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Why Both Contemporary and Historical?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The general wisdom in the romance end of the publishing industry is that an unproven (i.e., unpublished or debut) author should focus on writing just one thing: she should write either contemporary romance or historical romance. She should write Amish or romantic suspense. It’s better that way, we’re told, because it’ll be easier to pitch ourselves to publishers as a single type of writer (a contemporary romance novelist, a historical romance novelist).

So I get asked quite often how I was able to not only write both contemporary and historical but get published in both right from the start of my career as a published author. This question came up once again over the weekend on a romance writers’ e-mail list of which I’m a member, and I thought I’d share some of my answer with y’all.

Why do I write both contemporary and historical? Was I following the market and choosing what was selling?
I write both contemporary and historical because I’ve had ideas for both contemporary and historical novels, and I’m published in both contemporary and historical because I had both acquired by publishers. I most definitely didn’t follow the market—when I first started writing Ransome’s Honor, I had just heard at the 2005 ACFW conference that historicals were dead, dead, dead, dead and NO ONE was acquiring them (they were all looking for chick lit that year, and I wasn’t writing that, either). But I kept writing the historical because I loved the story (and I was writing it while I was finishing revisions on Stand-In Groom as my master’s thesis).

In 2006, when Stand-In Groom was a finalist in the Genesis contest, we heard at ACFW that while they were acquiring historicals again, not to even think about pitching Regencies—because publishers weren’t touching Regencies with a ten-foot pole. Guess what—Ransome’s Honor is set in England in 1814, making it a Regency. But I kept writing it—and expanded it from a category-length idea to a three-book proposal.

In January 2007, I signed with my agent (Chip MacGregor) based on his reading Stand-In Groom. At the 2007 ACFW conference, I pitched both the Brides of Bonneterre series (Stand-In Groom, Menu for Romance, and A Case for Love) and The Ransome Trilogy to Rebecca Germany, the only editor with whom I got an appointment. She wanted to see the contemporary—but passed on the historical, because Barbour had just published MaryLu Tyndall’s pirate series and had just acquired her Charles Towne Belles series and felt Ransome was too similar. At that conference, I had the opportunity to get to know Kim Moore from Harvest House and we discovered a shared love of Jane Austen and Horatio Hornblower. The next year, she was instrumental in Harvest House acquiring the Ransome series.

I enjoy writing both contemporary and historical stories. To me, there’s really not a lot of difference in the two—except for the amount of research, because more is required for the historicals, as well as more of a focus on language. It still takes the same amount of effort to create the characters, develop the relationship, and work out the plot. I have readers who read both my contemporaries and my historicals and, I’m certain, some who read only one or the other. I have some readers who prefer the contemporaries to the historicals (but some of them admit that they really don’t enjoy most historicals as much as contemporaries) and vice versa.

Which does better in the market, historicals or contemporaries?
As far as sales go . . . as a genre, historical romance outsells contemporary romance exponentially (in both the CBA and the general market). And all you have to do is look at the list of titles of the finalists in the “contemporary romance” categories of the 2011 Christys and Carols to take the temperature of how well true contemporary romance novels are doing in the CBA—in the Christys, the finalists were all romantic suspense; in the Carols, they’re all Amish novels. So where does that leave those of us who are writing “simple” (oh, the irony) contemporary romance novels? Well . . . between a suspenseful rock and a “plain” hard place. It’s hard to be taken seriously as a genre when the two major awards for the CBA don’t even have the books that can truly be labeled “contemporary romance” as finalists. (I don’t consider Amish novels to fit the label “contemporary” because the whole draw of them is the pseudo-historical Amish lifestyle. Romantic suspense is, technically, a different genre from contemporary romance, with a different plot structure and different story/character needs and expectations.)

Specifically with my books, it’s a little harder to compare contemporary sales to historical sales, because my contemporaries have sold better than my historicals to date—but the Ransome series is a continuing-story series, and it’s hard for those to sell as well (especially the second book in a trilogy) until the entire series is published, so over the next six to twelve months, I hope to see the sales numbers for those books increase, since the final book in that series just released. But that’s also one of the reasons why I decided not to go with a continuing-story series for this new historical series. I’ve “branded” myself with my contemporaries for novels that can be read as stand-alones, though they are tied together by secondary characters and settings. So I’m taking that brand over into the historicals with this new series, which will hopefully result in better sales from the start instead of having to wait and try to build the sales after the final book comes out.

