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Lauren Willig | Driving by Misdirection, or Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

February 5, 2009

Most things in my life happen when I’m trying to do something else. I don’t even mean the big things, like planning to write a dissertation and coming out with a series of romance novels instead (ought I to get an RD for that? I like the sound of Romanciae Doctor), or the fact that if I meant to go right, I usually walk left (I find all sorts of new and interesting places that way). This happens to me in my writing, too. What I wind up writing is seldom exactly what I intended it to be.

Take my first book for example, the lengthily titled Secret History of the Pink Carnation. I very firmly told my agent that what I had produced was a “traditional Regency romance”. My agent is a very kind, patient sort of person. Instead of making snorting noises, he said, very gently, “Are you sure?” I was quite sure. “Um…” he said, flipping through the mental filofax for Tactful Ways to Deal With Deluded Authors. “Are you really sure?” That’s how I found out that what I’d really written was Napoleonic-era historical fiction/ romantic suspense/ mystery/ chick lit. No can quite agree on what it is, but it sure ain’t a traditional Regency. In a word, ooops.

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  • Stacy~ February 5, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Oh I’m a huge McNaught fan! *g*

    I agree with Sara that archetypes have evolved to suit the current conditions. Not many readers can relate to a sheltered virgin, even in historicals. Readers want more experienced characters, such as alpha heroes who aren’t such brutes as they were back in the day.

    It doesn’t mean we want them to go away all together (at least I don’t) but we want to read about characters that are more relatable and less likely to irritate us in a bad way.

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