You've all heard me raving about Anne Gracie's books. I think her historicals are witty and romantic and just wonderful! So I'm very excited to have Anne on the blog today. Please welcome Anne to the blog everyone! (And don't forget to enter her contest)
Hi, I'm Anne Gracie, and I'm delighted to be here — thanks for inviting me, Nalini. Now, before I start, I must make a terrible confession — for years I wouldn't even pick up a paranormal romance. (Hush those boos and hisses! Would I be here if I still hadn't touched them? And yes, I know I write historicals so if you really must boo and hiss, go ahead. (waits for booing and hissing to die down, then proceeds.)
A dozen or so years ago, in my first ever critique group, I met my first ever paranormal writer and the conversation went like this:
Keri (unpublished writer) "What sort of books do you write?"
Anne: (unpublished writer) "Regency historicals."
Keri (pulling a face): "Historicals? How boring."
Anne (narrowing eyes): "Why what do you write?"
Keri: "Vampire romances."
Anne: "Vampires? How creepy."
That was Keri Arthur, and even though we each had no interest in what the other wrote, she and I became friends. We both got published. I bought her books and they sat unread on the shelf. They were paranormals so I knew I wouldn't like them.
Then a few years ago, a friend lent me the first of JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and insisted I read it. It sat on my shelf untouched for an embarrassingly long time, because I didn't like paranormals, did I? In fact the only reason I ended up opening it was so I could honestly say to my friend "I read the first 50 pages, but it's not my thing." Only it was my thing. By the end of the weekend I'd bought and read the whole
So I read my Keri Arthur books and then I read Nalini's Psy Changeling series and of course I'm now a huge paranormal reader, because what's not to love about gorgeous heroes, strong heroines and exciting stories?
It was my own preconceived notions of what they were that kept me from paranormals for a long time. Prejudice. I was so sure I wouldn't like them. But the thing is, a good story is a good story, and unforgettable characters leap off a page whether the book is a paranormal or a historical or a contemporary.
People often think the same thing about historicals. "Historicals? Why would I want to read them? Everyone in them is dead," another writer friend of mine once told me. Of course, being a friend, she forced herself to read one of mine and she shocked herself silly when she actually enjoyed it.
She was sure she wouldn't like historicals because she hated history at school. As if somehow a historical romance was a dusty old tome filled with boring facts.
But history is just a setting, atmosphere, a world to escape into in the same way you can enter into the world of a paranormal. History provides the background, the texture, some of the detail. But if a historical romance is doing its job, you shouldn't even notice the history - you'll be reading for the story, for the characters, the thrills and spills. Just like any other book.
And I love getting emails from readers that say things like: "Yours was the first historical I ever read, and now I can't get enough of them."
A couple of years ago Keri Arthur started reading regency historicals. She read my books, Eloisa James's, Julia Quinn's... "Why didn't anyone tell me historicals were so much fun?" she complained. And we had a laugh about our attitude change.
So what about you? Have you been blind like I was? Are there any subgenres you haven't given a fair go to? Haven't really tried out? Given up after one bad experience? And what about a recommendation for someone that's new to your favorite subgenre?
*Rules: Contest closes Friday 5th August 2011, 9am New Zealand time. Open internationally. One entry per household. No purchase necessary to enter. Winner will be chosen randomly using random.org and his or her name(s) posted on this blog on Saturday 6th August 2011. Void where prohibited.