Which do you prefer?
As readers, we all have preferences. So which do you prefer to read—contemporaries or historicals? For those of you who are also writers, which do you prefer writing?

  1. Tuesday, August 16, 2011 4:05 am

    Interesting question I love historicals always have but I also like contemporary. I have just finished Ransome’s Crossing and then Quest. I have to say I am so glad I waited til I had book 3 as if I had finished book 2 without book 3 I would have gone mad having to wait. I am sure alot will now buy these two now the last one is out.
    I can see how these books and some of M.L. Tyndall’s books are similar but also quite different.
    I have to say reading book 2 I could get the feel of the hornblower series.
    I am glad you didn’t go down the chick lit route.
    I do read Amish but you are right about them not really being contemporary as they have the old world feel.


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 1:21 pm

      The other issue for Barbour in deciding not to acquire the Ransome series is that it isn’t set in America—and they do try to stick with U.S. settings.


      • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 6:20 pm

        Oh thats a pain. I noticed a few companies also have this policy. I love reading of other places. Reading Ransome’s crossing I was remembering Hornblower and some of the things that happened there to the midshipmen. I really wish I still had my video’s of hornblower to watch feel like a fix about now.


        • Lady DragonKeeper permalink
          Friday, August 19, 2011 6:12 pm

          That’s an interesting reason why Barbour would pass on the Ransome trilogy … I don’t think “Ransome” would be as good without the British settings and characters. I just tried to picture it in my head and … it’s unfathomable.

          It’s sort of funny that right after I finished “Ransome’s Quest”, I read MaryLu Tyndall’s “Surrender the Dawn”. It was a bit weird for me, ’cause the British are the “bad guys” in that one … and I think she mentioned an Admiral Cochrane there also (though the Ransome trilogy is set after the War of 1812). =)


  2. Tuesday, August 16, 2011 6:12 am

    Interesting, Kaye! I’m a contemporary girl through and through…both for reading and writing. I enjoy a historical on occasion, but my first love is contemporary.

    And interesting about the Carol awards. One of the contemporary romance finalists, Plain Jayne, is packaged as an Amish book, but it bridges the gap and in my opinion, falls more on the contemporary romance side with a chick-lit voice. It has some Amish setting in it, but the heroine is modern and hilarious! 🙂 To your point, though, its cover design says a lot about what’s selling right now.


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 1:26 pm

      I don’t have a problem with the existence of Amish fiction—more power to the readers and writers of it! But just like romantic suspense, I feel like Amish should be its own category—because, even as people have said here, there are certain expectations and differences that mark a true Amish novel. But I know I’m tilting at the wind here—RS and Amish will continue to be lumped with contemporary romance, because CR will never be a large enough segment of the market to stand on its own.


  3. Kav permalink
    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 6:49 am

    I love both and Amish and romantic suspense! LOL. I like variety.

    I would think that an author might gain more readers by doing both. If they captivate a contemporary reader that reader might just take a leap into the same author’s historical books because she loved the contemporary.

    I just finished Ransome’s Quest too…and like Ausjenny, read Crossing right before because I’d had heard about that cliff-hanger ending. LOL. Interesting that you mentioned focusing on the language in historicals because I really felt that when I was reading Quest. Your historical ‘voice’ is very different from your ‘contemporary’ voice. Quite amazing.


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 1:36 pm

      I think the reason why it’s better for a new author to focus on one or the other (or the other or the other) is because it’s easier for the author to build a brand/a following with one type of fiction done well. Which is why so many authors who do decide to branch out and write some other genre tend to do so with a pen name (Nora Roberts and Danielle Steele being two of the most famous). Of course, once they’ve built a worldwide reputation and their readers are clamoring for everything those authors have ever written, then that’s when you see books labeled “Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb.”

      However, making the switch doesn’t always work, and I’ll explain that in another comment! (It’s almost a blog post in and of itself!)


      • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 2:11 pm

        Actually . . . it is another blog post in and of itself. It’ll be tomorrow’s blog post, as a matter of fact!


