Why do I write historicals? A few people have asked that question since I started writing. The truth is I’m not quite sure.
There’s always been a love of history in my family. When I was a child my mom dragged me to antique shops every weekend. Some people find antiques or “used objects” disturbing. But to me, every time I entered one of those old buildings full of even older objects, there was this surreal feeling, as if hundreds of souls were waiting to be found. I wondered, even at a young age, who owned that tortoise shell comb and those silver hair pins? How was her life different from mine?
The first romance I read was a historical so I suppose it’s not surprising that I write them. My older cousin brought home a handful of romance novels one day. I remember picking up Julie Garwood’s Guardian Angel and becoming mesmerized. Instantly I was transported to another era. I’d never read a book with such emotion and the life and death situations had me quickly flipping the pages and hoping for a happily ever after. I couldn’t put it down and pretty much stayed in the same spot all day. When I closed it my heart felt full, warm. I was only sixteen at the time, but I was completely and totally hooked.
Of course there are some people who attribute a person’s interest in a certain time period to reincarnation. Do you believe in past lives? Me, I’m not positive either way, to be honest, but I certainly hope I have an open enough mind to consider that anything is possible. From a very early age, I’ve loved history. I even went into Anthropology because of my love for the past. I didn’t want to live in a mansion, nope. I wanted a huge Queen Anne home. And those beautiful Victorian dresses with their intricate detail amazed me. Perhaps, at one time, I lived during the Victorian era. Who knows?
Or perhaps I love history merely because of the idealized romanticism we’ve placed on the past. No one can doubt there is an elegance and a simplicity of the past that calls to us. A time when one settled on their veranda and sipped tea while children played in the yard. A time when strolling through town in your best dress was the highlight of your week. A simpler time when the house probably smelled like cinnamon and fresh air. When clothing and homes contained such minute detail that they were a piece of art unto themselves.
While Regencies are popular, I choose to write during the Victorian era. In the United States fingerprints left by the Victorian era abound. There’s something about the Victorian era that has always called to me. I grew up in the Midwest where Victorian homes were a staple in small towns. And when I think of antique dresses, there are none more beautiful than the Victorian with their bell skirts and delicates laces. Not only is the Victorian era ornate and beautiful, but there’s also something to be said for their repressed and coquettish reserves toward intimacy. The flick of a fan could mean a passionate liaison. Women were working outside the home, people were traveling more, studying more…there was a surge of interest in everything, including sexuality. Underneath those confining dresses were lacy undergarments waiting to be revealed. Why do I like writing historicals? As I mentioned in one interview, tight corsets and fitted riding breeches…need I say more?
So which era has always appealed to you and why? Leave a comment. Three people will win a copy of my debut book, Wild Heart!
“What is it?” Leo asked.
His warm hand rested at the small of her spine, his fingers curling around to the side of her waist. Even though no one would notice the intimate touch, she noticed.
How could she explain that she didn’t know if she could stand another day with him? If her feelings already ran this deep, how would she feel in the end? Would they part and never see each other again? She didn’t think she could bear that.
His other hand rested on her arm.
Her stomach jumped. “You need to socialize,” she said in a rush of air.
“You…you need to socialize.” She nodded toward the ballroom. “You said you’d come here to mend your reputation, so go fix it.”
He pulled her back and spun her around, so he was in front of her, blocking the guests from view. Ella took a step back, until her shoulder blades hit the wall. Leo followed, his body pressing closer.
He lifted a brow. “That is what has you bothered?”
She nodded. “Yes.”
He grinned and leaned closer, his hand braced on the wall beside her head, trapping her.
“What…what are you doing?” Was that her voice that came out in a high pitched squeak?
He leaned so close, his breath was a warm caress against her ear. “I think that dance made you uncomfortable, and my presence unnerves you.”
She couldn’t look at him for fear he’d read the truth in her eyes. “Don’t be ridiculous. Why would it?”
“Perhaps touching me reminded you of the folly.”
Her gaze jumped to his. Surely, no gentleman would mention what had happened there. Yet, he was very adamant that he was no gentleman. Her face burned with embarrassment, but she couldn’t seem to look away. There was a connection between them, a connection she couldn’t explain, yet it had been there from the very first moment she looked into his eyes.
“Of course not, why would it?”
“Some say that intimacy between a man and woman is like a dance.” He leaned so close, his lips touched her ear and sent shivers of heat down her spine. “I haven’t stopped thinking of the folly. It haunted me all last night.”
Ella swallowed hard, willing her heart to cease its mad race. Just when she’d decided to treat him as a friend, he went and did this to her…made her body ache with a need only he could satisfy.
She closed her eyes for a brief moment, praying for strength. “Why must you insist on teasing me?”
“Tease? I never tease.” He reached out and took a loose curl between his fingers. “Teasing implies that you flirt without satisfying. And I always satisfy.”