From Guilty Pleasure to Livelihood: How I Came to Write Historical Romance.
I never expected to write regency romance novels. When I first started putting pen to paper I’d envisioned myself writing epic fantasy, horror, and gritty urban fantasy. Those were the types of novels I read out in the open, unashamed. I never considered the historical romances I always had covertly tucked deep in my backpack, under my bed and, eventually, in my purple toolbox. You see, flowery historical romances are not at all suitable for a goth mechanic and an unapologetic metalhead. Never mind that I cheerfully devoured two Judith McNaught novels while camped out for Ozzfest tickets.
But those romance novels made their mark on me anyway. No matter what I wrote, my characters always ended up falling in love. That worked for my paranormal romance novels, but not so much for horror. I shrugged and accepted the fact that I was a romance author… but not, you know, a ‘girlie’ romance author. Meanwhile I kept reading said ‘girlie’ books.
Then tragedy struck. I lost my mother on Valentine’s Day, 2009. Through that devastating experience, I got the idea for a new book. It started when I began to wonder when the first vampire craze happened in pop culture. Lo and behold, it happened in the Regency when Dr. John Polidori, Lord Byron’s physician, wrote the first vampire story in English. Not only that, but The Vampyre was started the same night, in the same place as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
WOW! The Regency era was the birth of the horror genre. Why was this delicious fact never mentioned in my beloved regency novels? It was up to me to rectify this glaring omission. I began writing BITE ME, YOUR GRACE, a fun tale in which an aspiring gothic authoress bent on ruining her reputation encounters a vampire struggling to save his.
I’d never before had more fun writing. The things I learned in my research tickle my fancy to this day. The world building was an adventure. Most of all, writing regency romance provided new challenges to my writing and an insight as to why I always loved reading them. In the regency world, there are so many rules to break and so many ways for the character to handle the consequences. Physical contact is a bigger deal. The slightest touch is amplified and savored. The stakes are much higher. If a touch lead to a stolen kiss…or ::gasp:: more, a marriage proposal had best be forthcoming. And marriage was FOREVER in those times.
BITE ME, YOUR GRACE taught me to abandon my shame for loving romance novels and embrace myself for who I am. And it was no surprise that my gruff, blue-collar drinking buddies still respect me and hail me as “one of the guys.” They still don’t understand what a “regency romance” is, no matter how many times I try to explain it, but they’re proud of me nonetheless and have promised to attend my release party.
BITE ME, YOUR GRACE will be released on April 2, 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca.
Author Bio: A lover of witty Regencies and dark paranormal romance, Brooklyn Ann combines the two in her new vampire series. The former mechanic turned author lives with her family in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. She can be found online at http://brooklynann.blogspot.com/.
Blurb: England’s “vampire craze” causes much vexation for the Lord Vampire of London, Ian Ashton. To save his reputation, Ian enlists aspiring authoress Angelica Winthrop without realizing she has hidden plans of her own.
Angelica Winthrop’s life goal is to ruin her reputation, avoid marriage, and become a gothic authoress like her idol, Mary Shelley. To find inspiration for her new story, she breaks into the home of Ian Ashton, Duke of Burnrath, not knowing she will be coming up against the Lord Vampire of London. Romance sparks and reputations are at stake. But who knows the real difference between fact and fiction?