  4. Audry permalink
    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:21 am

    It’s really surprising to me that historical romance is so much more popular than contemporary. In my experience, it’s harder to find really well-done, convincing historical fiction than well-done, convincing contemporary fiction. I don’t read a ton of historical (romance or otherwise) but in what I have read, I’ve found a lot of contemporary characters dressed up in period costumes and plopped down in a historical setting. Characters often speak like they’re from the 21st century, and even more often think that way. I think writing a novel that’s true to its historical context but still resonates with a contemporary audience is a delicate balancing act, and a good number of attempts fall short. Again, this is a generalization and based on my admittedly limited personal experience. That said, I read all kinds of different things and I have been pleasantly entertained by any number of historical novels despite this. I tend to choose my fiction by author more than genre – I love finding an author whose writing I love and who has written a LOT of books!

    I also never knew that “Amish” was a category 🙂


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 1:41 pm

      I didn’t read a contemporary romance novel until I was in my late twenties. I grew up reading historical romance, from the time I got my hands on my mom’s Jude Deverauxes and Catherine Coulters when I was twelve or so. I tried reading the contemporaries, but I just didn’t enjoy them. I think it’s because it was easier for me to get completely lost in the reading experience with a historical because there weren’t things in it constantly reminding me of the real world. (And my favorites have always been medievals.)

      It’s easier for me to read historical that are set during time periods about which I don’t know as much—for example, I was never able to read anything set during the Civil War, and now I have a hard time reading anything set during the Regency era or that’s set aboard a ship, especially a Royal Navy ship…simply because I’m always checking their facts against what I know and the research I’ve done.

      And Amish isn’t a separate category . . . I just think it should be.


  5. Sylvia M. permalink
    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:57 am

    I like to read both contemporary and historical.

    Audry has a very good point about so many historicals having twenty-first century characters being plopped into nineteenth century costumes and settings. One reason I lean a little more toward contemporary is because of this. Unless a historical is extremely well-researched with women who have the mindset of that time I don’t usually read or finish it. I have read some recently that have a single woman of the nineteenth century be independent with a career and take off out west. It’s all right if everybody thinks it’s strange and abnormal. What I don’t like is when everyone accepts it as usual and embraces it with no qualms. It would have been shocking back then. I read one from the late 1800’s where the lady was apartment hunting and going on private, unchaperoned walks with the minister who was single. Some of the best historicals I have read are by Julie Klassen, Laura Frantz, Kaye Dacus, Sarah Sundin and the Cheney Duvall, M.D. series by Gilbert and Lynn Morris.

    The contemporaries that I like best are ones where I personally identify with the characters and could see myself in their shoes with their careers, occupations, churches and romance. If they have careers, interests and friends that I’m not interested in or feel like it’s something I could possibly do then I really don’t like to read them much.

    As you can see I get very emotionally involved with the books I read. I try to feel along with the characters. My sisters say I analyze books too much and become too involved.


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 2:17 pm

      It think it would come as a surprise to many people—because we’ve been so “educated” by historical romances/films into believing that women couldn’t do anything on their own in the 19th century—to learn that there were women who owned property and who had their own businesses (and not just seamstress/millinery shops) and who staked their own claims out West or who traveled alone in wagon trains. It was done. But the modern-day reader can’t believe it because a century of popular fiction (both written and visual) tells us otherwise.


      • Sylvia M. permalink
        Tuesday, August 16, 2011 4:44 pm

        I realise it was done. I just didn’t think it was popular or that well accepted.


        • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 4:50 pm

          It’s mostly because we have a post-Queen Victoria view of history. Victoria, bless her heart, did more to thwart women’s rights and freedoms than anyone in the past two hundred years. Before Victoria took the throne, women were starting to have access to freedoms and rights they’d never had before. But Victoria’s reign, and the culture and social customs that rose from it, took all of that away and relegated women back to second-class citizens with few rights and fewer freedoms. And the rest of the Western world followed suit.


  6. Liz (Roving Reader) permalink
    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:59 am

    It’s really interesting that most contemporaries are either Amish or romantic suspense. I’ve tended to avoid Amish series- I’m sure there are some great books in the genre, but they seem fairly predictable (forbidden romance with an “Englischer”, being shunned for something, etc.) Even the covers of most Amish novels seem to blur together in my mind.

    I must say that I prefer reading historicals…I think because I enjoy getting lost in a place and time completely different from my own. I’m really looking forward to reading your new series set at the Great Exhibition-it’s a really neat premise and all the individual storylines sound great!


