Mary Jo interviews Candice Hern

MJP: I’m happy to introduce Candice Hern, our very first guest author here on Word Wenches!  Like several of us Wenches, Candice started her writing career in traditional Regency and has since moved to historical romance.  Two of her books have been named to Library Journal listings of the top five romances of the year (The Bride Sale and Once a Gentleman), and one of her books tied for #1 in RWA’s Top Ten Favorite Books of the Year.  (Once a Scoundrel)

Candicehome_1 My personal memories of Candice include the time when our mutual editor at NAL was taking a group of her authors out to dinner at a conference in New York City.  It was raining, and Candice found a most ingenious way to conjure an umbrella.  <g>

Candice has an August release from NAL, Just One of Those Flings, the second in her Merry Widows trilogy.  Even as a kid reading my first Georgette Heyer books, I tended to prefer the older heroines who had more mileage on them, so I adore the premise of this series, which features a group of wealthy, aristocratic widows who decided that they don’t want to remarry, ever, but they would certainly like to take lovers.  Candice, what inspired you to create this series?

Candicefling_cover CH: When I first developed the idea for In the Thrill of the Night, it was a standalone story about a respectable widow who decides to take a lover.  But I wanted to write another trilogy, so I began to think of ways to spin off a second and third story.  So many historical series are based on men -­ brothers, soldiers, spies, etc.  I decided I wanted to base the stories around women, and because there were so many family-based historical series already out there, I decided to make the women friends rather than family.

A story of friendship among women was a very appealing theme to thread through the trilogy.  I kept thinking about the four friends in Sex and the City.  No matter how many men came into and dropped out of their lives, they still had one another.  I suddenly had visions of Marianne (the heroine of Thrill) talking with her friends about wanting to take a lover, in just as frank a manner as Carrie Bradshaw and her friends.  Then I thought:  what if all of the women decided to take lovers?  And the Merry Widows were born. 

Lampooning the Regency cliché of Almack’s and its formidable patronesses, I created a group of wealthy, respectable widows who sponsor charity balls.  In private, however, they speak frankly about men and sex and love.  I like to think of the trilogy as Sex and the City meets Almack’s.

MJP: While Just One of Those Flings is in some ways a very classical Regency, set Candicefashion_printin London during the social season, in other ways it’s quite different, even a little subversive.  Naturally, I loved that. <G>  Could you tell us a bit about the story?

CH: Subversive, huh?  Well, it does have an older woman/younger man romance, so maybe that makes it slightly different.  Beatrice, Lady Somerfield, is too busy acting as chaperone for her headstrong niece, Emily, and overseeing her own young daughters to take her friends’ advice to find a lover.  Maybe next year, she thinks.  Until one night at a masquerade ball when a rather surprising, and anonymous, encounter with a dark stranger changes her mind.

When she finally discovers her secret lover’s identity as the Marquess of Thayne ­- the very man she has practically been pushing into her niece’s arms as the Catch of the Season ­- Beatrice is horrified and realizes an affair would be awkward at best, if not impossible.  But Thayne is thoroughly captivated by Beatrice, and as he searches for a bride among the Season’s young ladies, he finds himself increasingly drawn to the beautiful, sensual, more mature and sophisticated Lady Somerfield.  Of course, a love affair ensues, scandal erupts, lives are turned upside down, etc etc.

MJP: I love the combination of witty title and the lush, historical cover that is both classy and sexy.  Can you tell us how this great look for the series came about? 

CH: It started with the titles.  When I proposed the series, I used twisted Cole Porter song titles and the publisher liked them.  My editor suggested "upscale artwork" combined with the twisted song titles would best represent my voice, which she called "elegant but fun."  As you all know, body parts (ie partially seen bodies, not gruesome severed limbs) are very popular cover images these days, so my editor suggested details of real paintings might be used, focusing on specific body parts.  So I went to work rounding up lots of portraits and cropped them down to highlight certain areas.  I put together a very long web page Candice_book_cover showing hands and necks and feet and shoulders, etc from a host of portraits, mostly from the Regency period or thereabouts.  I am fortunate that the art department liked some of my suggestions.  The covers of both In the Thrill of the Night and Just One of Those Flings are based on images I included on that web page.  You can see the real paintings used for each cover on my website, on the Behind the Scenes page for each book.

And by the way, for the third book, we couldn’t agree on another Cole Porter title and finally decided on twisting an old Gershwin song instead: Lady Be Bad.

MJP: Candice is known among Regency writers for her Regency knowledge, and also for her wonderful collections of Regency objects, some of which are displayed on her website. http://candicehern.com/collections/index.htm  She Candicethrowaway_scent_bottle once pointed me at e-bay so I could buy an 18th Century perfume bottle.  Candice, how do you learn about this wonderful things?  And how do you find them?

CH: I’ve been collecting this stuff for years and years.  It always goes something like this:  An interesting, intriguing, or unusual item catches my eye and I buy it.  Sometime later, maybe even years later, I find another one that I like and buy it, too.  Now I figure with two items, I have the start of a collection, so I need more.  And then I make myself nuts tracking down lots more of whatever it is.  Regency fashion prints were the first thing to inspire my collector’s passion, and I now have over 500 of them.  Vinaigrettes were also an early collection, as were shoe buckles.  Then came scent bottles and reticules and quizzing glasses and sCandicepaste_bucklesilhouettes on and on. 

As for where I find my antiques?  Everywhere.  🙂  In the days before the internet, I haunted antique shows and auctions and developed good relationships with various dealers.  I still have those relationships and still go to antique shows and auctions, but I have the internet now as well, which is both a curse (because a dealer’s access to more collectors drives the prices up) and a blessing (because I can now develop relationships with dealers around the world).  I do buy things on eBay, but I am very careful about it and very selective.  There, too, I have found specific dealers I trust.  Plus, I travel to the UK about once a year and do lots of shopping there, again working with the same dealers year after year.  Those dealer relationships are essential, because they know what I collect and will look for things to tempt me on their buying trips.

Candicecontest_print And speaking of my collections, I’m currently offering to share a teeny bit of it with one lucky winner in my current website contest.  I’m giving away an authentic Regency period fashion print — a Morning Dress from the May 1813 issue of Ackermann’s Repository.  It’s actually a duplicate from my collection, so I figured I could part with it.  🙂  You can see it on the contest page on my website. 

MJP: I believe that all of your books have been set in the Regency.  Do you have any secret yearnings to try other periods?  If so, which times attract you?

CH: I love the 18th century and I’d love to write a Georgian book.  Perhaps one day I will, but I have at least 6 Regency stories dying to be written first!  Also, I have a story that’s been buzzing around in my head for years that would be set in 1850s San Francisco, right after the Gold Rush.  It would be based on a real woman who was the daughter of a minister in Baltimore and who ended up as one of the most famous madams in San Francisco.  A very bawdy and colorful time.  It is not, unfortunately, a popular time period with editors so I doubt I’ll be writing it anytime soon.  But I would dearly love to write a book about my adopted city one day.

MJP:   What got you started writing romance?  Are there any mistakes you made then that you’d like to warn aspiring writers about?

CH: I was a voracious reader first.  I stumbled upon the great Georgette Heyer rather late in life, and when I’d finished all her books and discovered that similar books were still being written … well, I was in hog heaven.  I would go to used book stores and carry away huge shopping bags full of Regencies, many of them Candicequizzing_glass by the Wenches on this blog.  By that time in my life I had already been collecting Regency antiques for years and had done a lot of research on the period, so I knew it pretty well.  But I never dreamed of writing a book until one day the man I live with saw me haul in yet another bag full of Regencies and said, "You know this period as well as anyone.  Why don’t YOU write a book?"  It was like a light went on in my brain, and all at once a dozen stories popped into my head.  I started to write one of them down, joined RWA, entered some contests, and won a few.  I got my first contract from an editor who’d read one of my contest entries.  And I haven’t looked back since!

Yes, I’ve made mistakes.  Plenty of them.  To be honest, I wish I had jumped right into Regency historicals rather than traditional Regencies.  My career might be further along if I’d done that.  But I loved writing those books and I still mourn the demise of the traditional Regency.  Some of my all-time favorite books were trads:  Jo’s Emily and the Dark Angel; Loretta’s The Sandalwood Princess; Edith’s The Duke’s Wager; Mary Jo’s The Would-Be Widow.  What a shame that those short, sweet, witty, thoroughly character-driven stories are no longer being published. 

My advice to aspiring writers is to keep a keen eye on the market.  Look at the new deals listed in places like Publishers Lunch and look at what types of books (and settings) hit the bestseller lists.  You can sometimes spot trends and, if you’re quick, take advantage of them.  But you might also note a subgenre that is becoming over-saturated (like Chick Lit), and it would behoove you to give serious consideration to writing something else.  Get your foot in the door with something very commercial.  That book-of-the-heart set in 5th century Constantinople may have to wait.

MJP: You’ve been writing for some years now.  Do you feel your work has changed in that time?   If so, how?

Candicegeorgian_sentimental_jewelry CH: I think, I hope, my writing has matured, but I know my voice has stayed the same.  I don’t think I could change it if I tried.  I still write long and detailed outlines for each book, but I no longer do formal character histories or charts like I did with my early books while I was learning my craft.  I still spend way too much time on research, but I’m putting less of it on the page.  It’s all just a matter of getting more and more comfortable with the writing process and more confident in my voice.  I don’t struggle as much or polish as hard, but I still write very slowly.  Some things never change!

MJP:  While reading Just One of Those Flings, I got a pretty good idea who the next book would be about!  Would you like to tell us a bit about the third book in the series? 

CH: No!  🙂  Oh, okay, but just a little.  The teaser in the back of Flings reveals who the hero and heroine are.  It’s a classic bad boy meets good girl story.  And the last scene was inspired by a popular Tom Cruise movie.  And that’s all I want to say about it.

MJP:   What do you think about the state of the historical romance market and where it might be going?

Candicelovers_eyeCH: I am nothing but optimistic.  The historical romance is not dead or dying but is here to stay.  For many years I have advised aspiring writers to write to the market, to stick with the Regency and Victorian settings because anything else was a hard sell.  But things seem to be opening up a bit.  NAL is publishing Restoration romances.  My friend (and fellow Fog City Diva) Monica McCarty has a debut trilogy coming out next year from Ballantine that is set in the early 17th century.  And I heard of several Western/Americana sales at the recent RWA conference.  So things are looking up.  I am hopeful that an infusion of long-needed diversity will have a positive effect on the genre. 

Candice Hern will be donating a signed copy of her first Merry Widows book, In the Thrill of the Night, to one of the commenters on her interview.  Eligible will be anyone who comments between now and midnight of Sunday, August 20th. 

Candice, thanks so much for joining us!  I look forward to the next Merry Widow. 

Mary Jo, who took these lovely images from Candice’s Collections

129 thoughts on “Mary Jo interviews Candice Hern”

  1. If this is a duplicate, take it away, please, Sherrie.
    I was just saying that my area of collecting (moles) is a bit out of Candice’s sphere.
    I loved the traditional Regencies of all you Wenches, including Candice, though I wouldn’t necessarily have picked the same favorites.
    As I mentioned on the blog about book recommendations, I was shocked and horrified that some readers DON’T CARE FOR GEORGETTE HEYER! I guess we Heyer fans will have to settle for being the Quality instead of the quantity…

    Reply
  2. If this is a duplicate, take it away, please, Sherrie.
    I was just saying that my area of collecting (moles) is a bit out of Candice’s sphere.
    I loved the traditional Regencies of all you Wenches, including Candice, though I wouldn’t necessarily have picked the same favorites.
    As I mentioned on the blog about book recommendations, I was shocked and horrified that some readers DON’T CARE FOR GEORGETTE HEYER! I guess we Heyer fans will have to settle for being the Quality instead of the quantity…

    Reply
  3. If this is a duplicate, take it away, please, Sherrie.
    I was just saying that my area of collecting (moles) is a bit out of Candice’s sphere.
    I loved the traditional Regencies of all you Wenches, including Candice, though I wouldn’t necessarily have picked the same favorites.
    As I mentioned on the blog about book recommendations, I was shocked and horrified that some readers DON’T CARE FOR GEORGETTE HEYER! I guess we Heyer fans will have to settle for being the Quality instead of the quantity…

    Reply
  4. Candice, I am so looking forward to reading this book. I will definetly order it from Amazon. I too am sad at the demise of the traditional Regency, but I am very pleased that Trad writers are moving towards longer historicals and if these writers produce the gems which writers such as yourself, Loretta Chase, Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney and Mary Balogh do, then I am happy.
    Talpianna, how can a Regency reader not like Georgette Heyer? It’s impossible to understand. If you’ve never read Heyer or Austen, you don’t know what Regency romance is!

