About fifteen years ago I read an article somewhere by somebody. It was a somebody from the Big Howevermany it was then publishing houses, and it stated, categorically, that Regency was dead. Nobody wanted to read Regency any more, so they weren't going to publish Regency any more. I was devastated.
Long ago in my early teens I had discovered Georgette Heyer's books in the school library. I thought they were wonderful - funny, romantic, set in a time very different from the Sixties. Interesting. I read every one I could get hold of, and I even spent my pittance of pocket money on the paperbacks. I was hooked.
Time passed, and I was unfaithful to the Regency. I spent time with science fiction and fantasy, with gritty thrillers and whodunnits. There just weren't enough Heyers to keep me fed. By the turn of the millennium though I had acquired a PDA - remember those? And I used it almost entirely for reading. Science fiction, fantasy, whodunnits. I read whilst being driven to work by my old man, an hour each way every day. At lunch. In the evening. And one day my dealer, the late lamented Fictionwise, gave away a whole shelf-full of ebooks. Hey, they were free. I downloaded the lot.
Some of them were a little bit of a surprise to me, and broadened my horizons no end. But amongst the thirty or so books there was one Regency romance. I read it, and was taken back to my teens, reminded of how much I had loved Heyer. I can even tell you the plot of the book, though the title and author escape me -
And I realised that while I had been absent, people had been writing new Regencies. I was re-hooked. I bought every one I could find on the Fictionwise site. I discovered Mary Balogh and Stephanie Laurens. Regencies had discovered Sex!
And at the back of my mind an idea started forming. What if ...
And then this article. No more Regency. And this was before Indie Publishing was a thing. What the big publishing houses said was what happened, and they had decided that Regency was no more. My idea for a plot, for a Regency romance, withered. But I couldn't kill it completely, it kept coming back and bothering me. What if ... ?
I achieved a lifetime's ambition, early retirement. One part of my retirement gift was a big notepad and a packet of pens, given with the instruction to go and write that book I had been talking about all this time.
And I was still reading Regency, and contrary to what Big Publishing had said, people were still writing it, and they were in fact still publishing it. Pants on fire!
And then I found out about NaNoWriMo, and Indie publishing, and I realised that it didn't matter what Big Publishing said anyway, so I did write that book. And several others. They are sitting on my computer in various states of editing, and by golly I am going to publish them. And we'll see then if Regency is dead or not.
Doreen lives in the empty bit in the middle of Wales, where since her retirement she has taken up writing. She says it's better than working any day.
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