Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Guest Blog: Gerri Brousseau
Thank you so much for inviting me to share with your readers today at RomFan Reviews.
I was asked to talk today about the trials and tribulations of being a historical romance writer. Some would imagine it would be doing the research, but I don’t mind that. So in preparing to write an article, I started to think about what some readers might think about the life of an author. Some think the life of an author is glamorous, but being a historical romance writer is hard work.
What? Hard work? Yes. When I get an idea for a book and the time period it is set in, and before I ever write one single word, I have to do a lot of research. For example, in writing my most current release, To Kill a Monarch, which takes place in London in 1811, I had to find out what life was like there at that time. What did people of that time period wear? How did they live? Who was the Monarch at that time? Did he have a presence I could work into my story idea? Then, once all the research is done and before every writing one single word, I give thought to how the facts can be worked into the plot I have spinning in my head. You see, I have found that making changes can be a problem and get the writer into a tenuous situation.
Please allow me to explain. When I wrote A Pirate’s Ransom for example, I changed the name of the Duke. It was fiction, after all, and I didn’t feel as if I wanted to mar the reputation of the real duke. One would think that was okay and no big deal, right? Wrong. I caught flak. An authority in historical romance gave me a talking down for not doing my research. She reviewed the book and gave it a 3-star rating. However, in a private email said if I had kept to the actual name of the real duke, she would have given it 5-stars and went on to say I was a wonderful writer. There is sometimes a saving grace, and I wasn’t upset, but I am, after all, writing fiction.
“Pirates” was the first book published, and so I guess I had a learning curve. I found that although I did my research and wanted to exercise “poetic license” and change a name, avid historical romance hounds wouldn’t like it. Lesson learned and to those historical romance buffs, some of whom may be your readers, I apologize.
In my second published novel, a time-travel romance entitled, According to Legend, I did a lot of research as well. In this book, my heroine comes into possession of an enchanted dream catcher, which through her dreams draws her back in time to the tribe, and into the arms of the handsome warrior chief. The story revolves around actual Native American legend and encompasses some of the customs of the tribes that inhabited Connecticut, which is where the story takes place. In this book, I did change the name of the tribe, and the area. So far, no one has called me out for it.
In To Kill a Monarch, having learned my lesson from Pirates, I didn’t change a thing. I merely spun a story around the time and imagined what could have happened. Did it ever really happen? There is nothing in history to suggest it. Could it have happened? Yes.
What is To Kill a Monarch about? Here is a little blurb:
Whispers in dark allies say Napoleon’s best assassin, The Falcon, has been sent to London to kill the Monarch. The problem – The Falcon’s identity is known only to the French Emperor. Sir Walter Tinsdale’s new partner, Philip Hamilton, arrives to discover their mission is to find the elusive bird of prey before he strikes. But their nemesis is like a phantom and always one step ahead of them. Enter the lovely Miss Charlotte Winston, the object of Sir Tinsdale’s affections, as well as those of Philip Hamilton. Unlikely alliances, deception, murder, and suicide will keep you turning the pages until the identity of The Falcon is finally revealed. With all the seduction and action of a James Bond movie, To Kill a Monarch is like 007 in 1811.
Would your readers like an excerpt?
Phillip lifted the lid off the terrine. The rich aroma of the thick beef stew rose with the steam that swirled above the heavy pot. A loaf of bread wrapped in a linen cloth still held the heat of the oven and his stomach growled, reminding him that he had not eaten since breakfast.
“Come, Charlotte. I’m famished. Let us dine. And after we eat, I have another surprise for you.”
“Yes, I have a little gift for you.”
She sauntered toward the table only stopping when she came to stand beside him. “A gift?”
“What is it?”
“It’s a surprise. Now come, let us eat.”
“Will I like it?”
“I hope you will.”
“Tell me what it is.”
“You will have to wait until after dinner to see.”
“Phillip, why do you tease me so?”
“As I believe I have already told you, Madam, you have yet to sample the extent of my teasing. But after dinner I intend to give you a full ration.”
If your readers would like to read more of my saucy “caper” tale, releasing on 8/21, they can find it on Amazon and B&N.
I’m always happy to hear from readers. Please visit me at my website www.gerribrousseau.com or fine me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/gerri.brosseau.5) or on twitter (www.twitter.com/GMBfictionwrite).
Now for some fun! Today I’m giving away a free e-book copy of To Kill a Monarch. The drawing will be random and to qualify you must leave a comment with your email address. Please feel free to ask questions. A winner will be drawn on August 27th.