Okay, I’ll admit to being guilty of this, too. Like many readers I know, I tend to talk about settings in terms of what I don’t want to see or what I am tired of seeing. However, I’m curious now to see what people DO want to read. From time to time, we talk historical settings and some folks defend their love of the Regency while some of us wish we could have opportunities to see a little more of the world.
The little poll below is by no means a giant comprehensive list of settings, but there are some ideas to get you started. Just vote and tell us what settings interest you most, and if what you most want to read isn’t on there, comment and tell us what it is. Chances are someone else out there wants to read it, too!
I love going to RWA nationals for a variety of reasons. However, one of the major thrills for me comes from getting to hear about upcoming books and forecasts for various subgenres of romance. This year, hearing about the various trends in publishing really struck me because many of the types of books listed seemed to hit at opposite ends of the spectrum.
On the one hand, we seem to be inhabiting a period of sweetness and light in book choices. Small-town romances with home and family themes seem to sell quite well. Indeed, some authors with small-town series such as Robyn Carr and Debbie Macomber have almost a cult following among readers. Similarly, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen stories about the astounding popularity of Amish/Mennonite romances. Their focus on the simple life and strong family ties again seem to speak to a lot of readers. And in historicals, the light, wallpaper Regency/Victorian is not exactly hard to find either.
First things first: I don’t hate the Regency. If you check my old reviews, you’ll find some Regency historicals out there that I’ve liked or even loved. Julia Quinn, Tessa Dare and Carla Kelly are all autobuys of mine. However, the Regency is like cake to me. I may like it occasionally, but I really don’t need a constant diet of it every single day of the week. I need a lot more variety than that.
Think about it. The glamourous mood of Edwardian England and prewar Europe, captured in art and literature with a poignant mix of innocence and decadence. The days when airplanes were so rare that people would run outside to watch when one flew overhead. The urgency of wartime romances, the Roaring ’20s, the determination of people to survive the Great Depression. Compared to how we live today, it’s starting to seem more and more faraway, isn’t it?
While I have enjoyed some of Susan Wiggs’ contemporaries, I vastly prefer her historicals, especially the wonderful Lord of the Night , which I believe will be coming out in re-release soon, though the author’s website does not give a date. When I saw that she had historicals coming out this summer, I was initially very excited even though the titles of the new books sounded dreadful. Then I dug a bit deeper and figured out that Harlequin is actually reprinting Wiggs’ Tudor Rose trilogy, but is changing the titles. Let the confusion begin!
Though I read many different types of romance, historicals remain at the top of my list. At various times, I find myself turning over in my mind a certain question, though. Why is it that I can easily forgive certain anachronisms in a book but cannot move past others? To some extent, a writer with a very good voice draws me into a story so absolutely that I will blow right past such things as title usage errors or flaws in the history. For example, there is a rather glaring historical gaffe found in On the Way to the Wedding that had some readers up in arms soon after the book’s release. However, I found the story so engaging that the anachronistic plot device found near the ending didn’t bother me at all – even though I knew good and well as I read it that it was not historically accurate.