SPA Girls Podcast – EP174 – How To Write A Regency Romance

This episode we talk to our very own Wendy Vella about writing Regency romance. Since 2013, Wendy has forged a very successful indie career writing historical and contemporary romance. Her Regencies have been on the Amazon’s top seller lists many times and collectively she’s sold over one million books to date.

Like many romance writers, Wendy cut her historical reading teeth on Georgette Heyer, and then discovered the wonderful worlds of Eloisa James, Stephanie Laurens, Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypas (and many more!). Regency romance is a subgenre of varying heat levels and sensibilities – from sweet, comedy of manners novels, to the succulent, sensual Regencies that Wendy writes, through to Regency-set erotica, there are eager readers wanting these books.

So how to start? Wendy covers how she goes about researching her novels, the advantages of writing in a series and the elements that every aspiring historical romance writer needs to be aware of.

Wendy says:
-You must love the era you chose to write about. You cannot write about it if you do not, and why would you want to?
-First of all there is nothing like reading this genre to understand it. This I did, extensively before writing it. Authors I love: Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Stephanie Laurens, Tessa Dare, Anne Gracie and so many more. Then of course I read the more traditionally accurate books by Georgette Heyer.
-I also had good research books that I found hugely helpful.
One was – What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist-the Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England
-I write fast, so I don’t like to stop for research, so what I do is put RESEARCH in capital letters if I need research done about something, then continue writing. Second draft I fill these gaps in.
-You can write about a fictitious character as long as the facts relating to people, and places of that era are accurate. Believe me readers will let you know if you get this wrong.
-Choose an exact time period, this will determine clothing food, setting etc, and will shape your characters as they will face different challenges to those characters in modern settings
-Don’t fill the book with historical facts, you are writing to entertain not bore your readers, unless you’re writing an encyclopedia or research book
-Remember to show and don’t tell. You may have done a lot of research but your readers don’t need to read all about it
-Try to understand the religion and attitudes of the time period. What the children’s role is etc?
-What did they talk about in those times, what were the big current events. War? Who were the important people, or discoveries being made, medical, botanical, industrial revolution. Were there disease, what about jobs?
-What were modes of transportation.
-Language, check to make sure certain words are in use, and weren’t discovered later.

Helpful Links
Wendy Vella’s Books: https://wendyvella.com/books.html
Research: https://www.amazon.com/Austen-Charles-Dickens-Whist-Nineteenth-Century-ebook/dp/B008O58KKK

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