Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Scoffing Romance

Romance as a genre has been scoffed at for many years with very few readers actually admitting to reading it, but it accounts for 38% of all books sold, therefore, as the poor sister in the publishing world, it does very well.

Until recently, Traditional Regency Romance has always been a favourite with readers, but about two years ago, the New York Publishing houses decided that its popularity had begun to wane and reduced their output. Unfortunately, they forgot to impart its drop in popularity to the readers and the genre continued to sell. Sales did dip briefly, but now there appears to be a resurgence of interest. New readers are enthralled with the romance and elegance of the era and already devoted readers continue their support.

I write historical fiction and historical romantic fiction mainly set in the Regency and Georgian eras. My romances are what is termed as ‘sweet’, which means that there is no graphic sex and I close the bedroom door when my characters ‘retire’.

However, this doesn’t mean that my books are not ‘romantic’ – on the contrary. Romance is integral to the plot and is what drives the story forward. Luckily, I know from letters I’ve received from fans that there are still readers who prefer this kind of novel to the more revealing kind – enough for there still to remain a viable market.

My work has been likened to Georgette Heyer’s, and as I’m a huge fan of hers, I take it as a great complement. Of course, there will always be those who prefer the more modern approach where the mores of modern-day living are just transposed in period, but I prefer to remain true to the attitudes of the day. If I state fact, it is as accurate as I can make it and I always make the story fit the fact, not the fact fit the story.

No matter what, I shall continue to create my own Regency world, knowing that as long as there are readers there must always be authors and no matter what the trend, my books will always be there for romance readers to enjoy.


This article originally appeared at Pop Syndicate during my July 2008 virtual book tour.

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