There’s a lot to be said for experimentation in writing. Especially if it’s a genre a writer hasn’t tried before. The writer can try new points of view, new tropes or maybe new settings. Sometimes, writing in a genre they’ve not written in before can reveal new aspects of the person behind the keyboard.
Once upon a time (I promise this isn’t a fairy tale) I would have said I avoided romance books like the plague. Except, over time, I haven’t been. I read and review quite a few #wlw (women-loving-women) romance novels, mysteries and literary fiction books. I’ve also been reading a number of “straight” Western romances, particularly those set in the late 1800s. I seem to have developed a fondness for them, actually. There’s something intriguing about a woman setting off to make a life for herself, and marry a man she’s only ever written to and yet never seen. Talk about an adventure with a big helping of risk! What if the gent had misrepresented himself, or the woman had and her new man no longer wanted her? Or if they hit it off, what if she was woefully unprepared for the amount of work involved in homesteading? Anything could happen…wildfire, flood, a failed crop could lead to famine, their stock could die…
Life on the frontier was tough!
But all the while I’ve been reading these tales of risk, bravery and eventual love, an idea had been growing in the back of my mind. I could write one of these but put it in a place I know.
There aren’t as many historical records that tell us about matrimonial situations in the bush as there are for life on the prairie, but that’s where imagination comes in.
I know how winters are up here. I know how fierce hungry, wild animals can be. I know how a wolf howl can send shivers down a spine.
So, to that end, one of the pieces of fiction I’ll be working on over the next few months is a historical romance novel. The story of how Clara Livingston and Josiah Hunter make a life for themselves in the Canadian woods in 1860.
I’ll share behind-the-scenes glimpses and excerpts if you like, as well as tidbits of research. Let me know if this sounds like something you’d be interested in.
I do hope you’ll come along for the ride!