Sunday, August 31, 2008
Guest blogger - Monica Fairview
We'd like to welcome Monica Fairview to the blog as our guest. Over to you, Monica!
My first book, An Improper Suitor is in print and what a thrill it is to share my Regency world with my readers! It still amazes me to think that typing up words translates the ideas I have in my mind into a story that people can share. Because I have a strange mind and I’m always thinking about things that happened in the past, I have to give tribute here to whatever brilliant person thought of the idea of an alphabet in the distant, distant past. What would we do without it? Think of all the books we would never have read!
An Improper Suitor, though, isn’t about that first alphabet, though someday that might be a good topic for a novel. It’s about two badly matched people coming together and finding things they share in common. It’s a Regency novel, so of course it’s set in that wonderful world of glamorous balls, charming rakes, and (in the case of the heroine Julia) headstrong bluestockings who have a hard time sticking to the conventions.
I’ve always loved the regency period, ever since I read first Georgette Heyer and then Jane Austen. One reason I love writing Regency novels is that there is always the chance to discover new things. Once you have the basic research out of the way and you have a general idea of how women and men of that day interacted, and what the dating rituals of the times were, then there is always something else to learn.
For this novel, I was fascinated to learn about the language of flowers. I have seen a lot about the language of fans, and how there was a whole code behind it, but I didn’t know about the fad of consulting dictionaries about the meaning of flowers. At a time when interaction between young lovers was restricted, I suppose young people had to use anything at their means to communicate with each other. And sending flowers was perfectly respectable. But a rose by any other name had to mean something, and what flowers you sent could well be significant. That’s why I have Thorwynn, the hero, send Julia flowers. And Julia, suspicious of his motives, runs around consulting anything she can to try and interpret his message. The funny thing is, though, that Thorwynn is clueless. Sometimes a flower is just a flower…
For me, then, writing a Regency romance is like biting into a chocolate with fillings, a ferrero rocher, for example. First you peel off the gold wrapper and look at the chocolate in anticipation. You bite into it, and the first layer is good, but then there are those other layers inside, waiting to be discovered. Each layer brings another taste to your tongue, another level of pleasure. Hmm… looks like I should go and get some.
Hope you enjoy An Improper Suitor.
Comments about An Improper Suitor:
Julia is a lively character drawn with wit and sympathy and the descriptions of Thorwynn slowly falling for her as the story progresses is in the best tradition of Jane Austen … A great tale and entertaining romp through an unlikely and unconventional courtship, with a truly romantic denouement.
Catherine Jones, Chair, Romantic Novelists’ Association