    Reply
  5. Candice, I am so looking forward to reading this book. I will definetly order it from Amazon. I too am sad at the demise of the traditional Regency, but I am very pleased that Trad writers are moving towards longer historicals and if these writers produce the gems which writers such as yourself, Loretta Chase, Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney and Mary Balogh do, then I am happy.
    Talpianna, how can a Regency reader not like Georgette Heyer? It’s impossible to understand. If you’ve never read Heyer or Austen, you don’t know what Regency romance is!

    Reply
  6. Candice, I am so looking forward to reading this book. I will definetly order it from Amazon. I too am sad at the demise of the traditional Regency, but I am very pleased that Trad writers are moving towards longer historicals and if these writers produce the gems which writers such as yourself, Loretta Chase, Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney and Mary Balogh do, then I am happy.
    Talpianna, how can a Regency reader not like Georgette Heyer? It’s impossible to understand. If you’ve never read Heyer or Austen, you don’t know what Regency romance is!

    Reply
  7. Hi everyone! Thanks for having me here, Wenches. I am honored to be your first guest!
    Talpianna, are you the one who wrote to me about love altars?
    Regarding people who don’t like Heyer — I think people who’ve cut their teeth on current historical romances often can’t get beyond the absence of sensuality in her books. They want more than Heyer’s chaste kisses. Unfortunately for them, they miss out on some of the best dialog ever written. I love listening to Heyer books on tape, just to hear that witty repartee out loud.

    Reply
  8. Hi everyone! Thanks for having me here, Wenches. I am honored to be your first guest!
    Talpianna, are you the one who wrote to me about love altars?
    Regarding people who don’t like Heyer — I think people who’ve cut their teeth on current historical romances often can’t get beyond the absence of sensuality in her books. They want more than Heyer’s chaste kisses. Unfortunately for them, they miss out on some of the best dialog ever written. I love listening to Heyer books on tape, just to hear that witty repartee out loud.

    Reply
  9. Hi everyone! Thanks for having me here, Wenches. I am honored to be your first guest!
    Talpianna, are you the one who wrote to me about love altars?
    Regarding people who don’t like Heyer — I think people who’ve cut their teeth on current historical romances often can’t get beyond the absence of sensuality in her books. They want more than Heyer’s chaste kisses. Unfortunately for them, they miss out on some of the best dialog ever written. I love listening to Heyer books on tape, just to hear that witty repartee out loud.

    Reply
  10. Candice, one of these days I’ll make it to another RWA conference and hope to see samples from some of your fabulous collections. The ones that intrigue me the most (because I think they are so *odd*!) are those brooches with an eye in the middle. Bizarre! Yet strangely compelling.
    I’m a Candice Hern fan from way back when, and it’s such a thrill to see you here at the blog as the first guest author!

    Reply
  11. Candice, one of these days I’ll make it to another RWA conference and hope to see samples from some of your fabulous collections. The ones that intrigue me the most (because I think they are so *odd*!) are those brooches with an eye in the middle. Bizarre! Yet strangely compelling.
    I’m a Candice Hern fan from way back when, and it’s such a thrill to see you here at the blog as the first guest author!

    Reply
  12. Candice, one of these days I’ll make it to another RWA conference and hope to see samples from some of your fabulous collections. The ones that intrigue me the most (because I think they are so *odd*!) are those brooches with an eye in the middle. Bizarre! Yet strangely compelling.
    I’m a Candice Hern fan from way back when, and it’s such a thrill to see you here at the blog as the first guest author!

    Reply
  13. Hi Candice. Great interview. I think it is neat how you collect all the fabulous items you have. I love your books. I am always hooked from the first page.

    Reply
  14. Hi Candice. Great interview. I think it is neat how you collect all the fabulous items you have. I love your books. I am always hooked from the first page.

    Reply
  15. Hi Candice. Great interview. I think it is neat how you collect all the fabulous items you have. I love your books. I am always hooked from the first page.

    Reply
  16. Candice Hern said: ‘Regarding people who don’t like Heyer — I think people who’ve cut their teeth on current historical romances often can’t get beyond the absence of sensuality in her books.’
    * * *
    I think you are perfectly right that younger readers (those under, say, 40…) expect sex in their romances, but I don’t think there is an absence of SENSUALITY in Heyer’s books, by any means. An absence of overtly described sexual activity, yes, as in all books published in England for general sale prior to 1960. Actual description of sexual intercourse was publishable only as under-the-counter pornography before the revision of the Obscene Publications laws at the end of the 1950s. Heyer’s writing career spanned the 1920s to the 1970s.
    But there is a very powerful sense of sexual attraction in several of Heyer’s books, e.g. ‘Venetia’, ‘Black Sheep’, ‘The Nonesuch’, ‘Devil’s Cub’, even in the very early ‘These Old Shades’. One has no doubt at all about the fact that Damerel and Venetia, for instance, are going to burn up the sheets when they finally get together. This kind of tension is often more effective than graphic description.
    I think that, rather than being surprised that there are modern readers who find Heyer too tame, one should perhaps be surprised that there are still so many readers who can and do enjoy light romances focusing on the Regency period that were written up to 80 years ago. There are relatively few popular ‘genre’ novelists who were writing before and during the 2nd World War who are still in print and selling well: Christie, Marsh and Sayers are still pre-eminent in their fields, but I can’t think of another romantic novelist, contemporary or historical, whose books written in the 1930s are still widely read.

    Reply
  17. Candice Hern said: ‘Regarding people who don’t like Heyer — I think people who’ve cut their teeth on current historical romances often can’t get beyond the absence of sensuality in her books.’
    * * *
    I think you are perfectly right that younger readers (those under, say, 40…) expect sex in their romances, but I don’t think there is an absence of SENSUALITY in Heyer’s books, by any means. An absence of overtly described sexual activity, yes, as in all books published in England for general sale prior to 1960. Actual description of sexual intercourse was publishable only as under-the-counter pornography before the revision of the Obscene Publications laws at the end of the 1950s. Heyer’s writing career spanned the 1920s to the 1970s.
    But there is a very powerful sense of sexual attraction in several of Heyer’s books, e.g. ‘Venetia’, ‘Black Sheep’, ‘The Nonesuch’, ‘Devil’s Cub’, even in the very early ‘These Old Shades’. One has no doubt at all about the fact that Damerel and Venetia, for instance, are going to burn up the sheets when they finally get together. This kind of tension is often more effective than graphic description.
    I think that, rather than being surprised that there are modern readers who find Heyer too tame, one should perhaps be surprised that there are still so many readers who can and do enjoy light romances focusing on the Regency period that were written up to 80 years ago. There are relatively few popular ‘genre’ novelists who were writing before and during the 2nd World War who are still in print and selling well: Christie, Marsh and Sayers are still pre-eminent in their fields, but I can’t think of another romantic novelist, contemporary or historical, whose books written in the 1930s are still widely read.

    Reply
  18. Candice Hern said: ‘Regarding people who don’t like Heyer — I think people who’ve cut their teeth on current historical romances often can’t get beyond the absence of sensuality in her books.’
    * * *
    I think you are perfectly right that younger readers (those under, say, 40…) expect sex in their romances, but I don’t think there is an absence of SENSUALITY in Heyer’s books, by any means. An absence of overtly described sexual activity, yes, as in all books published in England for general sale prior to 1960. Actual description of sexual intercourse was publishable only as under-the-counter pornography before the revision of the Obscene Publications laws at the end of the 1950s. Heyer’s writing career spanned the 1920s to the 1970s.
    But there is a very powerful sense of sexual attraction in several of Heyer’s books, e.g. ‘Venetia’, ‘Black Sheep’, ‘The Nonesuch’, ‘Devil’s Cub’, even in the very early ‘These Old Shades’. One has no doubt at all about the fact that Damerel and Venetia, for instance, are going to burn up the sheets when they finally get together. This kind of tension is often more effective than graphic description.
    I think that, rather than being surprised that there are modern readers who find Heyer too tame, one should perhaps be surprised that there are still so many readers who can and do enjoy light romances focusing on the Regency period that were written up to 80 years ago. There are relatively few popular ‘genre’ novelists who were writing before and during the 2nd World War who are still in print and selling well: Christie, Marsh and Sayers are still pre-eminent in their fields, but I can’t think of another romantic novelist, contemporary or historical, whose books written in the 1930s are still widely read.

    Reply
  19. Hello Candice,
    Thank you for being a guest on Word Wenches. Love the photos of your collection. Your Merry Widows sound positively fascinating. And the covers are definitely drawn to entice the sophisticated eye.
    I am new to the historical romance genera. While on an extended business trip this past January, I bought MJ’s KISS OF FATE on a whim. OK, not a whim really. I was board and I liked the cover. (a beautiful castle set against an azure sky) Truth was, I was lonely, had no intentions of reading more than what I could digest that night, and planned leave the book behind for those who read ‘that type of thing.’ By morning, MJ had firmly planted her quill in my heart, the book refused to leave my hand and I’ve been burning my way through the Word Wenches work ever since. I’m hooked. It’s nice to learn about a new author.
    Thank you for your take on the market and your advice to aspiring writers. I’m off to Publishers Lunch to do some research.
    Nina
    –the littlest wenchling, who doesn’t write romance.
    MJ, excellent interview, btw. Now get back to work! I’m dying to meet Jean and her man.

    Reply
  20. Hello Candice,
    Thank you for being a guest on Word Wenches. Love the photos of your collection. Your Merry Widows sound positively fascinating. And the covers are definitely drawn to entice the sophisticated eye.
    I am new to the historical romance genera. While on an extended business trip this past January, I bought MJ’s KISS OF FATE on a whim. OK, not a whim really. I was board and I liked the cover. (a beautiful castle set against an azure sky) Truth was, I was lonely, had no intentions of reading more than what I could digest that night, and planned leave the book behind for those who read ‘that type of thing.’ By morning, MJ had firmly planted her quill in my heart, the book refused to leave my hand and I’ve been burning my way through the Word Wenches work ever since. I’m hooked. It’s nice to learn about a new author.
    Thank you for your take on the market and your advice to aspiring writers. I’m off to Publishers Lunch to do some research.
    Nina
    –the littlest wenchling, who doesn’t write romance.
    MJ, excellent interview, btw. Now get back to work! I’m dying to meet Jean and her man.

    Reply
  21. Hello Candice,
    Thank you for being a guest on Word Wenches. Love the photos of your collection. Your Merry Widows sound positively fascinating. And the covers are definitely drawn to entice the sophisticated eye.
    I am new to the historical romance genera. While on an extended business trip this past January, I bought MJ’s KISS OF FATE on a whim. OK, not a whim really. I was board and I liked the cover. (a beautiful castle set against an azure sky) Truth was, I was lonely, had no intentions of reading more than what I could digest that night, and planned leave the book behind for those who read ‘that type of thing.’ By morning, MJ had firmly planted her quill in my heart, the book refused to leave my hand and I’ve been burning my way through the Word Wenches work ever since. I’m hooked. It’s nice to learn about a new author.
    Thank you for your take on the market and your advice to aspiring writers. I’m off to Publishers Lunch to do some research.
    Nina
    –the littlest wenchling, who doesn’t write romance.
    MJ, excellent interview, btw. Now get back to work! I’m dying to meet Jean and her man.

    Reply
  22. I attribute my love of historical romance to Georgette Heyer, Victoria Holt and Anya Seton and to this day I still go back to these books and devour them and I derive the same enjoyment out of these books today as I did many, many years ago when I first read them.
    I think it’s because of these writers that I love my historical romances to be rich in history and rich in romance too so when I pick up a historical I don’t care if there are any sex scenes or not; as long as the history is evocative and rings true and the writing and characters compelling then I know I shall enjoy it.

    Reply
  23. I attribute my love of historical romance to Georgette Heyer, Victoria Holt and Anya Seton and to this day I still go back to these books and devour them and I derive the same enjoyment out of these books today as I did many, many years ago when I first read them.
    I think it’s because of these writers that I love my historical romances to be rich in history and rich in romance too so when I pick up a historical I don’t care if there are any sex scenes or not; as long as the history is evocative and rings true and the writing and characters compelling then I know I shall enjoy it.

    Reply
  24. I attribute my love of historical romance to Georgette Heyer, Victoria Holt and Anya Seton and to this day I still go back to these books and devour them and I derive the same enjoyment out of these books today as I did many, many years ago when I first read them.
    I think it’s because of these writers that I love my historical romances to be rich in history and rich in romance too so when I pick up a historical I don’t care if there are any sex scenes or not; as long as the history is evocative and rings true and the writing and characters compelling then I know I shall enjoy it.

    Reply
  25. Julie said: ‘…when I pick up a historical I don’t care if there are any sex scenes or not; as long as the history is evocative and rings true and the writing and characters compelling then I know I shall enjoy it.’
    Hear, hear! The reader’s imagination, once inspired by good writing and believable characters, can and does fill in the details. I enjoy hot erotic scenes as much as the next reader, but I do not regard them as essential to a good romantic story.

