Why I Write Historical Romance


I’ve always been entranced and enthralled by different historical time periods. And this love of history drives my passion for writing in many different settings. I’ve moved from Western America to Georgian England, from Victorian Scotland to the Highlands in the early 1500’s.

Reading was my first love. For as long as I can remember, the stories I’ve most enjoyed reading were set in another place and another time. I always received a book at Christmas, and my earliest beloved novels –  Anne of Green Gables and Little Women – came from Mrs.Santa Claus. (aka Mom).  We lived in a small Nebraska town set alongside the Missouri River – small but not too small to have a public library built during the Great Depression by the WPA. What a gift from FDR that library was to South Sioux City’s boys and girls. During the long summer days of my childhood, my cousins and I would walk to the library together.  I can picture the children’s section where I selected from the Bobbsey Twins Series, The Wizard of Oz, and Dr. SeussI can no longer recall the many titles, but the sheer pleasure of reading, I’ll never forget.  As a teenager, I’m sure I read everything by Louisa May Alcott available. I can remember discovering with delight the stories by Georgette Heyer, starting with April Lady and continuing until I’d read every one of these marvelous Regency romances I could lay my hands on.

Along with the books, came the movies. I remember the green witch of Oz who scared me to death! And seeing She Wore a Yellow Ribbon with my mom and dad and brothers. Later I attended the films with my cousins, watching Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments, and The Vikings, starring Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, and Janet Leigh. How I loved those historical dramas!

When I grew older, I read War and Peace. What a fantastic novel, with several heartbreaking stories woven throughout the historical narrative of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia and the burning of Moscow. If you doubt that Leo Tolstoy understood the power and passion of love, just consider Anna Karenina. What pathos. What romance. What a joy to read! And Lonesome Dove influenced me tremendously. So when I began to write in earnest, I knew, without a doubt, I would write historical romances.

2 thoughts on “Why I Write Historical Romance

  1. I loved Louisa May Alcott. She mentioned Thoreau and Emerson in her books, so I began reading them, too. That let me to an interest in New England transcendentalism, so it was a delight to learn that Buckminster Fuller, a later hero of mine, was a relative of Margaret Fuller, the first editor of The Dial, the transcendental journal for which Emerson and Thoreau wrote. Then I found E. B. White and discovered that he was a big fan of Thoreau. I can trace many of my literary loves in a straight line from Little Women, Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom all the way up through the essays of E. B. White and, of course, Charlotte’s Web. Isn’t it interesting how the past is still alive in the present?

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