Thanks to everyone for joining our Risky Regencies Blog Party last week! It was a lot of fun to get to know all of you.
(Of course, now I’m lying on the couch with a big bag of ice on my forehead and there are empty teapots and scone crumbs scattered everywhere.)
This week, the romance review website All About Romance ran Robin Uncapher’s column on 2005’s Buried Treasures (books, that is). Janet’s and my books were mentioned as traditional Regencies that were Buried Treasures, which is cool. Here’s what they said:
One could easily argue that any traditional Regency is a buried treasure, but we offer these two as buried treasures.
Dedication by Janet Mullany
Blythe Barnhill liked this unusual, “hot rated” traditional Regency about a 37-year-old woman and a 43-year-old hero who is a grandfather.
A Singular Lady by Megan Frampton
I liked this witty trad about an impoverished but very resourceful young woman who decides to marry for money and accidentally falls in love with an earl whom she mistakenly believes is poor. The chemistry between leads is excellent. The author is fond of literary references and readers who get a kick out of reading about very smart people will like this book. Megan Frampton is a former AAR reviewer.
Given that the traditional Regency has died a traditional death at traditional
publishers, it’s great to know people are still reading them, and what’s more, liking them. The column is run in conjunction with AAR’s Annual Readers’ Poll. Likely this will be the last year to vote for the best traditional Regency, so if you’ve read any you’ve enjoyed–the six Riskies’, or someone else’s–head on over and vote. And thanks for the kudos, AAR!
We talked about the demise of the trad when the news first became official, and I know some of the Riskies talked about our next projects. But what about you? What genres would you like to see more of? Which would you like to see less of? What trends do you like in romance? And, of course, what trends are you not so fond of?
I’ll answer, too: I’d like to see more medievals and more hybrid genres (medieval Romantica? Western suspense (“someone’s been killin’ all the cowpokes!”). I’d like to see fewer paranormals, unless it’s a hybrid (the straight vamp’n’wolf thing is getting tired, to me at least). I like the trend of writers taking more risks with their characters–Janet’s is a perfect example, with a heroine who’s experienced and likes it. Laurie talked a bit about the ‘imperfect’ heroine, and I like that trend a lot. It’s more interesting to read about real people (and as we all know, real people ARE imperfect). The trends I don’t like are . . . hm. Probably characters who jump from A to (Thinking About) Bed in a matter of moments; even the most sexually-focused people have other thoughts that rattle around their brains. That’s a habitual complaint, however, so isn’t exclusive to this year.
What are your thoughts?
Megan, Janet, congrats on the Buried Treasure status (though of course I wish Regencies were better-known Treasures!)
As far as what I’d like to see more/less of, I need to think about that. Talk later!
OK, I’ve thought about it, and what I’d like to see won’t ever happen.
The trend I’d like to see less of is…trends. Nothing wrong with rakish spy/dukes, but I’ve heard readers complain there are too many of them in Regency-set historicals. Nothing wrong with vampires (unless you count sucking blood and being undead) but they dominate the paranormal romance market, and I’ve heard complaints about them as well.
I think trends like this can lead to boom/bust stages for a genre. They result in less variety for the reader and a lot of stress for authors. They may write like banshees to keep up with the demand for their specialty, or stress out because their interests don’t fit the current trend.
But like I said, this won’t change. As I say to my kids, sometimes you just have to deal with it.
Cool re the buried treasures for your books, Megan and Janet 🙂
Re: trends – I’m with Elena. Fewer trends would be best. There are so many historical periods that just get ignored – it would be fun if writers could choose one they liked, write a great book set there and stand at least half a chance of having it published.
What I’d like to see overall…better writing, a more creative use of language, and I think then the cliches of plot and character would have to be retired.
Oh, and good covers.
As a reader, I hope that Regencies–both traditional and historical–do not disappear completely. I enjoy both the period and the style of the traditional Regency–and while there have surely been many forgettable or just plain bad books published in the genre, of what genre is that not true? There have certainly been plenty of good ones, and very good ones, as well.
That said, I agree that better (or at least more varied) covers would be a good thing. And I also agree that there are many periods that are neglected. I think the Georgian period has a lot to offer, once you get past the silly wigs. And now that we are in the 21st century, would it be so wrong to start setting “historical” books in the early 20th century? There is a lot of grist in the Edwardian period, WW I, and the Jazz Age. If Jane Austen inspired the Regency, what about E.M. Forster, Saki, and P.G. Wodehouse? Not to mention all the other great writers of those times.