    Reply
  26. Julie said: ‘…when I pick up a historical I don’t care if there are any sex scenes or not; as long as the history is evocative and rings true and the writing and characters compelling then I know I shall enjoy it.’
    Hear, hear! The reader’s imagination, once inspired by good writing and believable characters, can and does fill in the details. I enjoy hot erotic scenes as much as the next reader, but I do not regard them as essential to a good romantic story.

    Reply
  27. Julie said: ‘…when I pick up a historical I don’t care if there are any sex scenes or not; as long as the history is evocative and rings true and the writing and characters compelling then I know I shall enjoy it.’
    Hear, hear! The reader’s imagination, once inspired by good writing and believable characters, can and does fill in the details. I enjoy hot erotic scenes as much as the next reader, but I do not regard them as essential to a good romantic story.

    Reply
  28. Great interview, thank you, MJ and Candice!
    I love the idea of collecting and once upon a time dabbled in the prints, but after packing and moving a dozen times, the notion has lost its luster. Pray you never have to move your things!

    Reply
  29. Great interview, thank you, MJ and Candice!
    I love the idea of collecting and once upon a time dabbled in the prints, but after packing and moving a dozen times, the notion has lost its luster. Pray you never have to move your things!

    Reply
  30. Great interview, thank you, MJ and Candice!
    I love the idea of collecting and once upon a time dabbled in the prints, but after packing and moving a dozen times, the notion has lost its luster. Pray you never have to move your things!

    Reply
  31. From MJP:
    Candice, you’ve got lots of fans here!
    Personally, much as I adore Georgette Heyer (her ghostly fingerprints are all over my first Signet Regency), I can understand why she doesn’t click with all readers. I don’t think it’s theck of graphic sexuality so much as the language.
    She uses language marvelously, but unless one is in tune with that kind of dry, Jane Austenish wit, the books can be seen as slow and dry. Her style used to be more the norm, of course (though few were as good at it as she),but modern literary style is far more streamlined and action oriented, so I fear that The Great Georgette will become increatsing a specialty taste.
    But I’m keeping my collection of Heyers forever!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  32. From MJP:
    Candice, you’ve got lots of fans here!
    Personally, much as I adore Georgette Heyer (her ghostly fingerprints are all over my first Signet Regency), I can understand why she doesn’t click with all readers. I don’t think it’s theck of graphic sexuality so much as the language.
    She uses language marvelously, but unless one is in tune with that kind of dry, Jane Austenish wit, the books can be seen as slow and dry. Her style used to be more the norm, of course (though few were as good at it as she),but modern literary style is far more streamlined and action oriented, so I fear that The Great Georgette will become increatsing a specialty taste.
    But I’m keeping my collection of Heyers forever!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  33. From MJP:
    Candice, you’ve got lots of fans here!
    Personally, much as I adore Georgette Heyer (her ghostly fingerprints are all over my first Signet Regency), I can understand why she doesn’t click with all readers. I don’t think it’s theck of graphic sexuality so much as the language.
    She uses language marvelously, but unless one is in tune with that kind of dry, Jane Austenish wit, the books can be seen as slow and dry. Her style used to be more the norm, of course (though few were as good at it as she),but modern literary style is far more streamlined and action oriented, so I fear that The Great Georgette will become increatsing a specialty taste.
    But I’m keeping my collection of Heyers forever!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  34. Big *WAVE* to Candice!
    I consumed JUST ONE OF THOSE FLINGS in one gulp this past weekend (always the sign of a good book in my world, when I just can’t put it down) and all I can say is WOW! Loved it. And loved that I could see echoes of the romance from IN THE THRILL OF THE NIGHT and what I’m 99% sure are foreshadowing bits of LADY BE BAD (yeah, I already love the next hero; boy I hope he twists that little bishop’s widow into knots!).
    I just saw that the Rhapsody book club has JOOTF in hardback . . . and I’m sorely tempted. I may have to join just to get it.

    Reply
  35. Big *WAVE* to Candice!
    I consumed JUST ONE OF THOSE FLINGS in one gulp this past weekend (always the sign of a good book in my world, when I just can’t put it down) and all I can say is WOW! Loved it. And loved that I could see echoes of the romance from IN THE THRILL OF THE NIGHT and what I’m 99% sure are foreshadowing bits of LADY BE BAD (yeah, I already love the next hero; boy I hope he twists that little bishop’s widow into knots!).
    I just saw that the Rhapsody book club has JOOTF in hardback . . . and I’m sorely tempted. I may have to join just to get it.

    Reply
  36. Big *WAVE* to Candice!
    I consumed JUST ONE OF THOSE FLINGS in one gulp this past weekend (always the sign of a good book in my world, when I just can’t put it down) and all I can say is WOW! Loved it. And loved that I could see echoes of the romance from IN THE THRILL OF THE NIGHT and what I’m 99% sure are foreshadowing bits of LADY BE BAD (yeah, I already love the next hero; boy I hope he twists that little bishop’s widow into knots!).
    I just saw that the Rhapsody book club has JOOTF in hardback . . . and I’m sorely tempted. I may have to join just to get it.

    Reply
  37. Hello,
    This is my virgin post on this site ! I usually just lurk but pushed myself past the mental block because I had to say – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the covers for your new series. So beautiful, compelling, and indicative of content and time period. These are the kind of covers that would make me reach out to pick up the book from the store shelf and take a peek inside. This is of course because of my vice – art. I’m much more likely to splurge on a painting than shoes – which is kind of weird, considering I write in more of a chicklit voice…

    Reply
  38. Hello,
    This is my virgin post on this site ! I usually just lurk but pushed myself past the mental block because I had to say – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the covers for your new series. So beautiful, compelling, and indicative of content and time period. These are the kind of covers that would make me reach out to pick up the book from the store shelf and take a peek inside. This is of course because of my vice – art. I’m much more likely to splurge on a painting than shoes – which is kind of weird, considering I write in more of a chicklit voice…

    Reply
  39. Hello,
    This is my virgin post on this site ! I usually just lurk but pushed myself past the mental block because I had to say – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the covers for your new series. So beautiful, compelling, and indicative of content and time period. These are the kind of covers that would make me reach out to pick up the book from the store shelf and take a peek inside. This is of course because of my vice – art. I’m much more likely to splurge on a painting than shoes – which is kind of weird, considering I write in more of a chicklit voice…

    Reply
  40. I guess once you break the ice there’s no holding back. Here I am again, immediately following up my very first post with another.
    Took a look at Mary Jo’s (I can’t believe I’m writing ‘Mary Jo’, just like that, as though we are chummy or something) last comment, and was struck by her use of the word ‘theck’.
    Hmm. Either she meant ‘the lack’ (and her fingers were just flying over the keyboard) or else this is a unique wench contraction, coined here and soon to be seen as a cool new word all over the blogosphere. It has kind of a nice ring.
    Myself, I’m hoping it’s the former, because if typos happen to so accomplished a writer as MJP it gives me hope for my own feverish scribblings.
    Maya (currently a quarter of the way through ‘Kiss of Fate’ and looking forward to Mary Jo’s appearance at our local RWA chapter meeting in Toronto in October)
    Ok that’s enough fangirl squeeing now. I’m embarrassing myself.

    Reply
  41. I guess once you break the ice there’s no holding back. Here I am again, immediately following up my very first post with another.
    Took a look at Mary Jo’s (I can’t believe I’m writing ‘Mary Jo’, just like that, as though we are chummy or something) last comment, and was struck by her use of the word ‘theck’.
    Hmm. Either she meant ‘the lack’ (and her fingers were just flying over the keyboard) or else this is a unique wench contraction, coined here and soon to be seen as a cool new word all over the blogosphere. It has kind of a nice ring.
    Myself, I’m hoping it’s the former, because if typos happen to so accomplished a writer as MJP it gives me hope for my own feverish scribblings.
    Maya (currently a quarter of the way through ‘Kiss of Fate’ and looking forward to Mary Jo’s appearance at our local RWA chapter meeting in Toronto in October)
    Ok that’s enough fangirl squeeing now. I’m embarrassing myself.

    Reply
  42. I guess once you break the ice there’s no holding back. Here I am again, immediately following up my very first post with another.
    Took a look at Mary Jo’s (I can’t believe I’m writing ‘Mary Jo’, just like that, as though we are chummy or something) last comment, and was struck by her use of the word ‘theck’.
    Hmm. Either she meant ‘the lack’ (and her fingers were just flying over the keyboard) or else this is a unique wench contraction, coined here and soon to be seen as a cool new word all over the blogosphere. It has kind of a nice ring.
    Myself, I’m hoping it’s the former, because if typos happen to so accomplished a writer as MJP it gives me hope for my own feverish scribblings.
    Maya (currently a quarter of the way through ‘Kiss of Fate’ and looking forward to Mary Jo’s appearance at our local RWA chapter meeting in Toronto in October)
    Ok that’s enough fangirl squeeing now. I’m embarrassing myself.

    Reply
  43. from MJP:
    Maya,glad we’ve got you posting! As to “theock” I meant “the lack” but really, it’s more fun to invent a new meaning. 🙂
    As to typos–I’m very slightly dyslexic or L. D. or something–enough to make me a rather inaccurate typist. My whole writing career can be attributed to getting a computer where, if you fix something, it stays fixed. I still make a lot of typos, and I don’t always catch them. So trust me–typos don’t mean you can’t be a successful writer. 🙂
    I’m looking forward to coming to Toronto in October–time I made the reservations….
    Mary Jo, carefully rereading and hoping she caught the new crop of typos

    Reply
  44. from MJP:
    Maya,glad we’ve got you posting! As to “theock” I meant “the lack” but really, it’s more fun to invent a new meaning. 🙂
    As to typos–I’m very slightly dyslexic or L. D. or something–enough to make me a rather inaccurate typist. My whole writing career can be attributed to getting a computer where, if you fix something, it stays fixed. I still make a lot of typos, and I don’t always catch them. So trust me–typos don’t mean you can’t be a successful writer. 🙂
    I’m looking forward to coming to Toronto in October–time I made the reservations….
    Mary Jo, carefully rereading and hoping she caught the new crop of typos

    Reply
  45. from MJP:
    Maya,glad we’ve got you posting! As to “theock” I meant “the lack” but really, it’s more fun to invent a new meaning. 🙂
    As to typos–I’m very slightly dyslexic or L. D. or something–enough to make me a rather inaccurate typist. My whole writing career can be attributed to getting a computer where, if you fix something, it stays fixed. I still make a lot of typos, and I don’t always catch them. So trust me–typos don’t mean you can’t be a successful writer. 🙂
    I’m looking forward to coming to Toronto in October–time I made the reservations….
    Mary Jo, carefully rereading and hoping she caught the new crop of typos

    Reply
  46. I’m one of the under 40 readers who doesn’t care for Georgette Heyer. Admittedly, I didn’t try very hard, and it’s been a while so I don’t really remember why I couldn’t get into her. It wasn’t the lack of sex – I adore Orczy’s Scarlet Pimpernel. I also enjoy reading other authors who wrote in Heyer’s day. I like Marsh and Sayers and Theodora DuBois (though I hate Christie, but that’s another story). I vaguely remember having trouble identifying with Heyer’s characters. It could be that I connect differently to romance novels and today’s Regency characters have more of the modern about them. After hearing all of the raves here, I’m willing to give Heyer another try. Do you have any recommendations for someone trying to acquire a taste for her?

    Reply
  47. I’m one of the under 40 readers who doesn’t care for Georgette Heyer. Admittedly, I didn’t try very hard, and it’s been a while so I don’t really remember why I couldn’t get into her. It wasn’t the lack of sex – I adore Orczy’s Scarlet Pimpernel. I also enjoy reading other authors who wrote in Heyer’s day. I like Marsh and Sayers and Theodora DuBois (though I hate Christie, but that’s another story). I vaguely remember having trouble identifying with Heyer’s characters. It could be that I connect differently to romance novels and today’s Regency characters have more of the modern about them. After hearing all of the raves here, I’m willing to give Heyer another try. Do you have any recommendations for someone trying to acquire a taste for her?

    Reply
  48. I’m one of the under 40 readers who doesn’t care for Georgette Heyer. Admittedly, I didn’t try very hard, and it’s been a while so I don’t really remember why I couldn’t get into her. It wasn’t the lack of sex – I adore Orczy’s Scarlet Pimpernel. I also enjoy reading other authors who wrote in Heyer’s day. I like Marsh and Sayers and Theodora DuBois (though I hate Christie, but that’s another story). I vaguely remember having trouble identifying with Heyer’s characters. It could be that I connect differently to romance novels and today’s Regency characters have more of the modern about them. After hearing all of the raves here, I’m willing to give Heyer another try. Do you have any recommendations for someone trying to acquire a taste for her?

