Three cheers for the Risky Regencies and how exciting that I can count myself one of them as of today. Thanks to the long time members for thinking of me and making this happen. Now I have an outlet for the research that never gets used, for research that is so great I need to share more than the mention it gets in a book, to discuss story concepts, release of new books, both ePublished and from legacy publishers, and the general commenting back and forth that makes this blog one of the best.

But first I want to tell you how and why I became a writer of Regency set romance. When I started writing I wanted to write books with happy endings and romance was the only place that welcomed an upbeat ending. (It was more than 25 years ago) I started with contemporaries when Harlequin and Silhouette were in competition, in what I think of as the golden days of romance.

After selling two books in quick succession (FATHER CHRISTMAS is now available as an ebook) I sold nothing, zip, zero for twelve years. I wrote and submitted proposals and the occasional complete manuscript and shook my head, or yelled, or cried at every rejection. Then one day a good friend of mine suggested that I write a regency. My answer was, “But regencies don’t make any money.” And her reply (with exasperation edging her voice,) “Mary, if you wanted to make money you would have written to the market for the last twelve years.”

Oh. Good point. For me it’s always been about sharing the story. Making money is a wonderful fringe benefit. So I finished the regency that I had started years before and sold it within three months. And eventually I made money writing series for Kensington, Bantam and Berkley.

Why has it been such a good fit? I was a history major in college. For me history is crammed full of stories waiting to be told.

Even more important: the Regency is, I think, the first period in history that 21st century people can truly relate to. The early nineteenth century is when the pendulum begins to swing from doing what is good for the community to what is good for the individual. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century men and women considered, for the first time, marrying for love rather than for what a marriage could add to the family in terms of wealth, land or social advancement.

Add to that the war with Napoleon and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution and the period from 1800 to 1825 is a treasure trove of ideas and inspiration.

Why you love reading (or writing) regencies? What sort of stories do you enjoy the most?