Another risk-taker here

Hi! I’m just back from Maine (authors of risky Regencies need relaxing vacations). So what do I think is a risky Regency? To me, it’s a story that has some element that may seriously upset some readers.

Before I started writing Regencies myself, I didn’t realize that there were some readers with rigid expectations of the genre. I’d read books ranging from Georgette Heyer (and endless imitations) to unusual stories like Karen Harbaugh’s VAMPIRE VISCOUNT, Gail Eastwood’s THE CAPTAIN’S DILEMMA (hero is a French POW), Mary Jo Putney’s THE RAKE AND THE REFORMER (an alcoholic hero, a non-virgin heroine) and didn’t see a problem with any of this glorious variety.

When my own books started coming out, I was startled by some of the comments on Amazon, both rants and raves. I never intended to upset anyone, but a couple of things did set some readers off:

1) Sex. One reader even insisted that “Regency women didn’t do that”. Um, have sex with their husbands? Where did the Victorians come from, then? But I understood her point: she just didn’t want to know about it.

2) Heroines who are desperately seeking something, even if they don’t know what it is, and make mistakes or misbehave in pursuit of that something.

My next book, LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE, has both those risky elements and more. Ah well… I’m braced for mixed responses. At least I don’t think I will bore anyone!

BTW I can’t wait to read Cara’s book; Atalanta sounds like my kind of heroine. If heroes can be rakish and tortured, why can’t the heroines cause some trouble, too?

About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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Janet Mullany
17 years ago

Elena, I love your definition of a risky Regency!
You know, one thing that bothers me is that the children of our heroes/heroines became Victorians. So by the time they became parents themselves, they were busy wrapping up the piano legs and telling their daughters to lie back and think of England. What went wrong? How did they explain that granny and grandpa might have some funny ideas?
It’s an idea I touch on in “Dedication” where the old radicals (particularly the hero) feel out of step with the younger generation who seem to have become excessively polite and rather tame–Victorians in the making.
I also love the idea of a heroine who makes mistakes, from passion or misguided idealism.

Cara King
17 years ago

As to the Victorians — I’ve always heard that the English aristocracy pretty much went on their merry way during the Victorian period, perhaps in private, but still quite merry. So we can imagine, if we wish, our characters’ offspring having themselves a fun little time (at least the aristocratic ones!) And even without that, they could always play tennis and reform the factories… πŸ™‚

But you know, I think my characters live in the eternal Regency — in a land where it will always be Regency. (Stands the church clock at ten to three? And is it still the Regency?)


Amanda McCabe
17 years ago

An eternal Regency-land—I like that. πŸ™‚ (Darn those smileys again!) I like to imagine that my characters’ children become explorers in Africa or eccentric collectors, something like that…

Amanda McCabe
17 years ago

BTW, I was lucky enough to get to read a “preview” of Cara’s book, and her heroine really is great and “risky”–she takes matters into her own hands, and is also not afraid to admit when she finds out she was wrong. Run out and get this book as soon as it comes out!

Cara King
17 years ago

Wow, Amanda, you are nice! πŸ™‚


Elena Greene
17 years ago

I love the idea of an eternal Regency-land, but I’m with Amanda. I like to imagine my characters’ children somehow escaping the worst of Victorian stuffiness. I think they’d all be reformers, maybe explorers or scientists or artists. The daughters won’t be the ones to puncture internal organs with their corsets, that’s for sure!

Laurie Bishop
17 years ago

Oooo! LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE has ::gasp:: sex and misbehavior? You better believe I’ll read it!!!

That is funny about the popular opinion of sex–or lack of it–in the Regency era. I’m sure the upper classes protected their daughters, but certainly sex happened! Sex happened in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, for that matter, and this was written by a woman of the time. She did disapprove of Lydia, but we can give Lydia better motivation and a happy ending. (Darn, I love being a writer!)