    Reply
  49. Wow, what a crowd! This is cool.
    Sherrie — waving back at you. Did youguys know that my book ONCE A GENTLEMAN was dedicated to Sherrie? She helped me with certain, um, clumsy aspects of Pru’s character. 🙂
    Lois and Crystal — thanks for loving my books. Loving you right back!
    AgTigress — you’re right about senusality in Heyer. Definitely the wrong word, and I actually knew that when I typed it but never did go back and change it. I did, of course, mean the absense of explicit sex scenes. And I have to agree with you that Damerel and Venetia probably did burn up the sheets! That, btw, is my favorite Heyer book.
    Nina — Welcome to the world of historical romance! You’re going to love it.
    Julie — I, too, love a good book steeped in history. Dorothy Dunnett, anyone? I’ve just been reading Susan Carroll’s Dark Queen series (late to that game, I know) and am thoroughly enjoying the total escape into 16th century France.
    Pat — The thought of moving and packing up all my stuff gives me the heebie-jeebies. Been there and done that. But frankly, it’s the books that are the most daunting aspect of moving. I live with a bookish man, and between us we have mountains of them.
    MJP — Yes, I love Heyer’s use of language, too. And I should mention that one of those collections I started a few years back is of 1st edition Heyers with covers intact. I have 16 so far.
    Kalen — Waving back at you! I’m so glad you enjoyed FLINGS! And as for LADY BE BAD … you might be surprised who twists who into knots. 🙂
    Maya — I love the covers, too! After all those dreadful clinch covers on my Avon books, you can imagine my joy at seeing a decent cover at last!
    MaryK – To each her own. I love Heyer but dislike Orczy. Different strokes, and all that.
    Thanks again, Wenches and wenchlings, for being so welcoming! I love this blog and read it religiously. What a thrill and an honor to be the first guest!

    Reply
  50. Wow, what a crowd! This is cool.
    Sherrie — waving back at you. Did youguys know that my book ONCE A GENTLEMAN was dedicated to Sherrie? She helped me with certain, um, clumsy aspects of Pru’s character. 🙂
    Lois and Crystal — thanks for loving my books. Loving you right back!
    AgTigress — you’re right about senusality in Heyer. Definitely the wrong word, and I actually knew that when I typed it but never did go back and change it. I did, of course, mean the absense of explicit sex scenes. And I have to agree with you that Damerel and Venetia probably did burn up the sheets! That, btw, is my favorite Heyer book.
    Nina — Welcome to the world of historical romance! You’re going to love it.
    Julie — I, too, love a good book steeped in history. Dorothy Dunnett, anyone? I’ve just been reading Susan Carroll’s Dark Queen series (late to that game, I know) and am thoroughly enjoying the total escape into 16th century France.
    Pat — The thought of moving and packing up all my stuff gives me the heebie-jeebies. Been there and done that. But frankly, it’s the books that are the most daunting aspect of moving. I live with a bookish man, and between us we have mountains of them.
    MJP — Yes, I love Heyer’s use of language, too. And I should mention that one of those collections I started a few years back is of 1st edition Heyers with covers intact. I have 16 so far.
    Kalen — Waving back at you! I’m so glad you enjoyed FLINGS! And as for LADY BE BAD … you might be surprised who twists who into knots. 🙂
    Maya — I love the covers, too! After all those dreadful clinch covers on my Avon books, you can imagine my joy at seeing a decent cover at last!
    MaryK – To each her own. I love Heyer but dislike Orczy. Different strokes, and all that.
    Thanks again, Wenches and wenchlings, for being so welcoming! I love this blog and read it religiously. What a thrill and an honor to be the first guest!

    Reply
  51. Wow, what a crowd! This is cool.
    Sherrie — waving back at you. Did youguys know that my book ONCE A GENTLEMAN was dedicated to Sherrie? She helped me with certain, um, clumsy aspects of Pru’s character. 🙂
    Lois and Crystal — thanks for loving my books. Loving you right back!
    AgTigress — you’re right about senusality in Heyer. Definitely the wrong word, and I actually knew that when I typed it but never did go back and change it. I did, of course, mean the absense of explicit sex scenes. And I have to agree with you that Damerel and Venetia probably did burn up the sheets! That, btw, is my favorite Heyer book.
    Nina — Welcome to the world of historical romance! You’re going to love it.
    Julie — I, too, love a good book steeped in history. Dorothy Dunnett, anyone? I’ve just been reading Susan Carroll’s Dark Queen series (late to that game, I know) and am thoroughly enjoying the total escape into 16th century France.
    Pat — The thought of moving and packing up all my stuff gives me the heebie-jeebies. Been there and done that. But frankly, it’s the books that are the most daunting aspect of moving. I live with a bookish man, and between us we have mountains of them.
    MJP — Yes, I love Heyer’s use of language, too. And I should mention that one of those collections I started a few years back is of 1st edition Heyers with covers intact. I have 16 so far.
    Kalen — Waving back at you! I’m so glad you enjoyed FLINGS! And as for LADY BE BAD … you might be surprised who twists who into knots. 🙂
    Maya — I love the covers, too! After all those dreadful clinch covers on my Avon books, you can imagine my joy at seeing a decent cover at last!
    MaryK – To each her own. I love Heyer but dislike Orczy. Different strokes, and all that.
    Thanks again, Wenches and wenchlings, for being so welcoming! I love this blog and read it religiously. What a thrill and an honor to be the first guest!

    Reply
  52. Ag said… “This kind of tension is often more effective than graphic description.”
    Preach it, Ag! There are some things better imagined than told, even when they are shown well.
    Maya… Welcome! It’s wonderful to be loved by this group of Wenches. I envy you your first experience with KOF. I wish I could go back and experience that book for the first time, all over again. When you’re finished, pick up STOLEN MAGIC. You won’t regret a moment spent between those covers.
    — the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  53. Ag said… “This kind of tension is often more effective than graphic description.”
    Preach it, Ag! There are some things better imagined than told, even when they are shown well.
    Maya… Welcome! It’s wonderful to be loved by this group of Wenches. I envy you your first experience with KOF. I wish I could go back and experience that book for the first time, all over again. When you’re finished, pick up STOLEN MAGIC. You won’t regret a moment spent between those covers.
    — the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  54. Ag said… “This kind of tension is often more effective than graphic description.”
    Preach it, Ag! There are some things better imagined than told, even when they are shown well.
    Maya… Welcome! It’s wonderful to be loved by this group of Wenches. I envy you your first experience with KOF. I wish I could go back and experience that book for the first time, all over again. When you’re finished, pick up STOLEN MAGIC. You won’t regret a moment spent between those covers.
    — the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  55. Well! Here’s an opening for my favorite rant! I, too, loved the old Regencies, with their lack of graphic sex. Frankly, some authors add more sex scenes to cover a lack of plot,and although I am sure none of our present company would be so crass, I also know we have all read stories that were less like a romantic novel and more like a plumbing guide… I mean, c’mon, we all know what goes where, and we all have good imaginations- we don’t need every detail. Besides, I once read a book by someone who had been a favorite author- but as you know, not everyone has the same standards/preferences, and she described what some might think kinky, but I was just plain grossed out, and I have’t bought one of her books since.
    For anyone who feels as I do, Nita Abrams has a lovely series reminiscent of Patricia Veryan. (Along with Heyer, one of my favorites.) FYI, Wordwenches: I think Veryan’s habit of adding an animal character to each of her books makes them even better. Animals make GREAT characters. Just please don’t write them into any sex scenes:)

    Reply
  56. Well! Here’s an opening for my favorite rant! I, too, loved the old Regencies, with their lack of graphic sex. Frankly, some authors add more sex scenes to cover a lack of plot,and although I am sure none of our present company would be so crass, I also know we have all read stories that were less like a romantic novel and more like a plumbing guide… I mean, c’mon, we all know what goes where, and we all have good imaginations- we don’t need every detail. Besides, I once read a book by someone who had been a favorite author- but as you know, not everyone has the same standards/preferences, and she described what some might think kinky, but I was just plain grossed out, and I have’t bought one of her books since.
    For anyone who feels as I do, Nita Abrams has a lovely series reminiscent of Patricia Veryan. (Along with Heyer, one of my favorites.) FYI, Wordwenches: I think Veryan’s habit of adding an animal character to each of her books makes them even better. Animals make GREAT characters. Just please don’t write them into any sex scenes:)

    Reply
  57. Well! Here’s an opening for my favorite rant! I, too, loved the old Regencies, with their lack of graphic sex. Frankly, some authors add more sex scenes to cover a lack of plot,and although I am sure none of our present company would be so crass, I also know we have all read stories that were less like a romantic novel and more like a plumbing guide… I mean, c’mon, we all know what goes where, and we all have good imaginations- we don’t need every detail. Besides, I once read a book by someone who had been a favorite author- but as you know, not everyone has the same standards/preferences, and she described what some might think kinky, but I was just plain grossed out, and I have’t bought one of her books since.
    For anyone who feels as I do, Nita Abrams has a lovely series reminiscent of Patricia Veryan. (Along with Heyer, one of my favorites.) FYI, Wordwenches: I think Veryan’s habit of adding an animal character to each of her books makes them even better. Animals make GREAT characters. Just please don’t write them into any sex scenes:)

    Reply
  58. “And as for LADY BE BAD … you might be surprised who twists who into knots.”
    I’m sure she twists him up pretty good . . . I just like the idea of the goody-goody girl loosening up some. *GRIN* She seems like such a stick, and I want to watch her become more human (to give into her own humanity). And, of course, I want to watch him realize he’ll have to clean up his act.
    I’m one of the under-forty that just LOVES Heyer. Got addicted to them in college when my godmother handed me ARABELLA and then tracked them all down (ok, I have still never found a copy of THE GREAT ROXHYTHE, which kills me). I spent $$$ last year getting all the new preprints from Arrow in England.
    I’ve since pushed these onto all my girlfriends and they all adore Heyer too. Tons of my friends who do NOT read romance, read and love Heyer (including some of the guys). She’s simply a stellar writer. That’s what it’s about for me. I read across all genres. I just want a good book. I could care less if there’s sex in the book (sweet, hot, scorching, it’s all the same to me; that’s NOT why I buy a book). What I want is a GREAT STORY, with compelling characters and writing that transports me. Heyer delivers all that and more.

    Reply
  59. “And as for LADY BE BAD … you might be surprised who twists who into knots.”
    I’m sure she twists him up pretty good . . . I just like the idea of the goody-goody girl loosening up some. *GRIN* She seems like such a stick, and I want to watch her become more human (to give into her own humanity). And, of course, I want to watch him realize he’ll have to clean up his act.
    I’m one of the under-forty that just LOVES Heyer. Got addicted to them in college when my godmother handed me ARABELLA and then tracked them all down (ok, I have still never found a copy of THE GREAT ROXHYTHE, which kills me). I spent $$$ last year getting all the new preprints from Arrow in England.
    I’ve since pushed these onto all my girlfriends and they all adore Heyer too. Tons of my friends who do NOT read romance, read and love Heyer (including some of the guys). She’s simply a stellar writer. That’s what it’s about for me. I read across all genres. I just want a good book. I could care less if there’s sex in the book (sweet, hot, scorching, it’s all the same to me; that’s NOT why I buy a book). What I want is a GREAT STORY, with compelling characters and writing that transports me. Heyer delivers all that and more.

    Reply
  60. “And as for LADY BE BAD … you might be surprised who twists who into knots.”
    I’m sure she twists him up pretty good . . . I just like the idea of the goody-goody girl loosening up some. *GRIN* She seems like such a stick, and I want to watch her become more human (to give into her own humanity). And, of course, I want to watch him realize he’ll have to clean up his act.
    I’m one of the under-forty that just LOVES Heyer. Got addicted to them in college when my godmother handed me ARABELLA and then tracked them all down (ok, I have still never found a copy of THE GREAT ROXHYTHE, which kills me). I spent $$$ last year getting all the new preprints from Arrow in England.
    I’ve since pushed these onto all my girlfriends and they all adore Heyer too. Tons of my friends who do NOT read romance, read and love Heyer (including some of the guys). She’s simply a stellar writer. That’s what it’s about for me. I read across all genres. I just want a good book. I could care less if there’s sex in the book (sweet, hot, scorching, it’s all the same to me; that’s NOT why I buy a book). What I want is a GREAT STORY, with compelling characters and writing that transports me. Heyer delivers all that and more.

    Reply
  61. Kalen,
    First of all congrats on the sale of your first book! I shall definetly buy it when it’s released and I absolutely agree with you: when I pick up a book what I want is a good compelling read. You can have as much steamy sex as you want to, but if you don’t have believable characters and a compelling story then you’ve got nothing.
    Candice,
    I absolutely detest clinch covers! I am pleased that your publishers have given you such a lovely cover for your series.

    Reply
  62. Kalen,
    First of all congrats on the sale of your first book! I shall definetly buy it when it’s released and I absolutely agree with you: when I pick up a book what I want is a good compelling read. You can have as much steamy sex as you want to, but if you don’t have believable characters and a compelling story then you’ve got nothing.
    Candice,
    I absolutely detest clinch covers! I am pleased that your publishers have given you such a lovely cover for your series.

