Last year, I entered a Work-In-Progress into the Royal Ascot contest, a contest specifically for Regency authors. I thought that this WIP was a masterpiece. It was funny, it had intrigue…I was sure my first three chapters would earn me a place in the finals.
But it didn’t. And the feedback I got was only so-so. “Not terribly realistic,” “I’m not sure this would have actually happened,” and “Your voice would be really well suited to contemporary.”
Well, in my disappointment, I decided to put the book aside and hadn’t touched it in almost a year. But then I decided to pick it up again and see what I had. I couldn’t believe that I had 25,000 words already written, and furthermore, it was actually good!
Okay, so maybe it’s not entirely realistic…a lot of imagination might have gone into this one, but I said, “Who cares?!?!” It’s such a fun read, and if my readers are willing to suspend their disbelief just a weensie bit, then I’ll be fine 🙂
And then it struck me! As my husband and I sat down to watch Tangled again the other night, I realized why I write the way I do. My biggest influences are Disney princess movies! Let’s review the evidence, shall we?
They tend to take place in a vague, historical time period, where the heroines wear gowns and they still ride in coaches, but the voice is somewhat modern and the scenarios not entirely historically accurate, which probably explains why they don’t give a date or location at the start of the movie.
So while I’ve done a ton of historical research and in many cases know better than to have my characters say or do certain things, I make a choice to do whatever I want. It’s a little thing I like to call artistic license in a genre called fiction 🙂
And the point for me is not to teach people about life in the Regency era, it’s to transport them into a fantastical world of romance and balls and grand manor homes, and take them on a journey they could never experience in real life, with characters that will hopefully renew their faith in love.
So, keep an eye out for The Robber Bride, and be prepared for a fun romp of a read 🙂