The Historical Romance Revolution

Jon PAUL - Cover Art for Romance

No, it hasn’t happened yet. Funny that right when I’m at my most historical romance-obsessed, everyone is saying the subgenre is dead and nobody can rescue it!

There is a great deal of stuff coming out that is very, VERY similar to everything else. This is true. It’s also true that the preference is mostly for a very narrow time period in England, and not many stray from it.

I do, however, love a well-written North American book, and have found some of my favourites in that area. I do also love the traditional British setting and time period.

I attended two sessions about historical romance at the Australian Romance Readers Convention in Canberra in March. Sylvia Day was one of the eight authors part of this, and she said some things that had me wondering.

What she said was that yes, the genre is stuck. But yes, soon someone is going to write a book that will totally revolutionise the genre. She said that maybe it will have a different setting and time period, but she doubts it.

She said it won’t be her who writes it.

She said it’s going to be something so different she can’t even think what it will be.

I have absolutely no idea what this book will be, and I wish I could think of it! It’s exciting, and it will no doubt spur thousands of copycats. I wish I could come up with that idea!

The only problem is that maybe it’s already written. Publishers are into putting out the safe things they know will sell, which might make it hard for a revolutionary book to ever make it.

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3 thoughts on “The Historical Romance Revolution

  1. It’s interesting how such a short period of history has captured the lion’s share of the market. I’m not sure I understand how that happened, or that I need to, but I agree. Things do seem stuck. Will they always be? I don’t think so. Every bubble eventually bursts, and publishing does go in cycles. I think there will always be a core group of readers (and writers) devoted to the currently popular model, but that’s not all of the readership and it’s not all of the writers. There is a need for variety, and something different will erupt.

    1. I think things like the 1995 Pride and Prejudice had a big impact on reviving this obsession, and I’ve seen a lot of readers comment they feel like it’s a ‘safe’ genre now. I do like it, but we definitely need variety!

      What’s funny is that some big-name authors like Lisa Kleypas don’t even write Regency romances (her books are set half a century later!), but people still seem to think what they’re reading is set in that time period.

      What I’d LOVE to see would be more books like Pamela Clare’s. 18th century North America is an incredible setting, and it’s so underused.

  2. Pingback: The Week: 18th – 24th May | Sonya's Stuff

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