Yesterday, I dropped off the revised manuscript of my purported Regency-set historical, Lessons In Love, to my agent. She asked me how I felt about the revision, and I said I liked it better now, but I wasn’t totally in love with the story. In discussing the challenges I’m facing with LIL, she mentioned that a lot of former traditional Regency authors have queried her with their Regency-set historicals but are having problems making their stories as big as a single-title Regency-set historical should be.
In other words, the plot for a traditional Regency can be smaller–will the lady be forced to become a governess, or can she snare the love of her life, because she promised her mother she would only marry for love, whereas a Regency-set historical is big–will the lady be forced to become a prostitute AND leave her family AND betray English secrets to the French, oh, and also she promised her mother she would only marry for love. It’s hard to think of creative ways to make the plot big without also adding in some eye-rolling at how ludicrously overwrought it is (or maybe that’s just me).
What do you think? Do you like BIG books? Are there single-title authors who use “small” plots but execute them in a big style? Are you tired of spies, or do you want more? And did you promise your mother you would only marry for love?