Please welcome my guest, Donna Hatch. LEAVE DONNA A COMMENT AND BE ENTERED IN A DRAWING FOR A FREE EBOOK OF HER NEWEST RELEASE, A PERFECT SECRET! DRAWING ON WEDNESDAY.
I love historical romance. As a little girl, I loved historical novels such as Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, the Little House books, The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. Sometime in my teens, I read Jane Eyre, the Jane Austen novels, and other historical classics. But I wanted more romance in my stories. So I turned to historical romance. I discovered that historical fiction was a hot market, in every way. I don’t like to read hot sex scenes so finding a historical novel with enough romance while still staying on the “sweeter” side of things became a challenge. Eventually, I found traditional Regency romances. They fit the bill perfectly because they are usually very clean, romances. I had found my perfect historical romance fix.
It was a short-termed joy.
Historical fiction sales across the board began falling. My guess is that readers got bored with hot, sexy romance novels referred to as “bodice rippers” which seemed to be the same old cliché stores over and over. However, even clean romance novels sales fell. The final nail on the coffin came when two major traditional Regency romance publishers closed their line. This broke my heart. Not only did I love reading them, but I had written a traditional Regency romance novel that I’d planned to submit to them in hopes that they would publish it. For about a decade, people labeled historical romance in general—and Regency romance in particular—a “dead” market. I think I went into mourning.
Yet hope is not lost! Historical Romance novels, specifically Regency Romance novels, have begun to grow in popularity. Sales are climbing for all historical romance and those “hot” romances as well as the “sweet” romances are returning. The traditional romances such as Jane Austen era novels are a fast growing favorite genre.
As a Regency romance author, I wondered why had caused the return of the historical romance?
One reason sweeter Regencies are returning with such a bang is so many recent adaptations of historical era movies based on famous books such as Jane Austen, North and South with the stunning Richard Armitage. As a result a new generation of fans have been discovered historical romances and have fallen in love.
A second reason historical romance book sales are gaining respect is because people turn to a book either to relax or to escape their stressful lives (and escaping is part of relaxing, don’t you think?). Only a journey into new world can provide the kind of escape found in a historical novel. It may partly be the fantasy of vicariously living the life of the very rich, where handsome heroes vie for our attention and sweep us away into a magical world of happily ever after.
The upper class of Regency England spoke eloquently, prizing wit and excelling in the understatement attributed to British humor, something I try to bring that out in every historical novel I write.
Regency men were civilized and treated women with courtesy. When a lady entered the room, gentlemen stood, softened their language, offered an arm, bowed to the lady, and did other courtesies I wish men did in this day and age. But the men weren’t soft, oh no! They were athletic; they enjoyed to hunt, box, race, fenced. They were as manly as a girl could want. Honor ruled the day.
That is why I love them!
And that is why I love to read and write the Regency novel. My newest sweet historical novel is A Perfect Secret. Though it’s the third in a three book series, the Rogue Hearts series, it’s written as a stand alone book so you can read it without having read the other two.