Thursday, April 01, 2010
20 Romances, 11 Funerals, 19 Births and so much more
An historical romance is so much more than two people falling in love and living happily ever after. We have dramatic historical settings and events to colour the world of our characters creating, conflict, adversity and adventure.
When I started plotting the latest in the Loveday series, which will be book 12, I needed to ensure there would be no repetitions of plot to keep the series fresh and original. It meant analysing what had been covered in the previous novels involving this dashing, diverse extended family.
The novels have so far covered 19 yrs from 1787 to 1806 starting with two generations of Edward Loveday (a shipbuilder); his two sisters (one married to a London banker and the other a formidable spinster); also his two brothers (a reformed rakehell now a parson and the other a naval captain). Between them they have eight children (a wastrel, a naval officer and government agent, a loveable rogue, a farmer's wife, a pious lay preacher, an illegitimate daughter, and a banker who would be a playwright. This gave me a main character list of 20 family members and there are also their spouses family and backgrounds and most importantly several vengeful protagonists.
This was a broad canvas for the romances, rivalries, conflicts and adventures in the first books, but as the series gained in popularity new themes and escapades were needed to keep the readers captivated. Over the so far published 11 novels there have been 20 romances, 11 weddings, 6 funerals, 2 criminal trials (for a framed murder and highway robbery), 19 births, at least 5 mysterious deaths, 6 infidelities, 2 unrequited loves, 2 bankruptcies, 2 abductions, 4 duels, 4 sea battles, suicide, seduction, attempted bigamy, incest, a wife committed to bedlam, an occasional murder, several scandals and satisfactory reprisals, dark secrets and revelations and these are only some of the dramas...
The exciting world history happening at the time the series is set has been a marvellous backdrop for intrigue and adventures. The main storyline may be set in Cornwall, London, France with their Revolution and war with England, but the plots have also taken the characters to Bath, Virginia, and three of the novels included scenes of transportation and survival to the early penal settlement in New South Wales.
As you can gather the Lovedays wild-blood, both in the women and the men, lead them into dramatic situations, and although the novels chronologically follows the lives of the family with main characters stories interwoven throughout, each book also has to stand on its own. With so many strong characters I have been able to vary the dynamics with different members of the family taking the major role in a particular novel whilst keeping abreast of family fortunes and vendettas.
Working out the psychology and motivation of the lovers, family and adversaries has been an absorbing challenge and in book 9 The Loveday Secrets I introduced a new cousin who the others believed dead. His life had been very different from the privileged wealth and position of his cousins. A former guttersnipe he is bent on destroying his cousins but his triumphs are short lived and to save their own reputations the Lovedays must unite and put aside old rivalries. This stirs up a marvellous hornet's nest of passions and repercussions and a battle of wills which is brought to a head in The Loveday Conspiracy.
But with readers beseeching me to continue the family drama, it was time for the next generation to come of age with their lives bringing new conflicts which again place the family in danger in the forthing The Loveday Vendetta published this year. And so the drama continues with the original cousins far from sedate and settled and new revelations to throw the family into discord and crisis. I can't wait to write the new romances and adventures and opening up a fresh world of research into the continuing war with France and excitement of Regency England.
All the Loveday novels are available and this month The Loveday Trials, The Loveday Scandals and The Loveday Honour have been reprinted to ensure there is no break in continuity for new readers discovering the series.
For more news of the novels and the Loveday family click on my website at the side of the blog page ,where you can also access extracts from all the novels and also the The Loveday Books blog.
Happy Easter to our readers.