Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hosts to Ghosts - writing the cross-genre romance

It used to be verboten, to write a romance that crossed more than one genre. Then came epublishing, then came self-publishing and now everybody’s doing it.
I love it. Absolutely love playing the “what if…?” game and expanding its reaches.
Some time ago I wrote a story called “Black Leather, White Lace.” It was about two brothers in the English Civil War who joined different sides. In a duel to the death, both were killed, one immediately, one a few days later. Both became earl.
That incident actually happened. Heartbreaking though it was, I got a story out of it, as writers often do. We’re parasites. Don’t trust us because a writer’s mind always thinks, “I can use that.” It’s the writer’s dirty secret.
My “what if…?” was “What if ghosts exist? What if these two brothers are condemned to exist as ghosts until they’d expiated their sins? What if they fall in love while they’re in ghostly form? Can they come back?”
So Vernon and Nathaniel Heatherington were born. Vernon comes back in Regency Britain. He’s in love with the current countess, who has a neglectful husband who is busy dissipating as much of the estate as he can.
But I paired that with Nathaniel’s story. He falls in love with a present day countess, who also is unhappy in her marriage. Her husband is a photojournalist and adrenalin freak who loves war zones and motor bikes.
Writing these periods, Civil War, Regency and then present day was a wonderful exercise, and I’d love to do it again! The attitudes, behaviour and expectations were totally different and it was fantastic to have the opportunity to describe them and open them up.
Now the stories, plus the companion book “The Haunting of Belle Sauvage” are available in a box set at the special price of 0.99 – however this is only for a limited period. If you’d like a copy, get it here:

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