Sunday, 8 December 2013

Historical Romantic Adventures

My blog tour for the launch of After Whorl: Bran Reborn has started! I'm off across the world to visit my friend Helen Howell, in Melbourne. 

Pop in for the first of my series of Celtic/ Roman Britain, AD 71-84, themed blog posts. Read about how to get yourself entered into the DRAW for some launch time goodies! 


Meanwhile... here is the rational behind my Celtic Fervour series of novels.
In these novels, I’m aiming for a different mix of history and romance from the usual. What does that mean, I hear someone ask?

In general, if you pick up a novel that’s termed Historical Fiction it’s crammed full of historical, factual information. Often these books are on the lengthy side and I, personally, enjoy these novels very much since they satisfy my insatiable need for learning more and more about a historical period. Yet, I have to read those historical fiction novels without my ‘romance lover’ T-shirt on. Any romantic elements in what would be termed solid historical fiction tend to be a secondary aspect of the plot.  In reading those, I would not expect a heart-warmingly rewarding romance since that is not their intention. An HEA ending is not required, and nor does it generally feature in Historical Fiction.

On the other side of the coin, Historical Romance novels from many of the ‘Romance Only’ publishers can veer too much in the opposite direction, I think. The romance is completely central to the plot and the historical aspects often form a very scant backdrop – very little of the historical era mentioned, and in some books which I’ve recently read they either include completely wrong historical information, or have anachronistic detail which can be almost ludicrous. Those novels are a lot less satisfying to me since I’m the sort of reader who wants too much. I want that all encompassing romance, if it’s marketed as a Historical Romance, but I also want to really live in that era. For that to happen, brief detail of the historical background just doesn’t suffice.  

What is the compromise then? What I’m aiming for in my Celtic Fervour series, set in AD 71-84,  is a blend of solid historical facts creating a really authentic backdrop (as much as is possible given my chosen era is so long ago) and variable degrees of romance across the series of books.

Book 1, The Beltane Choice, has a strong romantic theme running through it, the developing relationship of Lorcan of the Brigantes and Nara of the Selgovae a crucial part of the whole plot and yet I’ve also tried to minimise that sufficiently so that the romance does not dominate the whole story. Accuracy in historical portrayal is incredibly important to me and reviewers of The Beltane Choice have all tended to appreciate that very much.

Book 2, After Whorl: Bran Reborn, also has a romantic attachment but the plot is not driven by it. The love Brennus has for Ineda is not necessarily fulfilled… that HEA ending that is a MUST in general romance novels is not there ...yet, the potential is!
Book 3 of the series, After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks, which is due sometime around Spring 2014, holds many answers. Relationships are very important, but the historical detail is paramount to the plot.

That may be my rationale, but where lies the problem? Should my series fit into a general Historical Romance genre with scant detail and heavy romance? NOT REALLY.  Should my series fit into a general Historical Fiction category? MAYBE. 

It's a tricky problem indeed but... a HISTORICAL ROMANTIC ADVENTURE  SERIES sums them up very well!

You can get The Beltane Choice for only 77p/99c for this coming week in the Crooked Cat Christmas SALE. 

Grab your bargain copy now and read before the 16th December, when Book 2 will be available! 
Amazon UK
Amazon US


1 comment:

  1. Many congratulations on the upcoming release! How very exciting!

    I think I may be in the same boat as you. I love reading and writing romantic historical adventures rather than romance or standard historical fiction. For me, it's the blend of all three areas: historical setting and events, a dash of love and romance, plus the adventures we submit our characters to. I think that tag sums up your work very nicely.

    Good luck with your blog your! I'll see you over at mine soon. :-)


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