Is There Something in the Water?

Reading about Dorothy’s upcoming Five Star Regency, The Nude, made me suck in a fast intake of air. Her premise, if I’m reading correctly, involves an artist and a nude painting. The book-I-just-turned-in ALSO involves and artist and a nearly nude painting. Yipes!

How many times does this happen? We come up with an innovative plot and BOOM! discover someone else has thought of something similar? I think someone else has a Regency that deals with gossip and the newspapers, like my next one, Scandalizing the Ton…can’t remember who at the moment.

I am very confident that Dorothy’s book and my book will each be unique, but it makes me wonder. Why do we authors come up with similar ideas at the same time?

I mean, think about Cara’s My Lady Gamester and my The Wagering Widow. Both were released in 2005.

Here is the blurb for My Lady Gamester:
MY LADY GAMESTER is the story of an aristocratic card-sharp in Regency London—who just happens to be a woman.
Atalanta James is the daughter of the late Viscount James, who bankrupted his family in a single night of cards. Now Atalanta has arrived for a London Season, and seems to be as determined a gamester as her father.
The Earl of Stoke wants above all things to protect his family from the kind of gambling madness that infected both his father and older brother. Why, then, is he so fascinated by Atalanta James? And why does he feel such a strong urge to protect her from the sharks that swarm around her—and even from herself?

Here is the blurb from The Wagering Widow:
Guy, Lord Keating, laden with his father’s debts, elopes with “heiress” Emily Duprey…only to discover she is as poor as he! Now his only hope of saving his family and dependants is a reluctant return to the gaming tables. Emily needs to escape this marriage to a gamester like her father. But she needs more money than she can win as Lady Keating – so she becomes Lady Widow, a card-playing masked seductress! Then Guy recognizes the beautiful Widow as his quiet, mousy wife – and their inconvenient marriage takes an unexpected turn…

There are lots of similarities!

Cara and I are on opposite sides of the country and we have never been critique partners and yet our stories had similar elements. What wisp of creativity was in the air and traveled a whole continent and hit us both?


All of a sudden there seem to have been several Courtesan books out in close proximity. Because books are written one or two years before their release, it isn’t possible that writers were copying each other’s ideas.
The earliest copyright date I found was Julia Justiss’s The Courtesan (2005)but there are more, like Anna Campbell’s Claiming the Courtesan (2007). Again, the stories are not the same, but something was in the air telling writers to write Courtesan books.

What do you think? Do you see these waves of similar topics? Or am I nuts…..

(Next Monday I’ll be in San Francisco, a pre-conference visit with my niece. I’ll give you all a report!)

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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