As I’m finishing my latest Regency romance (under the pseudonym Catherine Eleanor),The Wedding at Shire Hall, I have come to realize why, exactly, so many of us love reading romance from the early 1800s. It’s just a plain romantic era!
As a writer, I am enjoying the creativity of imagining what life was like…from the candlelit rooms to the dark shadows to the large manor homes. Write in a handsome grandson of an earl and a pretty young vicar’s daughter and you can certainly see where an author can go crazy with romance.
Since I traditionally write Amish romances (as well as contemporary women’s literature), I haven’t written many love scenes. All of my writing is clean and wholesome, even my Catherine Eleanor works. However, I have learned that really steaming romance does not take place between the sheets; rather, it takes place in the before and after: the ambiance of the rooms, the soft-spoken words, the tender caress, the passionate glances, the anticipation of what might happen later.
Sigh. Makes me eager to get back to writing just thinking of it.
One of the other aspects of the Regency Era that I love so much is the unwritten rules of society. In my Shire Hall series, young Amanda finds herself the ward of Lord Alexander Dorset. An unusual circumstance, to say the least, but one that benefits him tremendously as it will thwart the many eligible young women from trying to ensnare him in marriage. What he doesn’t expect is to find himself falling in love with the young, unsuspecting daughter of a vicar.
Now, in reality, could these things have actually happened in real life? Probably not. The grandson of an earl would not marry a woman like Amanda. But that is the beauty of writing fiction. We can be creative and let our imaginations guide the words that we write in order to create a love story in an era that was truly like no other!
Just this past week, I released Newbury Acres, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. While my novel is not set during the Regency era but, rather, the present day in an Amish setting, I found that romance can transcend time and location. Perhaps it is the mystique of the unknown that draws me to write about the Regency Era as much as I love writing about the Amish. For readers, too, I believe that they are attracted to these two very different genres for that same reasons.
There is just something romantic about life in an era (or, in the case of the Amish, community) where most people have zero personal experience. While I’ve enjoyed writing about the Amish and sharing my first-hand experience having been so intimately involved with so many communities over the past 25+ years, I’m enjoying researching the Regency Era and sharing what I learn in my Catherine Eleanor books.