By now, you’re probably familiar with Donna Hatch’s historical romance novels. If not, check out her Amazon page for a listing of her published books.
I had the chance to catch up with Donna, who is always in the midst of working on her next novel. I asked her why historical fiction appeals to her as an author and what about it stands out to her as a great genre. Here’s her perspective on why historical fiction is so appealing to readers and writers alike.
I love many things about historical fiction—both as a reader and as an author. When life gets stressful, the first thing many readers do is pick up a novel. Historical novels provide the perfect escape from reality. Total escapism can and does happen with modern-day novels, but the more a book differs from the present-day world with its present-day cares, the better an escape it provides. Historical novels transport readers to another place and time completely different from reality. Another draw of historical fiction for many people is that it typically has more lyrical writing or “voice” than other genres.
Like most Regency romance authors who pride themselves on historical accuracy, I extensively research British history, particularly the Regency Era, which is the early 1800’s. This is how I create a virtual trip through time. Having my facts straight is not just a pretty backdrop for my stories; the manners and mores of society helped shape people who lived in that time, both those who embraced customs of the time and those who challenged them.
But if I had to pick one reason why I love historical romance, it’s the people. Call me a romantic, but people from the past seemed to be more concerned with honor. In Regency England, duty and honor meant everything. If a man said he’d do something, especially if he gave his word, he meant it, and others could count him to follow through, even at great personal cost.
I love the way people in Regency England spoke so eloquently. The upper classes didn’t maul the language—they used correct grammar and had an enormous vocabulary. They also prized wit and excelled in using the understatement. If you read books by authors of that day such as Jane Austen, you’ll see that their writing is almost poetic, each word chosen for its wording, imagery, and rhythm.
By the Georgian and Regency Eras, men and women alike were educated and could read, compute complex mathematics, speak multiple languages—French and Latin in particular—and loved philosophical debates. They were also very cultured. From a young age they were taught to dance, play music, sing, and recite poetry.
Men in many historical eras were civilized and treated women with courtesy by standing up when a lady entered the room, doffing their hats, curtailing their language, offering an arm, bowing, and a hundred other little things I wish men still did today. But they were also very athletic; they hunted, raced, fenced, boxed, rode horses. They were manly. Strong. Noble. Resolute. Honorable. I love that about them! And that makes them perfect heroes for both historical fiction and historical romance novels.
If you’re not familiar with Donna’s latest book, A Perfect Secret, make sure you check it out.
Author: Donna Hatch
Release date: November, 2013
Genre: Historical Romance
Tour: Irresistible Reads Book Tours
Desperate to protect her father from trial and death, Genevieve breaks off her engagement with Christian Amesbury and marries a blackmailer. After a year of marriage, she flees her husband’s violent domination only to have fate bring her back to Christian. Just when she thinks she’s started a new life of safety and solitude, her husband tracks her down, stalks her, and threatens everyone she loves.
Still brokenhearted over Genevieve’s betrayal a year ago, Christian can’t believe she’s come back into his life–and worse, that she’s done it on the anniversary of his brother’s death, a death that haunts him. Though tempted to throw her back into the river where he found her, he can’t leave her at the mercy of the terrifying man she married.
When her husband torments Genevieve and puts his family in danger, Christian will do anything to protect those he loves…anything except give Genevieve another chance to break his heart.
About the Author:
I’ve had a passion for writing since the age of eight when I wrote my first short story. During my sophomore year in high school, I wrote my first full-length novel, a science fiction romance. I wrote my second novel during my senior year, a fantasy romance. Needless to say, English and Creative Writing were always my favorite subjects. Yes, I’m a total grammar geek! In between caring for six children (7 counting my husband), I manage to carve out time to indulge in my writing obsession, with varying degrees of success, although I write most often late at night instead of sleeping. And yes, all of my heroes are patterned after my husband of 21 years, who continues to prove that there really is a happily ever after.
Official Website: http://donnahatch.com/
I love that Donna’s historical fiction is so heavily based in facts and that those facts help shape her characters. it really is like taking a peek back in time when an author is that good.
Yes, you’re right! I really like historical fiction because I can learn about historical time periods I’m interested in and still enjoy it. Straight history writing can be dry if written as straight facts, so I’m less likely to remember it or take a real interest.
Hi Sally Saw your post on Writers and Artists Share FB page, but wanted to email prtveialy. I just finished my first Christian romance novel, and was getting ready to self publish with CreateSpace. Can I still submit it to you for review, even if I self-publish? I’ve already started a second book, which will also be a Christian romance novel, and would consider sending that one to you, as well, if you’re interested in that type genre. Thanks for any info you can provide.
Hi there! Sorry it took so long for me to reply to this – your comment got sorted into spam for some reason. I’m not on the Writers and Artists Share FB page, but I hope I can help anyway. Are you looking for an Amazon/Goodreads review or an editing service? If you’re looking for reviews, I’d try some groups on Goodreads – there are plenty of people looking to do book reviews on there.
That’s the beauty of it you CAN! You can read as many of the geners as you like, if I read the information correctly. Oh, and I saw the ABNA information and I toyed with it, but I’m not sure romance would fare as well against thrillers and lit fic. Hard to say, since they’re all so different. I’m surprised they don’t have it broken down more, at least, initially.
I definitely think reading as many genres as possible expands your writing talents whether you’re really studying the books you read or not. I agree that it would be nice if ABNA had categories instead of an overall winner, but one of the finalists in 2014 was a romance, so it’s not impossible! Here’s the book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LWDQO2M/ref=amb_link_423153542_9?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-4&pf_rd_r=0HREJ7WHGRD3PJPR9C5A&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1961650542&pf_rd_i=332264011
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