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 2:52 pm

      Romantic suspense is a separate genre, with its own imprints at many publishing houses (like Love Inspired Suspense), and I think publishing houses tend to favor RS over regular contemporary romance because there is a wider audience for it. There are some women who would never consider picking up a “regular” romance novel who will read a romantic suspense because of the suspense element to it.

      About the Amish covers . . . there’s a saying around the industry that the best way to ensure a bestseller is to “put a bonnet on it.” Ten or fifteen years ago, this meant a sunbonnet (because back then, the bestselling romance novels were the prairie-westerns like Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly series). Now it means an Amish/Mennonite/Quaker (or even Puritan) bonnet, or kapp.


  7. Tuesday, August 16, 2011 9:07 am

    Historical to both questions, though now and then I’ll read a contemporary, either mystery or romance (Love Remains just arrived in my mailbox). What I don’t care too much for is what I believe is called “women’s fiction,” stories about issues, relational or emotional.* I want to read what I like to write, stories with a dash of that issue/relational stuff to spice a main dish of adventure, physical peril, romance, and a richly drawn historical setting that is a major part of the conflict. A contemporary that manages to combine all this (except the historical setting, obv.) is Charles Martin’s THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US.

    *There are a few exceptions. I’ll read anything by Charles Martin, whose stories are similar in tone to Nicholas Sparks but with much more satisfying endings. I also enjoy Linda Nichols’ contemporaries.


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 3:04 pm

      There are certain words/phrases I look for in book cover copy so that I know to avoid it:
      dark secret . . . haunts and terrifies
      shattering journey
      emotional torment
      tragic turn
      tragic set of events
      relational drama
      marriage dissolved
      emotionally evocative
      broken pieces of her life
      coming-of-age story
      family issues
      troubled marriage

      …and so on.


  8. Tuesday, August 16, 2011 9:30 am

    I cut my teeth on prairie romance, but honestly, I burned myself out on Amish when I had to wait a YEAR between the third and fourth books in a series – a series that I was certain only had 3 books. Oy. It’s really only been since I discovered the Ransome series and Laura Frantz’s books that I’ve started devouring historical again – but for some reason I’m still avoiding Amish. Maybe because I know so many REAL Amish in this area. After RQ, I read Susan Page Davis’ “The Crimson Cipher.” VERY cool era of history, pre-WWI!

    And then, of course, I love, love, love contemporary. I love suspense, I love humor, I love plain ol’ romance, and that’s what I write, as well.

    I will admit, though,that I’ve had a niggling idea in the back of my head about a depression-era story based on my grandmother’s experience working in a WPA job at the University of Kentucky . . . or maybe a western . . . A dark-haired, dark-eyed marshal who rescues a damsel in distress . . .


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 3:09 pm

      I’ve only been able to make it through reading one Amish novel—and then only because it was written by a former critique partner. I’m not interested in the Amish lifestyle and don’t find that setting somewhere I want to spend several hours of my life, especially in a fictionalized version of it (I just spent several days this summer in Ohio Amish country for real—that’s enough for me).

      I love that many Christian publishers are starting to branch out with the time periods they’re acquiring in historical romance—just as you got burned out on Amish, I got burned out on both prairie/frontier/Old West as well as Regency, and until recently, those were really the only two settings available (western settings in Christian fiction and Regency settings in the general market).

      As for the dark-haired, dark-eyed marshal rescuing the damsel in distress, he wouldn’t look anything like this would he?


      • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 3:26 pm

        Hmmmm. Maybe. Maybe less scruffy, or at least cleans up REALLY WELL. 😀 I know exactly what he looks like, because I’ve actually written a couple of chapters of that story, but never took it any farther. Maybe something like THIS?

        As for the burn-out, I think burning myself out on prairie romances is what burned me out of Amish quickly. I devoured all of the Janette Oke books I could find as a teen, then any others i could find. I was so GLAD when I found contemporary!


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 6:31 pm

      I think one issue with the Amish is that they are portrayed as very Godly and devout but in reality they are under the rule of the bishops and they make the rules. I recently read some articles from an Amish lady who had escaped as she wanted to study more and was sick of the constant beatings. She had to run away to get away and she wrote how even babies are disciplined to stop them crying in church. She said she learnt that a thicker piece of wood hurt less when being hit by it than the thinner pieces and this sort of discipline happened most days.
      Most books show the nice side but I have read a couple that have talked about spousal abuse and other abuse which is good to see as it shows that they are not perfect. I think many people are fascinated by there lifestyle without so much understanding it all.


