Risk-taking…and a few mistakes

Risk-taking . . . and a few mistakes

Hi, it’s Megan Frampton, another dangerous risk-taker here. I have many, many theories about what makes a traditional Regency different from a Regency-set historical (not all of which I’ll share, thank your lucky stars), and when I wrote A Singular Lady (which comes out October 4, mark it on your calendars), I thought I was writing a Regency-set historical. I have since figured out I did not, not least of which is because Signet bought my book to publish it as a trad.
What makes my Regency different from the pelisse-and-Almack’s crowd? Well, first of all, my heroine is out to marry for money. Her father’s reputation means she is not allowed into Almack’s, she is not classically beautiful, and she swears on occasion. My hero wears scuffed boots, worn clothes, and hates the social scene. Plus they have sex before they’re married, and she doesn’t yelp about how much it hurts the first time.
Oh, and I screwed up my hero’s title, big-time, which means I’ll be getting plenty of finger-wagging mail from folks who know a lot more about titles than I do. But I hope people enjoy the story, because it’s fiction, after all.
I’m looking forward to meeting my fellow risky Authors, and whomever stumbles across our blog. Enjoy, post, share, discuss!


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17 years ago

I just stumbled across your blog. One of my friends was a big regency romance author – Norma Lee Clark. Best of luck with your writing.

Risky Regencies
17 years ago

Norma Lee Clark? Neat! I have a lot of her books. I did love the Fawcett Regencies so much — it was tragic when they ended. They were just so much fun.
— Cara

Risky Regencies
17 years ago

Megan, I don’t think you’re the only author who wrote what she thought was a historical, only to have it published as a traditional! When people ask the difference, I often shrug (or grin and roll my eyes, depending on my mood) and say “if it says “Regency” but not “Historical” on the spine, then it’s a traditional Regency. Otherwise, it’s a historical.” πŸ™‚ Simple, but true. Don’t forget, some of Jo Beverley’s earlier traditional Regencies were later reprinted as historicals! Definitely a huge amount of overlap. At least, that’s my humble opinion. (Yes, humble! I can be humble! Just watch me!) πŸ™‚
— Cara

Margaret Evans Porter
17 years ago

My first risk was setting a Regency in Ireland…although Clare Darcy had done so before me, I was repeatedly told this “would not work.”

And soon thereafter, it turned out to be my first published novel. That’s when I decided risk was a good thing!

Theatre settings are purportedly a risk, yet my theatrical regencies have sold perfectly well–first published in paperback, then hardcover reprints, and now an entirely new paperback double edition. Not to mention foreign translations!

I’m not sure what’s considered truly risky these days and will be interested in tracing the answers here. It depends whether the readership has got too rigid in its expectations–I certainly hope that isn’t so!

Happy blogging–


Sandra Schwab
17 years ago

First of all, congrats to all of you on entering blogging-land! πŸ™‚

Don’t worry, Megan, in my debut novel I screwed up my heroine’s underwear. *G* But thanks to Tonda’s wonderful underwear workshop in Reno, all my future heroines will be properly dressed — at least as far as the underwear is concerned.

Speaking of risky Regencies (er, that is Regency-set historicals), when I wrote THE LILY BRAND I wasn’t even aware that France was a no-no setting. *shrug* I guess in regard to settings, each
publisher or agent has different a different opinion on what would constitute a risky setting.

Personally, I’m game for anything, as long as I like the story. Isn’t it exciting to read about an exotic setting? To discover new things about the world?

So in my current WIP, I’m going for another unusual setting: the Black Forest in 1827! πŸ™‚

Cheers & happy blogging,

Risky Regencies
17 years ago

Ah, Margaret! I remember “Irish Autumn”! And I recall that, when it came out, I neither thought “A Regency set in Ireland? How new, I have to read it” nor “An Irish Regency? What’s the point?” I treated it much like any other Regency — at least, until I read it and loved it! πŸ™‚

So, here’s a fun trip down memory lane for anyone who’s willing: what non-English settings for Regency books stick in your mind? Here’s a few for me:

“The Blue Diamond” by Joan Smith (Fawcett, 1981) — IIRC, this is set in Austria with a German heroine — definitely unusual!

“Pretty Kitty” by Zabrina Faire (Warner, also 1981) — partly set in the United States, with an American heroine. Of course, later on, Warner (I think it was Warner) had a whole line of “American Regencies” — though it’s my understanding that from the get-go they weren’t hugely popular… (After all, isn’t the Regency fantasy the fantasy of marrying a Darcy-type, a British lord or at least gentleman?) πŸ™‚

And there were a variety of Scottish-set books — certain ones by Marion Chesney and Maggie MacKeever in particular stick in my mind.

Plus, of course, lots of books set “on the continent,” involving the Napoleonic Wars! A recent example — Shannon Donnelly’s “Lady Scandal” (Zebra, 2004.)

Now I’m off to figure out why I keep remembering books published in 1981! πŸ™‚

— Cara

Megan Frampton
17 years ago

You know, I don’t usually remember settings at all–just if I liked the story or not. I do remember Andrea Pickens’ Storybook Hero was set in Russia, but other than that? No clue. For me, it doesn’t really matter. I do get tired of the cliches almost every romance author (starting with Barbara Cartland) ‘borrows’ from Georgette Heyer, but I just think that shows unoriginality, I don’t blame the details themselves.
(Anyway, for ex., I didn’t notice anything but the delicious writing of your book, Sandra.)

Risky Regencies
17 years ago

Ah, Megan, good point about cliches! πŸ™‚ I remember at one point being annoyed by lobster patties being snabbled up. Why was no other food ever snabbled up? Why were lobster patties never devoured??? πŸ™‚

More settings that come to mind — several of Carla Kelly’s books were basically set in the middle of the ocean πŸ™‚ — and Alicia Rasley’s “A Royal Escapade” (1992) has a Russian heroine, and began in Russia — and Amanda McCabe’s “Scandal in Venice” (2001) is largely set in (you guessed it): Venice!

(who will soon convince herself that Regencies are never set in England.) πŸ™‚

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