Top Pick for the Duke's Daring Debutante

Night Owl Reviews give a top pick to the Duke's Daring Debutante. So pleased.

Here is a snippet. For the full review click the link below.

"If you are a fan of historical romance I highly recommend you pick this one up. I'm looking forward to many more offerings by this talented author." ~ Night Owl Reviews

All right so it's blowing my own horn, but once in a while is okay, right?

There's an App for That

Novel EngagementSo exciting. Romance Writers of America has put together a new app to help readers find their favourite authors and new romance novels.  The link to the app is in the logo.  I have also added it to the right margin in case you need to find it again.  This is a new venture and still a work in progress, but check out your favourite romance author or genre. Find new books.

Try it, and let me know what you think.  I'll pass along any comments.

Until next time

History versus Story

Or: Does it have to be right?

As the writer of period stories this is an issue I often struggle with. How accurate do I need to be? How much creative licence can I take in my stories.

Over time I have vacillated from the utter fear of getting it wrong, and embracing the concept of: story trumps all.  But as we all know, a pendulum, when it stops swinging, always ends up bang smack in the middle of its arc.  Oh, I do love a good metaphor.

Over time I have come to recognize that I am writing stories for entertainment. Stories set in an earlier time period whose history we know about. Some of that history was learned long after the events actually happened, some of it well known at the time.  Genre fiction has the expectation that it will transport the reader to another place and leave them with a feeling of having had an enjoyable experience.  It is not designed to teach or moralize or guide, any more than Two and Half Men was supposed to teach us how to behave or Big Bang Theory is intended to turn us into nuclear physicists.  Yes, these programs comment on aspects of life today and make us laugh not only at the characters on screen, but also at ourselves. In the first instance, they likely shock us, as we secretly wish we could be as bold as Charley, and in the latter, we might wonder at our own lost innocence as displayed by Sheldon. Or not.

It doesn't matter.  We are entertained.

A period novelist has to get major facts right about his or her era, as does a genre fiction period author. But the stories are character driven. The story is about the people on the page, not the political climate or the economic reality. Those are backstory. And like all backstory, needs to be fed in as and when required. In my opinion, a  fiction author needs to let the imagination fly free, while remaining within the bounds of her world. Somethings are easy to get right, the buildings, the clothing, even the flora and fauna which I have expounded on at length in this blog.

But are there hundreds of Dukes and earls running around in the Regency doing heroic or unheroic things? No. Certainly not.  We all know that. Readers and historians alike.

In my next book, Captured Countess, coming out in December 2014, there is a plot by Napoleon's agents to kill King George. Did it happen?  Well it might have. How do we know for certain it did not? Could some as yet undiscovered cache of documents reveal that it did? It is in the realm of the possible.

Did the characters who set out to foil the plot really exist? No, they did not. But the King was at Weymouth that summer.  Napoleon did plan to invade England. So the setting and the backstory is accurate, but the story is unashamedly all my own.

I often hear complaints that covers are not period accurate.  Here are two covers for books in the same series, "Rakes in Disgrace".

The cover for the Gamekeeper's Lady couldn't be more accurate for the Regency period, both in style and setting.  The second cover, for the second book, More Than a Mistress is way too early. The shoes, the gown, reek of a pre-Regency era, but the scene it represents.... is right out of the book. Both covers are evocative of the story.

Each book sold as well as the other, because in the end it was all about the story inside the cover.

So, to writers and readers I say, enjoy the story along with a soupcon of history. Use it to spice the broth so to speak.

I will address a few issues that I do think writers of period stories in my genre ought to get right and some others that I think might be borderline.

What do you think?

Until next time......

New Story Coming Out

by Michele Ann Young

It is always exciting when you see a new cover, knowing one of your stories lies beneath the artwork.

This one is lovely, don't you think? I did look at it with a faintly jaundiced eye, wondering if that corset isn't just a bit too Victorian, but then I decided that the front-closing stays fit with the Regency. And the girl's face is lovely.