  9. Tuesday, August 16, 2011 10:17 am

    Interesting post, Kaye! I enjoyed reading it! As a reader, I prefer historicals for the most part. However, I do read contemporary from time to time.

    I recently downloaded the first book in the Ransome series, and look forward to reading soon. 🙂


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 3:11 pm

      Hi, Michelle!
      I tend to be like you—I prefer reading historicals, but I supplement it with the occasional contemporary.

      Hope you enjoy Ransome’s Honor!


  10. Barbara permalink
    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 10:54 am

    I like reading and writing contemporary romance the best. I’ll read historicals if they’re by an author I like already–and thereby have discovered some really good historicals which I wouldn’t otherwise have noticed.


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 3:12 pm

      There are very few authors who write both from whom I enjoy reading both historical and contemporary. I love Susan May Warren’s contemporaries, but didn’t enjoy the Heirs of Anton series quite so well. On the other hand, I love Linda Windsor’s historicals and contemporaries. So, it really depends on the author as well as the settings/storylines for the historicals.


      • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 6:08 pm

        Had it not been for Heirs of Anton, I never would have discovered Susan May Warren at all. Or ACFW. Saw them in the CBD catalog and had to have them because of the setting.


      • Sylvia M. permalink
        Tuesday, August 16, 2011 11:32 pm

        I’ve heard of Linda Windsor, but don’t think I’ve read any of her books. I’ll have to check some out of the library.


  11. Tuesday, August 16, 2011 12:04 pm

    I enjoy reading both contemporaries and historicals. I lean toward contemporaries. Interestingly enough, my first, as yet unpublished novel is a contemporary. That is simply the book God gave me. At the same time, I am doing research for a historical. I write what I love and hope and pray it finds a marke!


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 3:13 pm

      Norma, you can’t do better than that . . . writing what you love. That’s what I did.


  12. Tuesday, August 16, 2011 12:15 pm

    I read more contemporary than historical but I like both. I loved the Ransome series because although it’s a Regency (not my favorite), it moves beyond that world into the eastern Caribbean, a place rarely seen in fiction. You nailed the language and customs of the time, as far as I could tell, and kept it interesting. (You’d probably be great at the steampunk genre.)

    I too hate the historicals that have 21st century language, customs or mannerisms. Ruins the books.

    Another thing I loved about Ransome was that it was a continuing story, something I also don’t see too often. (Mostly I see stand alones with obvious plants for the sequels.) But contemporary is my definitely my favorite.


    • Audry permalink
      Tuesday, August 16, 2011 1:17 pm

      I really like that the Ransome series is a continuing story too. I’m surprised that continuing stories don’t sell as well.


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 3:16 pm

      I loved being able to write a continuing-story series with Ransome. The problem lies in the tricky marketing for that second book—especially since these books came out a year apart. It’s really hard to sell the second book in a trilogy when the store might not have the first book and the third book doesn’t come out for another whole year (and the covers say The Ransome Trilogy on them, so it was easy to see that it’s part of a series). One of the reasons that my contemporaries don’t have numbers on them, even though they do have a series name, is because the marketing department didn’t want people to think that the books had to be read in order and that there would be a continuing story aspect to it—because fewer people will buy those.

      I just saw someone say in a discussion on Goodreads earlier today that she downloaded Ransome’s Honor, but she doesn’t want to read it because she doesn’t want to get sucked into it and then not be able to read the next two books immediately (because she can’t afford to buy them right now). So that’s why it’s harder to sell a continuing-story series.


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 3:18 pm

      As far as stand-alones with “obvious plants for the sequels,” I never set out to write that way—it just happened that as my secondary characters developed in the course of one story, ideas started growing for those characters to continue on with stories of their own. In a way, they’re like a continuing-story series, just featuring different viewpoint characters in each volume.


  13. Lissie permalink
    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 3:01 pm

    I love reading and writing historical fiction. I’ve always had a fascination with history, so it naturally comes through in what I read.


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 3:18 pm

      Are there certain eras you do/don’t like to read, or are you willing to give any historical era a chance through fiction?


  14. Tuesday, August 16, 2011 6:14 pm

    I prefer to read historical. So long as it’s NOT set out west or on the prairie. Karen Witemeyer is the only exception to that right now. I have Erica’s Idaho Brides collection but haven’t been in the mood to read it yet.