    Reply
  63. Kalen,
    First of all congrats on the sale of your first book! I shall definetly buy it when it’s released and I absolutely agree with you: when I pick up a book what I want is a good compelling read. You can have as much steamy sex as you want to, but if you don’t have believable characters and a compelling story then you’ve got nothing.
    Candice,
    I absolutely detest clinch covers! I am pleased that your publishers have given you such a lovely cover for your series.

    Reply
  64. (waves to Candice) I recently stumbled across The Best Intentions at my local UBS and really enjoyed it–I’ll definitely be seeking out the rest of your traditional Regencies!
    WRT Heyer, I’m probably not as much of a Heyer enthusiast as your average Regency reader/aspiring writer. Which is to say that I like rather than love her writing! But the thing that makes her work stand out for me is how incredibly versatile she was. It’s pretty amazing that the same author wrote The Grand Sophy, A Civil Contract, Beauvallet, The Spanish Bride, etc. (I may be the only person in the world whose favorite Heyer is The Spanish Bride, but I should really track down a copy of An Infamous Army. I have a feeling I’d like it even better, but first I need to FIND it.)

    Reply
  65. (waves to Candice) I recently stumbled across The Best Intentions at my local UBS and really enjoyed it–I’ll definitely be seeking out the rest of your traditional Regencies!
    WRT Heyer, I’m probably not as much of a Heyer enthusiast as your average Regency reader/aspiring writer. Which is to say that I like rather than love her writing! But the thing that makes her work stand out for me is how incredibly versatile she was. It’s pretty amazing that the same author wrote The Grand Sophy, A Civil Contract, Beauvallet, The Spanish Bride, etc. (I may be the only person in the world whose favorite Heyer is The Spanish Bride, but I should really track down a copy of An Infamous Army. I have a feeling I’d like it even better, but first I need to FIND it.)

    Reply
  66. (waves to Candice) I recently stumbled across The Best Intentions at my local UBS and really enjoyed it–I’ll definitely be seeking out the rest of your traditional Regencies!
    WRT Heyer, I’m probably not as much of a Heyer enthusiast as your average Regency reader/aspiring writer. Which is to say that I like rather than love her writing! But the thing that makes her work stand out for me is how incredibly versatile she was. It’s pretty amazing that the same author wrote The Grand Sophy, A Civil Contract, Beauvallet, The Spanish Bride, etc. (I may be the only person in the world whose favorite Heyer is The Spanish Bride, but I should really track down a copy of An Infamous Army. I have a feeling I’d like it even better, but first I need to FIND it.)

    Reply
  67. Candice–Yes, I wrote to you about that piece of jewelry. We never did find out any more about it.
    For me, the wonderful thing about Heyer is her total knowledge of the period and, even more, her perfect sense of exactly how much to include without overloading us with infodump. I commented on an earlier post in this blog, after someone posted a link to an online short story by her, that I was sure that in a previous incarnation she’d been a member of the Four-in-Hand Club and driven hell-for-leather up the Great North Road. She throws in casual comments not just about things we expect her to know about, like fashion and the rules of society, but also about the scents and flavorings used in someone’s Own Sort, the desirable qualities of a fighting cock, who the current prizefighting champion is, and how to buy a horse at Tattersall’s!
    I wonder if some of the objection might be that the readers in question don’t want to work that hard to enter a fully realized secondary universe. I don’t mean to slam them; for some people the point of leisure reading is that you don’t need to go to much mental effort, as there is enough of that in RL. I’ve always enjoyed books that made me work a bit to get into them (ever since I was reading sixth-grade books in first grade!), because they do a better job of taking me away from RL.
    And Heyer/Austen readers should try the all-too-few mysteries of the late Sarah Caudwell–she’s a modern Jane Austen! (This seems to be my theme song.)
    I love Patricia Veryan too, Gretchen–remember the pancake stuck to the ceiling, which fell down just in time to smack the villain?
    MaryK–favorite Heyers: I know the Silver Tigress will recommend VENETIA; it’s her favorite. I like THE UNKNOWN AJAX, because it has one of my favorite themes–the underestimated hero (one of the reasons my favorite of Loretta’s is THE DEVIL’S DELILAH). THE TALISMAN RING is pretty good, too. A lot of the later ones are fairly weak, because she really wanted to concentrate on her trilogy about Henry V, but readers kept demanding Regencies. I also like COTILLION, because it’s a twist on her usual characters, with the type she usually makes a hero turning out rather villainous, and the usually comic-relief character as the hero.
    But I think probably the best ones to start with are ARABELLA (simply because I started with it myself, and nearly got kicked out of Plane Geometry for laughing out loud while reading it under my desk) and THE GRAND SOPHY (because it’s so funny).
    Incidentally, am I the only person here who still reads and collects Jeffery Farnol?
    Kalen–I’ve read THE GREAT ROXHYTHE, and you’re not missing much. It’s about a character who sacrifices greatly for his loyalty to Charles II. I didn’t like him much, and there was no humor in the book. You might try the nonfiction of Henry Blyth about the Georgian through Victorian eras, especially CARO: THE FATAL PASSION (bio of Caroline Lamb); OLD Q (a notorious rake whose career spanned the reigns of George II to William IV); THE POCKET VENUS (a Victorian scandal involving romance in high life and the Derby); and HELL AND HAZARD (about gambling). Did you know the original Almack’s was an annex to the gambling club, and the patronesses got a cut of its profits?
    Incidentally, I have most of THESE in my collection:
    http://www.taguk.plus.com/towngate/moles.htm
    —The Mole, who hopes that if she keeps posting and posting and posting, like the Energizer Bunny, eventually she’ll win something….

    Reply
  68. Candice–Yes, I wrote to you about that piece of jewelry. We never did find out any more about it.
    For me, the wonderful thing about Heyer is her total knowledge of the period and, even more, her perfect sense of exactly how much to include without overloading us with infodump. I commented on an earlier post in this blog, after someone posted a link to an online short story by her, that I was sure that in a previous incarnation she’d been a member of the Four-in-Hand Club and driven hell-for-leather up the Great North Road. She throws in casual comments not just about things we expect her to know about, like fashion and the rules of society, but also about the scents and flavorings used in someone’s Own Sort, the desirable qualities of a fighting cock, who the current prizefighting champion is, and how to buy a horse at Tattersall’s!
    I wonder if some of the objection might be that the readers in question don’t want to work that hard to enter a fully realized secondary universe. I don’t mean to slam them; for some people the point of leisure reading is that you don’t need to go to much mental effort, as there is enough of that in RL. I’ve always enjoyed books that made me work a bit to get into them (ever since I was reading sixth-grade books in first grade!), because they do a better job of taking me away from RL.
    And Heyer/Austen readers should try the all-too-few mysteries of the late Sarah Caudwell–she’s a modern Jane Austen! (This seems to be my theme song.)
    I love Patricia Veryan too, Gretchen–remember the pancake stuck to the ceiling, which fell down just in time to smack the villain?
    MaryK–favorite Heyers: I know the Silver Tigress will recommend VENETIA; it’s her favorite. I like THE UNKNOWN AJAX, because it has one of my favorite themes–the underestimated hero (one of the reasons my favorite of Loretta’s is THE DEVIL’S DELILAH). THE TALISMAN RING is pretty good, too. A lot of the later ones are fairly weak, because she really wanted to concentrate on her trilogy about Henry V, but readers kept demanding Regencies. I also like COTILLION, because it’s a twist on her usual characters, with the type she usually makes a hero turning out rather villainous, and the usually comic-relief character as the hero.
    But I think probably the best ones to start with are ARABELLA (simply because I started with it myself, and nearly got kicked out of Plane Geometry for laughing out loud while reading it under my desk) and THE GRAND SOPHY (because it’s so funny).
    Incidentally, am I the only person here who still reads and collects Jeffery Farnol?
    Kalen–I’ve read THE GREAT ROXHYTHE, and you’re not missing much. It’s about a character who sacrifices greatly for his loyalty to Charles II. I didn’t like him much, and there was no humor in the book. You might try the nonfiction of Henry Blyth about the Georgian through Victorian eras, especially CARO: THE FATAL PASSION (bio of Caroline Lamb); OLD Q (a notorious rake whose career spanned the reigns of George II to William IV); THE POCKET VENUS (a Victorian scandal involving romance in high life and the Derby); and HELL AND HAZARD (about gambling). Did you know the original Almack’s was an annex to the gambling club, and the patronesses got a cut of its profits?
    Incidentally, I have most of THESE in my collection:
    http://www.taguk.plus.com/towngate/moles.htm
    —The Mole, who hopes that if she keeps posting and posting and posting, like the Energizer Bunny, eventually she’ll win something….

    Reply
  69. Candice–Yes, I wrote to you about that piece of jewelry. We never did find out any more about it.
    For me, the wonderful thing about Heyer is her total knowledge of the period and, even more, her perfect sense of exactly how much to include without overloading us with infodump. I commented on an earlier post in this blog, after someone posted a link to an online short story by her, that I was sure that in a previous incarnation she’d been a member of the Four-in-Hand Club and driven hell-for-leather up the Great North Road. She throws in casual comments not just about things we expect her to know about, like fashion and the rules of society, but also about the scents and flavorings used in someone’s Own Sort, the desirable qualities of a fighting cock, who the current prizefighting champion is, and how to buy a horse at Tattersall’s!
    I wonder if some of the objection might be that the readers in question don’t want to work that hard to enter a fully realized secondary universe. I don’t mean to slam them; for some people the point of leisure reading is that you don’t need to go to much mental effort, as there is enough of that in RL. I’ve always enjoyed books that made me work a bit to get into them (ever since I was reading sixth-grade books in first grade!), because they do a better job of taking me away from RL.
    And Heyer/Austen readers should try the all-too-few mysteries of the late Sarah Caudwell–she’s a modern Jane Austen! (This seems to be my theme song.)
    I love Patricia Veryan too, Gretchen–remember the pancake stuck to the ceiling, which fell down just in time to smack the villain?
    MaryK–favorite Heyers: I know the Silver Tigress will recommend VENETIA; it’s her favorite. I like THE UNKNOWN AJAX, because it has one of my favorite themes–the underestimated hero (one of the reasons my favorite of Loretta’s is THE DEVIL’S DELILAH). THE TALISMAN RING is pretty good, too. A lot of the later ones are fairly weak, because she really wanted to concentrate on her trilogy about Henry V, but readers kept demanding Regencies. I also like COTILLION, because it’s a twist on her usual characters, with the type she usually makes a hero turning out rather villainous, and the usually comic-relief character as the hero.
    But I think probably the best ones to start with are ARABELLA (simply because I started with it myself, and nearly got kicked out of Plane Geometry for laughing out loud while reading it under my desk) and THE GRAND SOPHY (because it’s so funny).
    Incidentally, am I the only person here who still reads and collects Jeffery Farnol?
    Kalen–I’ve read THE GREAT ROXHYTHE, and you’re not missing much. It’s about a character who sacrifices greatly for his loyalty to Charles II. I didn’t like him much, and there was no humor in the book. You might try the nonfiction of Henry Blyth about the Georgian through Victorian eras, especially CARO: THE FATAL PASSION (bio of Caroline Lamb); OLD Q (a notorious rake whose career spanned the reigns of George II to William IV); THE POCKET VENUS (a Victorian scandal involving romance in high life and the Derby); and HELL AND HAZARD (about gambling). Did you know the original Almack’s was an annex to the gambling club, and the patronesses got a cut of its profits?
    Incidentally, I have most of THESE in my collection:
    http://www.taguk.plus.com/towngate/moles.htm
    —The Mole, who hopes that if she keeps posting and posting and posting, like the Energizer Bunny, eventually she’ll win something….

    Reply
  70. Susan, you should SO get yourself a copy of AN INFAMOUS ARMY! In fact, I might have two. I’ll check tonight. If I do I’m mailing it to you. I cry every freaken time when I get to the scene where the Scots are marching out, and again when they Scots Grey charge happens (with the Gordons clinging to their saddles). In fact, I’m tearing up just thinking about it, boy am I easy. Don’t know why that bit of history just kills me, but it does. Kind of like the Ataturk quote on the Gallipoli monument. I can’t recite what it says without crying:
    “Those heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives, you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side in this country of ours. You, the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears, your sons are now lying in our bosoms and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they become our sons as well.”

    Reply
  71. Susan, you should SO get yourself a copy of AN INFAMOUS ARMY! In fact, I might have two. I’ll check tonight. If I do I’m mailing it to you. I cry every freaken time when I get to the scene where the Scots are marching out, and again when they Scots Grey charge happens (with the Gordons clinging to their saddles). In fact, I’m tearing up just thinking about it, boy am I easy. Don’t know why that bit of history just kills me, but it does. Kind of like the Ataturk quote on the Gallipoli monument. I can’t recite what it says without crying:
    “Those heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives, you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side in this country of ours. You, the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears, your sons are now lying in our bosoms and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they become our sons as well.”