This is a compendium of twenty-five short stories due out in May and I am in such exalted company as Mary Jo Putney, Eloisa James, Loretta Chase and Mary Balogh. I feel honoured, I must say.

My story is called Remember and is about two lovers meeting after a long, bitter separation.

Due out in May, at the moment the only place I am seeing the book listed is at Amazon UK. I am not sure if there will be a different North America date. Here is the link. The Mammoth Book of Regency Romance.
These books are also founds in bookstores everywhere.

Naturally I will keep you posted as more information becomes available.

Until next time, Happy Rambles

Bits and Bites

Here is a neat link for history buffs: A Christmas Carol

Nothing quite like seeing the writer at work, in this case Charles Dickens. Dickens was born in 1812, so while his novels were written later, his childhood is squarely in the Regency. And it being the Christmas Season, I thought you would enjoy this particular fascinating bit of information.

Until next time, Happy Rambles

Writer's Corner

Fashion for the month will be here in the next post but here are a couple of fun links for those of you who are writers.

Ever wondered about all the technical terminology a writer needs to know, in addition to needing to write a book. Tom's Glossary explains them all.

A couple of for examples right from the top

ADVANCE: A secret code signalling to the marketing department whether or not to promote a title.

ADVANCE COPY: A bound book that when opened by an editor will instantly expose an embarrassing mistake.

AUTHOR: A large class of individuals (approximately three times as numerous as readers) serving a promotional function in book marketing or providing make-work for editorial interns.

AUTHOR TOUR: A hazing ritual intended to make authors compliant to their publishers.

And just in case you are not having fun yet, I think this link all about copyediting Shakespeare will make you smile. I hasten to add that I have never ever run into anything like this with my editor, so it is easier for me to laugh about this one.

Have a great weekend and until next time, Happy Rambles.

Writing Life Update and a Regency Story

PS: I just learned the comments got turned off by mistake on this post. Many apologies. Have now fixed. Of course I want your comments. Best wishes

It has been a while since I posted any writing news, but with the hunt for chocolate a sweet recollection and after a fun day spent with family, I thought it was probably time. In addition to that, of course, I have news.

I am issuing my newsletter, as well as making several appearances over the next two months, a book signing, two talks which will include booksignings, and probably my favorite thing the Historical Novel Society annual conference where I will get to sign books with Bernard Cornwall and Diana Gabaldon. Okay, so I don't expect a long line up at my desk, but it will be quite a thrill and hence the picture of a Highlander and some soldiers of the 95th Rifles.

Upcoming Events

April 28, 2007 2pm - 5pm Booksigning at Chapters in Woodbridge on Highway 7

May 10, 2007 6:30 pm I will be at the Richmond Hill Central Public Library speaking on Weaving History and Romance into the modern genre novel

May 17, 2007 6: 30 pm I will be at the Stouffville Public Library chatting about novels along with my good friend Kimberly Howe.

June 9, 2007 4pm I will be in Albany New York at the Historical Novel Society Annual conference and will be signing books with Bernard Cornwall and Diana Gabaldon, and a host of other historical authors. How big a thrill is that! I will also be pitching a series of adventure stories set in the peninsular war.

Also this month I am also issuing my first Regency Rambler Quarterly Review issued four time a year because that is what quarterly means, right? Anyway, each issue will contain news about my writing, information about events, signings and such, and a dreamscape minibyte about some event during the Regency.

What is a dreamscape-minibyte? Well I just invented it. And it is a small story about an historical event. There will be some returning characters and new ones depending on the event.

I start with the birth of the (eventual) Prince Regent, so my timeframe is a bit longer that the Regency in its strictest interpretation and that gives me lots of minibytes I can write for you.

These dreamscape-minibytes will only appear in my newsletter. To subscribe and get your fictionalized serialized look at 200 years ago use the sign up form in the sidebar or go to Yahoo Groups and look for Regency Ramble.