But now I need to. It’s starting to rub me wrong like a scratchy tag on a shirt.

In case you’re wondering, a tagline is a brief description of you, the writer, just as a logline is a brief description of your book. Except the tagline is about YOU. It identifies to a perfect stranger what they can expect from your books (think of it as “The five Ws and the H about you”).

My critique partner has a great tagline. She writes paranormals with snark, bite, laughs, and great sex. Her tagline is “Snark. Sex. Romance.” And that really sums up what she writes!

My current tagline is Continue reading

Justine: Finding a Pot of Story Gold

story ideas, history in story, historical events, writing, eight ladies writing, corn lawsHappy St. Patrick’s Day! One of the best things that can happen to a writer is to find a pot of “story gold.” That wonderful, juicy tidbit of information that lends credibility, interest, or detail to your story. My pot of gold? The Corn Laws.

(Yeah, I know…you’re scratching your head, saying, “Eh?” Stick with me, though!)

The Corn Laws were British tariffs assigned to imported grain or corn (anything that could be ground), but especially wheat. They were the result of a political dispute between the Continue reading

Elizabeth: Historical Fiction – What’s Your Preference

historical fictionWhat do you think of when you think about historical fiction?

Does it bring to mind long sweeping sagas, rich in details and descriptions like M.M. Kaye’s Far Pavilions or Colleen McCullough’s Thorn Birds (both popular during my long ago book seller days) or stories like Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels or Jo Beverley’s The Dragon’s Bride, that have a historical setting, but focus more on plot and character than detailed historical content?

The question came up when I read this comment from one of the judges of my recent contest entry: Continue reading

Justine: My Niggling Conscience When Writing Historical Characters

historical fiction, writing historical fiction

Coat of Arms of the Duke of Manchester

Frequent readers will know it’s no secret that I love history. Case in point: my first in a new recurring series about interesting things from the Regency.

It is therefore surprising to me that I struggle when writing historical fiction. Not because it’s hard to remember what the different pieces of clothing are called on a 19th century woman or what sort of conveyance a person would take to get from London to Bath: rather it’s because I want to be historically accurate, and so have decided to use locations and individuals who actually existed two hundred years ago. For example, Viscount Sidmouth, the then Lord Secretary of the War Office, is a secondary character in my current WIP, and the next book I’ve started outlining is about the wife of the 5th Duke of Manchester (who, it is told, ran away with her footman, although that’s not the plans I have for this duchess).

So what’s the problem? I’m giving them characteristics and actions, sometimes very unsavory ones, that didn’t happen according to history. In some cases, they’re marrying different people, and in an extreme case, dying way before their time. My meddling in the lives of these once-real people is weighing down my conscience. Continue reading