    Reply
  72. Susan, you should SO get yourself a copy of AN INFAMOUS ARMY! In fact, I might have two. I’ll check tonight. If I do I’m mailing it to you. I cry every freaken time when I get to the scene where the Scots are marching out, and again when they Scots Grey charge happens (with the Gordons clinging to their saddles). In fact, I’m tearing up just thinking about it, boy am I easy. Don’t know why that bit of history just kills me, but it does. Kind of like the Ataturk quote on the Gallipoli monument. I can’t recite what it says without crying:
    “Those heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives, you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side in this country of ours. You, the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears, your sons are now lying in our bosoms and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they become our sons as well.”

    Reply
  73. Please, all of you, keep posting on your preference for plot as well as, or instead of, pages of meaningless sex! I’m all in favor of sex. I write it, after all. But replacing plot with sex is such a waste of good paper. And NYC needs to hear this.
    As to Georgette, I came to her late and didn’t find her as witty or engrossing as Austen. Nice read but nothing I went out of my way to find. But Veryan now… wow, don’t get me started. She’s my hero. Heroine. As always, I’m pro-plot.

    Reply
  74. Please, all of you, keep posting on your preference for plot as well as, or instead of, pages of meaningless sex! I’m all in favor of sex. I write it, after all. But replacing plot with sex is such a waste of good paper. And NYC needs to hear this.
    As to Georgette, I came to her late and didn’t find her as witty or engrossing as Austen. Nice read but nothing I went out of my way to find. But Veryan now… wow, don’t get me started. She’s my hero. Heroine. As always, I’m pro-plot.

    Reply
  75. Please, all of you, keep posting on your preference for plot as well as, or instead of, pages of meaningless sex! I’m all in favor of sex. I write it, after all. But replacing plot with sex is such a waste of good paper. And NYC needs to hear this.
    As to Georgette, I came to her late and didn’t find her as witty or engrossing as Austen. Nice read but nothing I went out of my way to find. But Veryan now… wow, don’t get me started. She’s my hero. Heroine. As always, I’m pro-plot.

    Reply
  76. I would endorse most of Tal’s recommendations for the Best Books of Georgette Heyer. I love ‘The Unknown Ajax’ except for one thing. ‘The Grand Sophy’ is superb, and very, very funny, as is ‘Cotillion’ – talk about character arc for the hero! The others I mentioned for sensual tension – Venetia, The Nonesuch, Black Sheep – are all amongst her best, and I really like her very first Regency, too, ‘Regency Buck’, published in 1935.
    For whoever commented on ‘dry wit’ and language generally as being a possible reason for younger readers not liking Heyer so much – I think there may be, not only a generational gap but a very slight language gulf here: although young British readers don’t speak as Heyer wrote any more (I don’t mean the early 19th-C language of the dialogue, but the author’s voice), it is, after all, British English, with the marked English tendency towards understatement and oblique reference, and this is probably a little easier for modern Brits to enjoy than it is for modern Americans.

    Reply
  77. I would endorse most of Tal’s recommendations for the Best Books of Georgette Heyer. I love ‘The Unknown Ajax’ except for one thing. ‘The Grand Sophy’ is superb, and very, very funny, as is ‘Cotillion’ – talk about character arc for the hero! The others I mentioned for sensual tension – Venetia, The Nonesuch, Black Sheep – are all amongst her best, and I really like her very first Regency, too, ‘Regency Buck’, published in 1935.
    For whoever commented on ‘dry wit’ and language generally as being a possible reason for younger readers not liking Heyer so much – I think there may be, not only a generational gap but a very slight language gulf here: although young British readers don’t speak as Heyer wrote any more (I don’t mean the early 19th-C language of the dialogue, but the author’s voice), it is, after all, British English, with the marked English tendency towards understatement and oblique reference, and this is probably a little easier for modern Brits to enjoy than it is for modern Americans.

    Reply
  78. I would endorse most of Tal’s recommendations for the Best Books of Georgette Heyer. I love ‘The Unknown Ajax’ except for one thing. ‘The Grand Sophy’ is superb, and very, very funny, as is ‘Cotillion’ – talk about character arc for the hero! The others I mentioned for sensual tension – Venetia, The Nonesuch, Black Sheep – are all amongst her best, and I really like her very first Regency, too, ‘Regency Buck’, published in 1935.
    For whoever commented on ‘dry wit’ and language generally as being a possible reason for younger readers not liking Heyer so much – I think there may be, not only a generational gap but a very slight language gulf here: although young British readers don’t speak as Heyer wrote any more (I don’t mean the early 19th-C language of the dialogue, but the author’s voice), it is, after all, British English, with the marked English tendency towards understatement and oblique reference, and this is probably a little easier for modern Brits to enjoy than it is for modern Americans.

    Reply
  79. Kalen… what a wonderful quote. It gave me chills.
    And Pat… my preference for plot. I like sex… don’t get me wrong. Although I prefer it to be written from ‘behind the veil’. Like Gretchen, I know which part goes where. I want to feel it, not ‘see’ it. I don’t care for the ‘let’s see how far we can take this w/o calling it sex’ game. And I like the characters to be married or at least betrothed. Plot preference… I like plots that require more of the hero and/or the heroine than their lives or their loves. A bit from one of my favorite poems explains it best, IMHO… “There is death and then there is the end of life. One takes you to the grave, the other to a living hell. Beware of the choice.”

    Reply
  80. Kalen… what a wonderful quote. It gave me chills.
    And Pat… my preference for plot. I like sex… don’t get me wrong. Although I prefer it to be written from ‘behind the veil’. Like Gretchen, I know which part goes where. I want to feel it, not ‘see’ it. I don’t care for the ‘let’s see how far we can take this w/o calling it sex’ game. And I like the characters to be married or at least betrothed. Plot preference… I like plots that require more of the hero and/or the heroine than their lives or their loves. A bit from one of my favorite poems explains it best, IMHO… “There is death and then there is the end of life. One takes you to the grave, the other to a living hell. Beware of the choice.”

    Reply
  81. Kalen… what a wonderful quote. It gave me chills.
    And Pat… my preference for plot. I like sex… don’t get me wrong. Although I prefer it to be written from ‘behind the veil’. Like Gretchen, I know which part goes where. I want to feel it, not ‘see’ it. I don’t care for the ‘let’s see how far we can take this w/o calling it sex’ game. And I like the characters to be married or at least betrothed. Plot preference… I like plots that require more of the hero and/or the heroine than their lives or their loves. A bit from one of my favorite poems explains it best, IMHO… “There is death and then there is the end of life. One takes you to the grave, the other to a living hell. Beware of the choice.”

    Reply
  82. Incidentally, Heyer used not to be marketed in the UK as ‘romance’ at all. Her books were classified and shelved simply as historical novels. They ARE romances, of course, but the fact that they were not classified as such probably gave them a wider readership (plenty of male fans) than if they had been labelled ‘romance’.
    Whoever mentioned that her heroines seem less ‘modern’ than those of Regency romances being written now: well, yes. Good. We are all marked by our own cultural norms, of course, and Heyer wrote her early 19thC heroines from the perspective of a woman born in 1900, but her research and her feel for the Regency period were so excellent that her characters are really comparatively free of 20thC sensibilities. To me, one of the worst things one can say of a character in an historical novel is that he/she seems ‘modern’! The character should seem Regency (or medieval, ancient Egyptian, whatever).
    Back to my constant theme of the balance between universal human values that are shared in all places and periods (sexual desire is one of them), and the culturally-determined ideas and hopes and aspirations that can be dramatically different in different societies. The differences are just as beguiling as the similarities.

    Reply
  83. Incidentally, Heyer used not to be marketed in the UK as ‘romance’ at all. Her books were classified and shelved simply as historical novels. They ARE romances, of course, but the fact that they were not classified as such probably gave them a wider readership (plenty of male fans) than if they had been labelled ‘romance’.
    Whoever mentioned that her heroines seem less ‘modern’ than those of Regency romances being written now: well, yes. Good. We are all marked by our own cultural norms, of course, and Heyer wrote her early 19thC heroines from the perspective of a woman born in 1900, but her research and her feel for the Regency period were so excellent that her characters are really comparatively free of 20thC sensibilities. To me, one of the worst things one can say of a character in an historical novel is that he/she seems ‘modern’! The character should seem Regency (or medieval, ancient Egyptian, whatever).
    Back to my constant theme of the balance between universal human values that are shared in all places and periods (sexual desire is one of them), and the culturally-determined ideas and hopes and aspirations that can be dramatically different in different societies. The differences are just as beguiling as the similarities.

    Reply
  84. Incidentally, Heyer used not to be marketed in the UK as ‘romance’ at all. Her books were classified and shelved simply as historical novels. They ARE romances, of course, but the fact that they were not classified as such probably gave them a wider readership (plenty of male fans) than if they had been labelled ‘romance’.
    Whoever mentioned that her heroines seem less ‘modern’ than those of Regency romances being written now: well, yes. Good. We are all marked by our own cultural norms, of course, and Heyer wrote her early 19thC heroines from the perspective of a woman born in 1900, but her research and her feel for the Regency period were so excellent that her characters are really comparatively free of 20thC sensibilities. To me, one of the worst things one can say of a character in an historical novel is that he/she seems ‘modern’! The character should seem Regency (or medieval, ancient Egyptian, whatever).
    Back to my constant theme of the balance between universal human values that are shared in all places and periods (sexual desire is one of them), and the culturally-determined ideas and hopes and aspirations that can be dramatically different in different societies. The differences are just as beguiling as the similarities.

    Reply
  85. As much as I love Heyer, and I do, and as meticulous as her reserach is, I have always sensed that she imposed her own post-Victorian class snobbery and prudery on her Regency characters. I can’t imagine a Heyer character running off to live with a man in London, as Lydia did in Pride and Prejudice, or leaving her husband for a lover as happened with Fanny’s cousin (I’m forgetting her name) in Mansfield Park. This is just my opinion, but I have often thought that much of the strict prudishness in traditional Regencies, especially the early ones, was based on Heyer’s Regency and not necessary the true Regency. I suspect the real era was more bawdy than Heyer would have liked to admit.
    Susan — I’m glad you enjoyed The Best Intentions. If I am allowed to say so, it is my favorite of my traditional Regencies.

    Reply
  86. As much as I love Heyer, and I do, and as meticulous as her reserach is, I have always sensed that she imposed her own post-Victorian class snobbery and prudery on her Regency characters. I can’t imagine a Heyer character running off to live with a man in London, as Lydia did in Pride and Prejudice, or leaving her husband for a lover as happened with Fanny’s cousin (I’m forgetting her name) in Mansfield Park. This is just my opinion, but I have often thought that much of the strict prudishness in traditional Regencies, especially the early ones, was based on Heyer’s Regency and not necessary the true Regency. I suspect the real era was more bawdy than Heyer would have liked to admit.
    Susan — I’m glad you enjoyed The Best Intentions. If I am allowed to say so, it is my favorite of my traditional Regencies.

    Reply
  87. As much as I love Heyer, and I do, and as meticulous as her reserach is, I have always sensed that she imposed her own post-Victorian class snobbery and prudery on her Regency characters. I can’t imagine a Heyer character running off to live with a man in London, as Lydia did in Pride and Prejudice, or leaving her husband for a lover as happened with Fanny’s cousin (I’m forgetting her name) in Mansfield Park. This is just my opinion, but I have often thought that much of the strict prudishness in traditional Regencies, especially the early ones, was based on Heyer’s Regency and not necessary the true Regency. I suspect the real era was more bawdy than Heyer would have liked to admit.
    Susan — I’m glad you enjoyed The Best Intentions. If I am allowed to say so, it is my favorite of my traditional Regencies.

    Reply
  88. Candice, I have loved the Merry Widows books, and I thought Just One of Those Flings was even better than In the Thrill of the Night. (So often the reverse is true with series.)
    As much as I love the new series, the Once series, and The Bride Sale, I miss the trads. I still go back and reread The Best Intentions and Miss Lacey’s Last Fling.
    If we are listing favorite Heyers, may I add Fredrica and Sylvester to the list?
    And, Pat, I love Patricia Veryan’s books too, especially the Sanguinet Saga and the Golden Chronicles.

    Reply
  89. Candice, I have loved the Merry Widows books, and I thought Just One of Those Flings was even better than In the Thrill of the Night. (So often the reverse is true with series.)
    As much as I love the new series, the Once series, and The Bride Sale, I miss the trads. I still go back and reread The Best Intentions and Miss Lacey’s Last Fling.
    If we are listing favorite Heyers, may I add Fredrica and Sylvester to the list?
    And, Pat, I love Patricia Veryan’s books too, especially the Sanguinet Saga and the Golden Chronicles.

