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Friday, January 23, 2015

Guest Blog: Tamara Hughes: Historical Romance vs. Supernatural Romance: Are They Really So Different?

At first thought, these romance subgenres seem like two ends of the spectrum. How could readers of one have anything in common with readers of the other? And yet, I love reading and writing both, and for very similar reasons.

In both historical and supernatural romance, the author builds a world different from the here and now. Yes, many science fiction/fantasy romances are set in modern day environments, but to really get the feel of the supernatural elements, ground rules must be established so that the reader knows how those elements relate to the ordinary. Likewise, historical romances immerse readers in settings long past. Because of this, authors need to explain the differences between today and the world the characters live in.

Along with setting, the story has to establish character. In historicals, characters dress and act according to cultural norms of that time period. In that same way, supernatural characters should be distinct from people in the today’s world. If they have an ability, how do they feel about it? Do they need to hide it from people? And if so, why? There will be situations in which the character will have different “etiquette” and values because of the supernatural elements in the story.

Once these new worlds and characters are established, the author needs to incorporate real life. To make the story believable, historicals must be realistic, maybe by including actual people, places, or events. Supernaturals are much the same. The easiest method to help readers to suspend disbelief when it comes to the mystical elements is to ground the story and characters in reality.

As a reader, I love that both these genres delve into the unknown (or the long forgotten). They allow me to explore fascinating worlds and characters beyond the norm. What do you think? Do you agree? Historical vs. Supernatural. Are they really that different of a reading experience?

Charity Goswick thinks she is escaping an arranged marriage to a brute when she slips onto a ship unnoticed. Little does she realize that this is no honorable vessel of the King's Navy – it is a pirate ship. It's just a matter of time before she is discovered by a handsome rake of a pirate, who locks her in his cabin. And while she should be scared, her captor sparks the most unladylike feelings within her...

James Lamont is on the ship for one reason, and one reason only: to track down his brother. However, his spirited little stowaway certainly affords plenty of distraction with her many (failed) attempts to escape. And each time, the unspoken—and unbidden—passion between them grows stronger. But as violence and danger mount on the high seas, Charity will have to put all of her trust in the most untrustworthy of men... the arrogant pirate who just might steal her heart.

A small town girl with a big imagination, Tamara Hughes had no idea what to do with her life. After graduating from college, she moved to a big city, started a family and a job, and still struggled to find that creative outlet she craved. An avid reader of romance, she gave writing a try and became hooked on the power of exploring characters, envisioning adventures, and creating worlds. She enjoys stories with interesting twists and heroines who have the grit to surmount any obstacle, all without losing the ability to laugh. To learn more, stop by her website: You can also find her on:


Jeanine said...

I love pirates!! Sounds like a great book. I agree the world building is key to both genres.

Tamara Hughes said...

Thanks Jeanine!

Barbara Bettis said...

You book sounds terrific. I can't wait to read it. Best of luck.

Tamara Hughes said...

Thanks for having me here today. I love talking about books and historical and supernatural are my favorite genres!

Sandy said...

Who doesn't love pirates on the high seas? You story sounds fab, Tamara.

Tamara Hughes said...

Thank you so much, Barbara and Sandy!

Cara Marsi said...

How interesting to compare supernatural romance to historical romance. And you are quite right about them. I love pirate books too. Yours sounds great!

jean hart stewart said...

To me historical and supernatural are different as they can be. Partly because of the tremendous amount of research required to historical. Loved your column as it made me think.

Melissa Keir said...

I love your cover! It sounds like a great story! I wish you many sales!

Tamara Hughes said...

Thank you, everyone!

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