Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Josh Lanyon | Writing Them Like They Used To
Author Guest / April 7, 2011

I was listening recently to writers wailing on a historical mystery discussion list about readers who say they find historical fiction boring. Among the theories proposed was these readers are themselves boring, which I guess might be true, but I think it’s more like…just as some readers can’t get into fantasy, some readers can’t relate to historical fiction. In fact, for some readers, historical fiction might as well be fantasy! I’m not sure what sales are like for regular historical fiction, but I write mystery and romance, and to my way of thinking there are two schools of thought, and possibly two sets of readers for that kind of historical genre fiction. One set favors the romantic historical — the kind of thing where history is altered as needed to make for a “better” story — and the other set favors historical romance — where the writer works as hard to get every detail accurate as would a writer of non-fiction. Of the two schools, the romantic historical typically sells better. That probably doesn’t come as a shock to anyone. Dessert is generally more popular than broccoli. In my opinion, the very best historical fiction combines all the elements we…

Josh Lanyon | Oh Sweet Mystery of Life
Author Guest / December 13, 2010

“We’re working on a murder together…” Lady on a Train, 1945 I’m not sure why but, for me, romance and murder go hand-in-hand. That’s probably the result of a youth misspent watching a lot of black and white movies. You know the kind of thing. Lots of snappy dialog and meaningful looks, great clothes, wonderful old cars, and a certain freewheeling attitude where the law was concerned. In fact, sometimes the line between the good guys and the bad was fascinatingly narrow. Anyway, very few of those vintage mystery films were without some kind of romance — even if it ended very badly indeed. Not that romance isn’t exciting all on its own, but it does certainly up the ante if you’re running for your life or accused of a crime you didn’t commit or faced with the most perplexing puzzle of your life. It’s not that most romance novels just don’t have enough plot for me — well, maybe that is what I’m saying. I know that’s not true, because I’ve read plenty of romances that are stuffed with plot and conflict, both internal and external. Maybe it’s because I personally have trouble of thinking of a plot that…