    Reply
  90. Candice, I have loved the Merry Widows books, and I thought Just One of Those Flings was even better than In the Thrill of the Night. (So often the reverse is true with series.)
    As much as I love the new series, the Once series, and The Bride Sale, I miss the trads. I still go back and reread The Best Intentions and Miss Lacey’s Last Fling.
    If we are listing favorite Heyers, may I add Fredrica and Sylvester to the list?
    And, Pat, I love Patricia Veryan’s books too, especially the Sanguinet Saga and the Golden Chronicles.

    Reply
  91. Hello ladies, came to check in again after attending to everything else that needed attention (for some reason my men get cranky when I try to live at my keyboard) and am intrigued by the repeated reference to 40 as a magic number. Really ? Is something extreme going to happen to me now ? Should I be scared ? Will I feel a sudden irresistable desire to fling all my bookshelf contents out the window and run screaming to the closest bookstore to replace it with something entirely different ?

    Reply
  92. Hello ladies, came to check in again after attending to everything else that needed attention (for some reason my men get cranky when I try to live at my keyboard) and am intrigued by the repeated reference to 40 as a magic number. Really ? Is something extreme going to happen to me now ? Should I be scared ? Will I feel a sudden irresistable desire to fling all my bookshelf contents out the window and run screaming to the closest bookstore to replace it with something entirely different ?

    Reply
  93. Hello ladies, came to check in again after attending to everything else that needed attention (for some reason my men get cranky when I try to live at my keyboard) and am intrigued by the repeated reference to 40 as a magic number. Really ? Is something extreme going to happen to me now ? Should I be scared ? Will I feel a sudden irresistable desire to fling all my bookshelf contents out the window and run screaming to the closest bookstore to replace it with something entirely different ?

    Reply
  94. “I think there may be, not only a generational gap but a very slight language gulf here . . . and this is probably a little easier for modern Brits to enjoy than it is for modern Americans.”
    Once again I must accept that my friends and I are some kind of freaks . . . *SIGH* I’ve always known that though born and bred in the USA, I am a Left Coaster, and thus, NOT a true American. The subtly of Heyer is one of her main selling points. Her command of the language is another (though I must agree with Candice about the vague Victorian sensibility of the books). But then my pals and I all love Brit Lit, but not Chick Lit. We like the British versions of Coupling and The Office, but found the American ones paled in comparison (why can’t they just show us the Brit version? We all speak English!). We’re all addicted to BBC America (hello I pay a small fortune to the cable tv folks just so I can have that one channel). Most of us know London almost as well as we know San Francisco (at least one of my friends probably knows London better; she’s not so much an Anglophile as she is a London freak).

    Reply
  95. “I think there may be, not only a generational gap but a very slight language gulf here . . . and this is probably a little easier for modern Brits to enjoy than it is for modern Americans.”
    Once again I must accept that my friends and I are some kind of freaks . . . *SIGH* I’ve always known that though born and bred in the USA, I am a Left Coaster, and thus, NOT a true American. The subtly of Heyer is one of her main selling points. Her command of the language is another (though I must agree with Candice about the vague Victorian sensibility of the books). But then my pals and I all love Brit Lit, but not Chick Lit. We like the British versions of Coupling and The Office, but found the American ones paled in comparison (why can’t they just show us the Brit version? We all speak English!). We’re all addicted to BBC America (hello I pay a small fortune to the cable tv folks just so I can have that one channel). Most of us know London almost as well as we know San Francisco (at least one of my friends probably knows London better; she’s not so much an Anglophile as she is a London freak).

    Reply
  96. “I think there may be, not only a generational gap but a very slight language gulf here . . . and this is probably a little easier for modern Brits to enjoy than it is for modern Americans.”
    Once again I must accept that my friends and I are some kind of freaks . . . *SIGH* I’ve always known that though born and bred in the USA, I am a Left Coaster, and thus, NOT a true American. The subtly of Heyer is one of her main selling points. Her command of the language is another (though I must agree with Candice about the vague Victorian sensibility of the books). But then my pals and I all love Brit Lit, but not Chick Lit. We like the British versions of Coupling and The Office, but found the American ones paled in comparison (why can’t they just show us the Brit version? We all speak English!). We’re all addicted to BBC America (hello I pay a small fortune to the cable tv folks just so I can have that one channel). Most of us know London almost as well as we know San Francisco (at least one of my friends probably knows London better; she’s not so much an Anglophile as she is a London freak).

    Reply
  97. Fabulous interview.
    Thank you, MJP and Candice.
    I’ll be reading it again tomorrow.
    Cathy, who is very tired right now and wondering if she should call her 12 year old daughter in Paris. It’s 7:00 a.m. there, is it not…

    Reply
  98. Fabulous interview.
    Thank you, MJP and Candice.
    I’ll be reading it again tomorrow.
    Cathy, who is very tired right now and wondering if she should call her 12 year old daughter in Paris. It’s 7:00 a.m. there, is it not…

    Reply
  99. Fabulous interview.
    Thank you, MJP and Candice.
    I’ll be reading it again tomorrow.
    Cathy, who is very tired right now and wondering if she should call her 12 year old daughter in Paris. It’s 7:00 a.m. there, is it not…

    Reply
  100. Hi Candice, this is Jo.
    What a wonderful stint as an honorary Wench. I’m sorry I wasn’t around to say hi and comment yesterday — it was just one of those days.
    And a discussion of Heyer is always fun. I read and re-read her in my teens and early twenties and I still re-read her, but she is a writer from another age and I find most books written in the early part of the 20th century less to my taste than more modern ones. That even goes for the classic mysteries, I’m afraid.
    So I don’t find it surprising that modern readers are less likely to be Heyer fans than readers from 30 or 40 years ago. In fact if anything, I would say it was natural — as natural as readers enjoying medieval novels that are not as if written in the 14th century, and Georgian novels that are not attempts to be Fielding or Richardson, and Regency novels that are not quite as Austen would have written them. (Though yes, Austen is much more accepting of sin and sexuality in society than Heyer.)
    In addition, in her Georgians and Regencies, Heyer was not writing contemporary to her time but, as Candice says, blending her excellent research with the social nuances of her own Edwardian youth and her own view of what was admirable and honorable. I find it interesting that she clearly enjoyed a rake.
    It’s also interesting to me that while readers talk about Heyer as full of wit and accuracy and low in sexuality, which is all true, when asked for favorites, Devil’s Cub and Venetia will probably top the list. Both books have Bad Boy heroes, especially DC, and in both sexuality steams in many scenes, even if they don’t have sex or even overt kisses in the book. But, boy, there’s no lack of passion.
    I don’t wish there were sex scenes in those books because sex didn’t happen in either before they ended and that was right for the stories, but I did find the marriage of convenience stories weird because it wasn’t really clear if the couple had sex at all. That, to me, was a flaw. And in her medieval, The Conqueror, I could have born to read a bit more of that wedding night after the steamy kiss. But, as AgTigress said, in those days it would have tossed Heyer into very hot water. We have more literary freedom today, which is to be celebrated.
    So Tal, I don’t think it’s fair to describe people who don’t appreciate Heyer as having inferior tastes. She’s writing from the perspective of her time, which is not the perspective of our time. Preferring a contemporary window on the past is not a flaw as far as I’m concerned, and in writers I think it’s essential. We should each look at the Regency from where we stand and come to our own decisions as to the truth of it. Though the Regency romance is a kind of shared world fantasy, we each need to make it our own.
    There are facts known, but not that many. So much data comes from reminiscences, and how accurate are they? Even Regency records are open to misinterpretation when read 200 years later. I’ve seen people misinterpret the fact that people described suitors as “lovers.” No, they weren’t having wild sex in the shrubbery, dear. He was paying her compliments, perhaps pressing a little close, as they strolled there, not far from observant eyes. And maybe, just maybe, venturing as far as a kiss. If it went any further, she probably wouldn’t be describing it at all!
    Got to stop. Too fascinating a subject.
    Thanks again, Candice!
    Jo

    Reply
  101. Hi Candice, this is Jo.
    What a wonderful stint as an honorary Wench. I’m sorry I wasn’t around to say hi and comment yesterday — it was just one of those days.
    And a discussion of Heyer is always fun. I read and re-read her in my teens and early twenties and I still re-read her, but she is a writer from another age and I find most books written in the early part of the 20th century less to my taste than more modern ones. That even goes for the classic mysteries, I’m afraid.
    So I don’t find it surprising that modern readers are less likely to be Heyer fans than readers from 30 or 40 years ago. In fact if anything, I would say it was natural — as natural as readers enjoying medieval novels that are not as if written in the 14th century, and Georgian novels that are not attempts to be Fielding or Richardson, and Regency novels that are not quite as Austen would have written them. (Though yes, Austen is much more accepting of sin and sexuality in society than Heyer.)
    In addition, in her Georgians and Regencies, Heyer was not writing contemporary to her time but, as Candice says, blending her excellent research with the social nuances of her own Edwardian youth and her own view of what was admirable and honorable. I find it interesting that she clearly enjoyed a rake.
    It’s also interesting to me that while readers talk about Heyer as full of wit and accuracy and low in sexuality, which is all true, when asked for favorites, Devil’s Cub and Venetia will probably top the list. Both books have Bad Boy heroes, especially DC, and in both sexuality steams in many scenes, even if they don’t have sex or even overt kisses in the book. But, boy, there’s no lack of passion.
    I don’t wish there were sex scenes in those books because sex didn’t happen in either before they ended and that was right for the stories, but I did find the marriage of convenience stories weird because it wasn’t really clear if the couple had sex at all. That, to me, was a flaw. And in her medieval, The Conqueror, I could have born to read a bit more of that wedding night after the steamy kiss. But, as AgTigress said, in those days it would have tossed Heyer into very hot water. We have more literary freedom today, which is to be celebrated.
    So Tal, I don’t think it’s fair to describe people who don’t appreciate Heyer as having inferior tastes. She’s writing from the perspective of her time, which is not the perspective of our time. Preferring a contemporary window on the past is not a flaw as far as I’m concerned, and in writers I think it’s essential. We should each look at the Regency from where we stand and come to our own decisions as to the truth of it. Though the Regency romance is a kind of shared world fantasy, we each need to make it our own.
    There are facts known, but not that many. So much data comes from reminiscences, and how accurate are they? Even Regency records are open to misinterpretation when read 200 years later. I’ve seen people misinterpret the fact that people described suitors as “lovers.” No, they weren’t having wild sex in the shrubbery, dear. He was paying her compliments, perhaps pressing a little close, as they strolled there, not far from observant eyes. And maybe, just maybe, venturing as far as a kiss. If it went any further, she probably wouldn’t be describing it at all!
    Got to stop. Too fascinating a subject.
    Thanks again, Candice!
    Jo

    Reply
  102. Hi Candice, this is Jo.
    What a wonderful stint as an honorary Wench. I’m sorry I wasn’t around to say hi and comment yesterday — it was just one of those days.
    And a discussion of Heyer is always fun. I read and re-read her in my teens and early twenties and I still re-read her, but she is a writer from another age and I find most books written in the early part of the 20th century less to my taste than more modern ones. That even goes for the classic mysteries, I’m afraid.
    So I don’t find it surprising that modern readers are less likely to be Heyer fans than readers from 30 or 40 years ago. In fact if anything, I would say it was natural — as natural as readers enjoying medieval novels that are not as if written in the 14th century, and Georgian novels that are not attempts to be Fielding or Richardson, and Regency novels that are not quite as Austen would have written them. (Though yes, Austen is much more accepting of sin and sexuality in society than Heyer.)
    In addition, in her Georgians and Regencies, Heyer was not writing contemporary to her time but, as Candice says, blending her excellent research with the social nuances of her own Edwardian youth and her own view of what was admirable and honorable. I find it interesting that she clearly enjoyed a rake.
    It’s also interesting to me that while readers talk about Heyer as full of wit and accuracy and low in sexuality, which is all true, when asked for favorites, Devil’s Cub and Venetia will probably top the list. Both books have Bad Boy heroes, especially DC, and in both sexuality steams in many scenes, even if they don’t have sex or even overt kisses in the book. But, boy, there’s no lack of passion.
    I don’t wish there were sex scenes in those books because sex didn’t happen in either before they ended and that was right for the stories, but I did find the marriage of convenience stories weird because it wasn’t really clear if the couple had sex at all. That, to me, was a flaw. And in her medieval, The Conqueror, I could have born to read a bit more of that wedding night after the steamy kiss. But, as AgTigress said, in those days it would have tossed Heyer into very hot water. We have more literary freedom today, which is to be celebrated.
    So Tal, I don’t think it’s fair to describe people who don’t appreciate Heyer as having inferior tastes. She’s writing from the perspective of her time, which is not the perspective of our time. Preferring a contemporary window on the past is not a flaw as far as I’m concerned, and in writers I think it’s essential. We should each look at the Regency from where we stand and come to our own decisions as to the truth of it. Though the Regency romance is a kind of shared world fantasy, we each need to make it our own.
    There are facts known, but not that many. So much data comes from reminiscences, and how accurate are they? Even Regency records are open to misinterpretation when read 200 years later. I’ve seen people misinterpret the fact that people described suitors as “lovers.” No, they weren’t having wild sex in the shrubbery, dear. He was paying her compliments, perhaps pressing a little close, as they strolled there, not far from observant eyes. And maybe, just maybe, venturing as far as a kiss. If it went any further, she probably wouldn’t be describing it at all!
    Got to stop. Too fascinating a subject.
    Thanks again, Candice!
    Jo

    Reply
  103. Jo wrote:
    So Tal, I don’t think it’s fair to describe people who don’t appreciate Heyer as having inferior tastes.
    ===============================
    I didn’t mean THAT! It was meant to be a joke.

