I love history, which is probably obvious as I write historical romance. But when I’m writing, one of the crucial things which helped me discover my written voice, so my story began to lift off the page, was not putting this love of history into my books.
It does sound a bit strange doesn’t it? But although I know far more about the scenes and settings surrounding the story of Edward and Ellen in Illicit Love, I don’t share this. For instance, I know all the details of what they would wear, and what their garments were called in the 19th century, and the furniture about them in a room, I know all the details of how the servants ran the houses the story unfolds within, and how Edward’s carriage was cared for… Does it matter to you, the reader?
The answer is, probably not.
What you most likely want to hear, is the story, not my boring descriptions of this and that, or words which you’d have to go away and look up if you didn’t know them.
So there’s an art to writing historical romances, how to give you enough history to leave a picture behind in your imagination which lets you visualize the backdrop in a scene between Edward and Ellen, in its historical context, but to not distract you from their story.
I’ve slashed some lovely descriptive sentences in my editing, solely because my reader should be captivated in the intensity of emotion between Edward and Ellen, and not the setting of the room about them.
So I dip in and out of the history, sometimes almost using it as punctuation in a scene, and focus more on the people.
This is why I use letters and memoirs for research far more than text books. If someone’s written something in the 1800’s they do not talk about the furniture and clothing, as Jane Austen didn’t, they merely take you through the story, only placing people in different scenes, and giving you glimpses of information which allow your imagination to see the setting, but not dwell on it.
Perhaps this is why, people who don’t usually read historical romance, still get caught up by the story of Illicit Love, which is inspired by the memoirs of a real Regency courtesan.
If you read Illicit Love, I welcome feedback, so please leave a review on Amazon, and you can also let other readers know what you think on the Illicit Love Book Club page. http://illicitlovebookclub.wordpress.com/
I hope you enjoy it.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak about Illicit Love here, I really appreciate it.
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Date Published- 5/2/13
Ellen Harding longs to be free of the life she is trapped in - her husband died at the battle of Waterloo
and her family disowned her and now she lives under the reign of a cruel protector. When her eyes are
drawn to a beautiful man for no other reason than his looks, she imagines escaping her chains for a
night by giving her body to him – to a man of her choosing – even if only to infuriate her captor.
But Edward Marlow is kind and gentle when he touches her and her subconscious whispers that this
man could save her. Yet how can he help her when she has secrets which prevent her ever being free.
She has too many battles to fight.
Edward is restless, lonely and a little angry with his lot in life – it is his only excuse for being drawn to
another man’s mistress. The woman’s dark hair and pale eyes are striking and he cannot take his gaze
off of her while she watches him over the top of a fan with an illicit intent in her eyes. But once he’s
known her he cannot forget her - and once he’s seen how brutal her protector is, how can leave her
with the man? But she will not run anymore than she will speak of her past, so how can he help her…
Jane is qualified to the equivalent of a Masters Degree in People Management and is fascinated by the things which craft people's personalities, so she has great fun exploring these through characters. She lives in the United Kingdom near the Regency City of Bath and has just bought her 400 year old dream home. History has always tempted her imagination and she loves researching and also exploring ruins and houses to get ideas. She equally loves a love story.
Jane has always aspired to writing a historical novel so when she was thirty she put it on her ‘to do before I am forty’ list. She completed her first novel ten years ago, never sent it anywhere then started the next. She’s not stopped writing since, and escaping into a mental world of fiction is a great painkiller to help fight off her Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Jane is a member of RWA, RNA, and the Historical Novel Society.