Thursday, November 19, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY POST: Frequent Complaints About #HistoricalRomance @KarynGerrard


THIS POST was originally published 5/3/15


Just thought I would address a few complaints I've seen in forums and in reviews regarding historical romances. Forgive me if I cite the Victorian age, as that is the one I write in and am most familiar with.

"No way was there so many Earls, Dukes and Viscounts in the past."

No, there wasn't. However, if readers are willing to allow each paranormal/fantasy author to create there own individual worlds, why not historical authors? After all, what we are creating is fantasy as well to an extent. In Lorraine Heath's books, she has her own group of aristocrats. Anna Campbell has hers. And they belong to their worlds only, not any other author's. If you look at it that way, then there is a proper amount of aristocrats. :)



"I'm so sick of the trembling virgin who tames the decadent rake!"

Yeah, I hear you. But opposites attract. Because of the strictures of society through each individual era, most women were inexperienced virgins. And there is proof a lot of the young males of the aristocracy were wastrels and rakes to such an extent by the end of the Victorian age, a lot of the old families were on the brink of bankruptcy because their fathers or grandfathers gambled or blew their money on other vices. Which brings me to...



"There is no way an aristocrat would go to a sleazy alley for sex." (this from a review)

Again, oh yes they did. Ever read "The Picture of Dorian Gray?" Also, by The Victorian age, there was one prostitute for every four men in the city of London. And those upper crust gents loved to get their cheap thrills in the East End at sleazy brothels or in those smelly, disgusting alleys. Facts bear this out. Though the Victorian Age seems prudish on the surface, underneath was a raucous, seamy underbelly of sex and vice. That's why I love writing in this era! :)

"I can't stand the 'Big Misunderstanding' trope in a lot of historicals!"

I agree, as long as the misunderstanding isn't dragged out for the whole length of the book, and it isn't so lame that a frank discussion couldn't clear it up in a snap. Again, you have to remember the era the book takes place in. People were not as eager to share their feelings in previous centuries. Men in particular were seen as weak if they did so. Nor did couples communicate as openly as we do nowadays. Manners and social decorum ruled many lives. So I cut historical authors a little slack here.



"I automatically DNF any historical that mentions Jane Austen and her books!"

That is a little extreme to me, but Jane Austen was huge and still is to this day. Name one other author from the early 1800's with that kind of longevity and popularity. Also you can include the Bronte sisters and Dickens from the Victorian age. If I am writing a historical, why would I reference some obscure 19th century writers whose books went out of print a hundred years ago? Austen rocks. and so does Dickens.


I don't read the Dear Author blog as a rule, but in May 2013, she wrote an opinion piece stating Historical Romance Should Die. click HERE But since this has been written, we've found out that around this time "Jane" was actually NA author Jen Frederick, (who's first book was published Dec 2013) So her slamming another genre should be taken with a grain of salt. More than a few grains. I am pleased to see a lot of the comments didn't agree with her opinion. My opinion? Historical Romance still lives! And what a selection of eras, heat levels, and talented authors~

One point she did bring up is most historicals take place in the Regency age, that maybe some other eras should be explored. Tell that to the publishers. Regency sells, so who can blame them for wanting more?

You want different eras? Check out e-books. There is a wide swath of eras in ebooks, and yes, OMG, there is lots of sex. In my experience, most (but not all) historical ebooks lean toward the erotic, so for those with tender sensibilities, be prepared. Here's a hint, if the book has "Mistress" in the title, yeah...there's going to be a lot of activity of the sexual kind. *wink*

Enjoy historical romances, enjoy the eras they are set, and there is nothing like being swept away to another time with heroes and heroines that define the age. Enjoy!

~Karyn

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