    I’m another one who really doesn’t like it when it’s just a 21st century character plopped into a historical setting. I don’t really like Regencies, because all the social stuff bores me to tears. I’ll read them only if it has Kaye’s name on it or Laurie Alice Eakes or Louise Gouge. Anyone else and I won’t touch it.

    And of course I write historical too. I’m a stickler for the little details that bring something to life. I spent the bulk of last week tracking down information on the education of the sons of the nobility in Russia from 1900 to 1914. Didn’t have as much luck as I wanted, but I found some other great stuff in the process.


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 11:46 pm

      Is Laurie Alice actually writing Regencies, or is she writing books set in America in the early 19th century? A true Regency must be set in Britain—after all, the Regency only happened in Britain—and for part of that time America was at war with them, so why would something set in America during that time be considered a “Regency”?


      • Wednesday, August 17, 2011 12:53 pm

        She’s got an actual Regency coming out in October, A Necessary Deception. It’s a murder mystery and the hero is a French spy! She’s contracted for three in the series, in addition to the Midwives books that are same time period but set in Virginia.


  15. Clari permalink
    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 7:29 pm

    I, too, burnt out on historical for awhile, but I’ve been sucked back in lately. Either they’re getting better, or I just needed a break for a little while. I’m really enjoying Carla Capshaw’s Roman Gladiator books by Love Inspired Historicals. Totally different setting! (Just picked up “The Champion” today.)

    I love Georgette Heyer’s books (not her mysteries), and I think it would be fun to see someone bring that niche to Christian Fiction.

    Kaye, I like your list of words/phrases that you look for…I have almost that same mental list when reading a book’s cover. If someone compares a writer to Nicholas Sparks I will NOT be reading that writer’s work. I don’t do angst. There’s enough of that in the news. I like the spice of danger and suspense, but not the sadly-ever-after endings, etc.

    Just finished Ransome’s Quest…SWEET! Loved it! Now I need to pick up Art of Romance!


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 11:47 pm

      I have the sample chapters of the first of Carla Capshaw’s gladiator books on my Kindle. I’m really looking forward to reading it!

      And, like you, seeing an author compared to Nicholas Sparks is pretty much a guarantee I won’t be picking that one up!


  16. Stephanie WIlson permalink
    Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:22 pm

    I would have to say that I prefer historicals but in all honesty will read anything. I am a HUGE fan of Lori Wick and have literally all her books. My favorite series of her is the English Garden.


  17. Wednesday, August 17, 2011 9:05 pm

    I am very much a Historical person. But they have to be clean historical romances, the raunchy historicals are not my type. Everything seemed so simple back then compared to what we have in society these days. Plus I am a sucker for well-written descriptions of the gowns, the parties, etc.
    I don’t care where it is set, prairie or Regancy England. It’s probably why I am such a huge fan of Ever After and Dr. Quinn medicine Woman. Historical romances set in different time periods, but they both captivate me.
    I was a History major in school for these reasons, I love learning about different time periods and seeing what life was like for them and how it has changed and yet how it has stayed the same, too.


  18. Saturday, August 20, 2011 3:58 pm

    I tend to read more contemporary books for some reason. Every once in a while I’ll read a historical novel– although I have to say, once I get hooked on an author, I will likely read all their books, historical or contemporary.


  19. Lisa permalink
    Tuesday, January 10, 2012 6:23 pm

    Kaye, I only just read your Ransome trilogy a few weeks ago, and loved every bit! I am a historian (MA in History, with British history, lit, and culture being my favorite, but I’m a generalist and teach American History and Western Civ). Even as a young girl, Jane Austen was a favorite of mine, and I can’t get enough of any movie that has to do with the Regency period (and I love Hornblower, too).

    I just found your web site, and haven’t read everything posted yet, but I do have a question that may have already been asked. Do you have any plans to write more on the Ransome family? Would you consider it, and would your publisher consider it? In my humble opinion, your novels are excellent: (1) give a true feel of the era; (2) cover many details, even in the daily operations of the British Navy and on board the ships; (3) your characters are thoroughly developed, and I feel like I have made friends with some of them.

    Absolutely love your writing, and even though historical is my favorite, I will venture further and try your contemporary novels. Looking forward to your Great Exhibition series! 🙂



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