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Monday, October 28, 2013

Guest Blog: Charlene Roberts: Writing the Sweet Regency Romance - What the (BLEEP) Was I Thinking?

I love trying different genres of writing—it gives me an idea of strengths and weaknesses. I discovered that one genre that works for me is historical, as I love reading about the past from different countries. England is still my favorite.

Recently, a publisher’s call for sweet Regency stories caught my interest, and I was excited in writing a novel. However, the reality was harder than I realized.

It’s always important to get your facts correct, and nothing is truer than Regency culture. It’s more than dress code, dances, carriages and living arrangements—the words have to be strictly correct as well. For instance, I didn’t know that contractions (I’m, We’ll, You’re) were forbidden in Regency language, along with the usual—no bad words used by ladies, no swearing by men in front of the ladies. Yet at the same time, Regency-correct words had to be used to create romantic tension.

The same rule applied for body language; ladies were supposed to be demure, soft-spoken, gentle creatures (I, for one, would not survive in this era!), but by using their bodies (hands, eyes, tilting their head, a smile), they can convey their interest to a potential marriage partner.

Oh yes, the ultimate goal of any young lady of standing—the suitable husband, and the myriad ways of catching one. These ladies were great schemers! And all was accomplished while keeping their noble honor intact.

I gotta say I admire Regency folks; they managed to get so much done with cultural limitations. And it limited me as well—for a gal who likes to write erotic romance, writing the sweet Regency romance was a serious mind-bender! Everything I'd used before to write my novels was shrunk into small box of strict Regency knowledge, and I have to say it was pretty difficult for me, but a great challenge.

Now, my observations are based on sweet Regency stories; for the daring noblemen and women who enjoy breaking the rules without getting caught, then we go beyond sweet into the sensual category, but that’s another story.


Charlene Roberts lives in Toronto, Canada. Her writing career started after helping a friend type her historical novel. When she became a member of her local writing group, she pursued her love of the written word until her first sale and hasn't looked back since.
She has worked as a Script Supervisor, Book Reviewer for Romantic Times, modelled and now works as an Administrative Assistant at a consulting company. However her love of creating stories for others to read and enjoy still remains her first and foremost passion. 

BLURB:Festive Persuasion
Blush sensuality level: This is a sweet romance (kisses only, no sexual content).

A false rumor about Lord Trevor Normandale’s tenuous connection to a murder circulates within the ton. He and his family have successfully defeated the lie, but at a cost; he has made the painful decision to relinquish any hope of pursuing Lady Sophia Weston, as Lord Trevor is afraid the lady will not look upon him favorably again.

Lady Sophia tolerates persistent visits from Lord Walter Talbot, yet she knows that her heart belongs to Lord Trevor, despite his stubborn honor to stay away.

During the Christmas season, Lady Sophia must show Lord Trevor—through gentle persuasion—that her feelings for him have not changed, and fight off Lord Walter, who will do anything to win her affections.


Tina Donahue said...

What a beautiful cover and great story. Congrats, Charlene - may you burn up the net with your sales. :)

You were a former model? Me too. Maybe we're twins, separated at birth. :)

Rose Anderson said...

I love when daring noblemen and women break the rules without getting caught. :) Best luck Charlene.

Sandy said...

Lovely cover and excerpt, Charlene.

You're a braver soul than I am, Charlene. I'm sticking to romantic suspense where the man uses language. lol

Charlene Roberts said...

Hey T!

Thank you! I loved the cover when I first saw it; it's so different than what I usually see (naked bodies, anyone?) ;)

I modeled a looong time ago, and it taught me so much - confidence being one. You modeled too? Isn't that something? I couldn't do it anymore; the cat fighting and craziness was too much for me, I was worried that I would kill someone! lol

Charlene Roberts said...

Hi Rose!

So do I! I love pushing the envelope. I had to push it a different way with this story; compress everything into a nice, polite package - man it was hard!

Thanks for posting!

Charlene Roberts said...

Rose, I wanted to give the book a shot as I love reading Regency. Writing it taught me some hard lessons; reading is one thing, writing is another! lol

I enjoyed it though, and will do it again.

I do write erotic Regency, which I really enjoy; gotta follow some rules and break the others! :D

Charlene Roberts said...

Sandy, nothing ventured, nothing gained! I gained a lot of knowledge, but it was hard! Loved it though!

Cara Marsi said...

I love Regencies, both the sweet and the hot. I admire how you researched to make sure your book is true to the period. I understand that Regency readers know their history and culture and they'll call you on it if you get something wrong.

I love your cover and the premise of your story.

Melissa Keir said...

Great cover and it sounds like you really challenged yourself. I'm so glad you keep trying new things. It's the best way to grow! :) I wish you much success!

Charlene Roberts said...

Thanks Cara! As much as I love reading Regency, it's funny how more strict the sweet Regency is - I think it's because you can't get away with anything, as opposed to the hot Regencies! lol

Charlene Roberts said...

Hey Melissa, thank you! :)

It is the best way to grow; it's how I found out what I could and could not write. Do you know I have more trouble with the contemporary than the historical? It's weird; I'll have to conquer that!

Suzanne Rock said...

Love your book cover! Sounds like a great story, too. Wishing you many sales!

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