Romance or Romantic Elements?
Many people ask me why I don’t categorize my book as Romance, but as Historical Fiction with Romantic Elements. They don’t understand the difference. If you’re an avid romance reader, you know the genre follows a formula. The hero and heroine must meet early in the novel and live happily ever after at the end. They can’t spend too much time apart in the course of the story either. My debut novel, The False Light, doesn’t meet these criteria. My heroine, a displaced countess, meets her “love” well after chapter five, they spend lots of time apart, and there is no happy ending—until you read my sequel, Without Refuge.
Here is the blurb for The False Light: Forced from France by her devious guardian on the eve of the French Revolution, Countess Bettina Jonquiere must deliver an important package to further the royalist cause. In England, she discovers the package is full of blank papers, the address false and she’s penniless. Stranded in a Cornish village, Bettina toils in a bawdy tavern and falls in love with a man who lives under the shadow of his missing wife. Immersed in poverty, Bettina realizes what sparked the revolution in her homeland. Her past catches up to her when desperate men hunt her down. They demand the money her deceased father embezzled from the revolutionaries and believe she hides its whereabouts. She learns the truth of her father’s death and her lover’s involvement in his wife’s murder. Once again, Bettina faces the threat of losing everything.
When I started to write I had no idea there were specific genres, or formulas, I thought a good story would suffice. The early romances I read were spicy, and the women had multiple lovers. Now they’re usually regulated to one…the “hero” our gorgeous heroine might meet on page three, and have an instant attraction to each other. An attraction so instant to be unbelievable, but it is fiction. Still, I like a book to surprise me: who will she end up with? Your standard romance formula leaves no room for that. I also like relationships to progress at a reasonable pace…no smacked in the head with lust, heaving bosom, drooling female who can’t live without this studly, hunk of a man. I know I’m in the minority here, as many have told me they enjoy the comfort of the formula and the “perfect” protagonists.In historical fiction with romantic elements, there is more wiggle room around the formula, and that’s why I prefer to write in that sub genre. I love reading straight historical fiction, some with romantic elements, some not. I relish sensual sex scenes, and I hope I’ve written some. I also know authors who write and I have edited some wonderful romances. Of course, the ones I prefer always lean away from the strict formula. If you might enjoy delving into something a little different, I hope you will give my novel a try.
Ebook is available at: www.eternalpress.bizor at Fictionwise.com
Paperback is available at: www.amazon.com
For direct links and an excerpt, my website: www.dianescottlewis.com