    Reply
  104. Jo wrote:
    So Tal, I don’t think it’s fair to describe people who don’t appreciate Heyer as having inferior tastes.
    ===============================
    I didn’t mean THAT! It was meant to be a joke.

    Reply
  105. Jo wrote:
    So Tal, I don’t think it’s fair to describe people who don’t appreciate Heyer as having inferior tastes.
    ===============================
    I didn’t mean THAT! It was meant to be a joke.

    Reply
  106. I think I may have been the first person to post that I didn’t think that Georgette Heyer did not resonate as much with the younger/under 40 crowd than the over 40 crowd, and that was just based on my experience/observation.
    For me, I don’t think it’s a sensuality/explicit sex issue. I’ve LOVED Austen and pretty much all the other classic nineteenth century girl books. When I was in high school, I read every Victoria Holt and Philippa Carr book my local library had. I think it may be more an issue of language, like MJP suggested.
    I’ve read a few Heyers – and even remember enjoying The Nonesuch – but I didn’t find a Heyer to read until Harlequin reissued some in the 1990s. If my local library had them before I had my driver’s license (and hence the absolute freedom to drive to a bookstore and buy whatever book/romance I wanted to read), I probably would have read many more Heyers because it would have been about the only romance option left in the library I had not read.
    So, by the time I read Heyer in the 90’s, there were so many other appealing options for me to read. What I remember as being the most offputting about Heyer was just how wordy she was imo. It actually reminded me a lot of my experience with Dorothy Sayers. There were both so wordy – particularly in the dialogue which I heard was supposed to be so witty. Nobody talked like that in my experience.
    Perhaps, it was the style of most 1930s British novelists to be very wordy. I know that The Thin Man and I believe the first Hemingway come out in the 30’s. What a shock/refreshing change depending on your preference that must have been to read. I’m not saying reading Heyer was like reading Trollope but it just wasn’t in the style I preferred reading where there were so many other good choices out there.
    Re: Heyer and today’s regency world
    There used to be a reviewer at the Romance Reader that I adored – Jean Mason. Pretty much if she loved a book, I knew I would love it, but every so often I’d disagree wildly with her opinion. It took me awhile to figure out what phrase she’d include in the reviews of the books I’d disagree with her over – and it always was that this novel reminded me of the late, great Heyer.
    Anyway, I’m glad that G.H. has brought so much happiness to so many people, but for some reason, she just does not work for me.
    Another interesting question may be why does Jane Austen still resonate with so many people still.

    Reply
  107. I think I may have been the first person to post that I didn’t think that Georgette Heyer did not resonate as much with the younger/under 40 crowd than the over 40 crowd, and that was just based on my experience/observation.
    For me, I don’t think it’s a sensuality/explicit sex issue. I’ve LOVED Austen and pretty much all the other classic nineteenth century girl books. When I was in high school, I read every Victoria Holt and Philippa Carr book my local library had. I think it may be more an issue of language, like MJP suggested.
    I’ve read a few Heyers – and even remember enjoying The Nonesuch – but I didn’t find a Heyer to read until Harlequin reissued some in the 1990s. If my local library had them before I had my driver’s license (and hence the absolute freedom to drive to a bookstore and buy whatever book/romance I wanted to read), I probably would have read many more Heyers because it would have been about the only romance option left in the library I had not read.
    So, by the time I read Heyer in the 90’s, there were so many other appealing options for me to read. What I remember as being the most offputting about Heyer was just how wordy she was imo. It actually reminded me a lot of my experience with Dorothy Sayers. There were both so wordy – particularly in the dialogue which I heard was supposed to be so witty. Nobody talked like that in my experience.
    Perhaps, it was the style of most 1930s British novelists to be very wordy. I know that The Thin Man and I believe the first Hemingway come out in the 30’s. What a shock/refreshing change depending on your preference that must have been to read. I’m not saying reading Heyer was like reading Trollope but it just wasn’t in the style I preferred reading where there were so many other good choices out there.
    Re: Heyer and today’s regency world
    There used to be a reviewer at the Romance Reader that I adored – Jean Mason. Pretty much if she loved a book, I knew I would love it, but every so often I’d disagree wildly with her opinion. It took me awhile to figure out what phrase she’d include in the reviews of the books I’d disagree with her over – and it always was that this novel reminded me of the late, great Heyer.
    Anyway, I’m glad that G.H. has brought so much happiness to so many people, but for some reason, she just does not work for me.
    Another interesting question may be why does Jane Austen still resonate with so many people still.

    Reply
  108. I think I may have been the first person to post that I didn’t think that Georgette Heyer did not resonate as much with the younger/under 40 crowd than the over 40 crowd, and that was just based on my experience/observation.
    For me, I don’t think it’s a sensuality/explicit sex issue. I’ve LOVED Austen and pretty much all the other classic nineteenth century girl books. When I was in high school, I read every Victoria Holt and Philippa Carr book my local library had. I think it may be more an issue of language, like MJP suggested.
    I’ve read a few Heyers – and even remember enjoying The Nonesuch – but I didn’t find a Heyer to read until Harlequin reissued some in the 1990s. If my local library had them before I had my driver’s license (and hence the absolute freedom to drive to a bookstore and buy whatever book/romance I wanted to read), I probably would have read many more Heyers because it would have been about the only romance option left in the library I had not read.
    So, by the time I read Heyer in the 90’s, there were so many other appealing options for me to read. What I remember as being the most offputting about Heyer was just how wordy she was imo. It actually reminded me a lot of my experience with Dorothy Sayers. There were both so wordy – particularly in the dialogue which I heard was supposed to be so witty. Nobody talked like that in my experience.
    Perhaps, it was the style of most 1930s British novelists to be very wordy. I know that The Thin Man and I believe the first Hemingway come out in the 30’s. What a shock/refreshing change depending on your preference that must have been to read. I’m not saying reading Heyer was like reading Trollope but it just wasn’t in the style I preferred reading where there were so many other good choices out there.
    Re: Heyer and today’s regency world
    There used to be a reviewer at the Romance Reader that I adored – Jean Mason. Pretty much if she loved a book, I knew I would love it, but every so often I’d disagree wildly with her opinion. It took me awhile to figure out what phrase she’d include in the reviews of the books I’d disagree with her over – and it always was that this novel reminded me of the late, great Heyer.
    Anyway, I’m glad that G.H. has brought so much happiness to so many people, but for some reason, she just does not work for me.
    Another interesting question may be why does Jane Austen still resonate with so many people still.

    Reply
  109. Candice, I enjoyed your interview very much and especially enjoyed hearing about your collections and seeing the samples. MJ’s questions were excellent and just what I would have asked.
    This is my first post. I am a nervous former lurker.
    My best friend introduced me to GH in 1969. We were both library science majors in college and did lots of reading anyway. I do not remember exactly the first GH book, it may have been Toll Gate, but I do know my favorite, it is Faro’s Lady. I was delighted with the plot, the characters and the humor. I read it often. It is now a beloved old friend. As is Veryan’s Some Brief Folly.
    It seems to me that one hurdle you have to get over with GH’s writing style is the vocabulary. Even though others have written Regencys, GH is in a category of her own and when you read her, you absolutely have to know what those words really mean (or meant to her). Once those words have a feeling and a meaning attached they roll lightly off the tongue, or maybe they skip! At any rate they freight her stories giving them form and character. I remember when the words started to live for me. I found myself telling others to “stubble it”. (My husband thinks I invented that phrase.) And although I do not always speak them, I find myself thinking them quite frequently. I would think that someone reading GH for the first time would founder in a sea of words and phrases to which they have limited or no exposure. The currently written Regencies are definitely not in the style of GH and do not provide much of a primer for those who seek to advance into her very unique, sometimes elusive Regency world. Jo describes the world as a shared world but can we really share if the components are not common?
    BYW my second favorite is These Old Shades.

    Reply
  110. Candice, I enjoyed your interview very much and especially enjoyed hearing about your collections and seeing the samples. MJ’s questions were excellent and just what I would have asked.
    This is my first post. I am a nervous former lurker.
    My best friend introduced me to GH in 1969. We were both library science majors in college and did lots of reading anyway. I do not remember exactly the first GH book, it may have been Toll Gate, but I do know my favorite, it is Faro’s Lady. I was delighted with the plot, the characters and the humor. I read it often. It is now a beloved old friend. As is Veryan’s Some Brief Folly.
    It seems to me that one hurdle you have to get over with GH’s writing style is the vocabulary. Even though others have written Regencys, GH is in a category of her own and when you read her, you absolutely have to know what those words really mean (or meant to her). Once those words have a feeling and a meaning attached they roll lightly off the tongue, or maybe they skip! At any rate they freight her stories giving them form and character. I remember when the words started to live for me. I found myself telling others to “stubble it”. (My husband thinks I invented that phrase.) And although I do not always speak them, I find myself thinking them quite frequently. I would think that someone reading GH for the first time would founder in a sea of words and phrases to which they have limited or no exposure. The currently written Regencies are definitely not in the style of GH and do not provide much of a primer for those who seek to advance into her very unique, sometimes elusive Regency world. Jo describes the world as a shared world but can we really share if the components are not common?
    BYW my second favorite is These Old Shades.

    Reply
  111. Candice, I enjoyed your interview very much and especially enjoyed hearing about your collections and seeing the samples. MJ’s questions were excellent and just what I would have asked.
    This is my first post. I am a nervous former lurker.
    My best friend introduced me to GH in 1969. We were both library science majors in college and did lots of reading anyway. I do not remember exactly the first GH book, it may have been Toll Gate, but I do know my favorite, it is Faro’s Lady. I was delighted with the plot, the characters and the humor. I read it often. It is now a beloved old friend. As is Veryan’s Some Brief Folly.
    It seems to me that one hurdle you have to get over with GH’s writing style is the vocabulary. Even though others have written Regencys, GH is in a category of her own and when you read her, you absolutely have to know what those words really mean (or meant to her). Once those words have a feeling and a meaning attached they roll lightly off the tongue, or maybe they skip! At any rate they freight her stories giving them form and character. I remember when the words started to live for me. I found myself telling others to “stubble it”. (My husband thinks I invented that phrase.) And although I do not always speak them, I find myself thinking them quite frequently. I would think that someone reading GH for the first time would founder in a sea of words and phrases to which they have limited or no exposure. The currently written Regencies are definitely not in the style of GH and do not provide much of a primer for those who seek to advance into her very unique, sometimes elusive Regency world. Jo describes the world as a shared world but can we really share if the components are not common?
    BYW my second favorite is These Old Shades.

    Reply
  112. I am 24 and I love Heyer, and so do several of my friends! But I think whether you like her depends a lot on which book you start with–there are a lot of her books that are just not worth reading, in my opinion. And some of them do seem more dated than others—for example, while my favorite Heyer is “The Black Moth,” I’ve had a lot more success loaning out “The Grand Sophy,” my second favorite.
    I’ve had several friends who don’t even read romances enjoy “Sophy,” while I remember my college roommate could NOT get past the bit in “Black Moth” where Jack is horrified that Belmanoir would try to kill him RIGHT AFTER Jack himself shoots one of Belmanoir’s henchman in the throat.
    The thing about Heyer is that she is an AMAZING writer, and I would give anything to be able to write dialogue like she does, but she was sexist, classist, anti-Semitic, puritanical in a lot of ways, and probably other things I’m not thinking of. Those things bother me, but I love her writing enough that I’m willing to overlook it. However, I can understand how she might not appeal to many modern readers.

    Reply
  113. I am 24 and I love Heyer, and so do several of my friends! But I think whether you like her depends a lot on which book you start with–there are a lot of her books that are just not worth reading, in my opinion. And some of them do seem more dated than others—for example, while my favorite Heyer is “The Black Moth,” I’ve had a lot more success loaning out “The Grand Sophy,” my second favorite.
    I’ve had several friends who don’t even read romances enjoy “Sophy,” while I remember my college roommate could NOT get past the bit in “Black Moth” where Jack is horrified that Belmanoir would try to kill him RIGHT AFTER Jack himself shoots one of Belmanoir’s henchman in the throat.
    The thing about Heyer is that she is an AMAZING writer, and I would give anything to be able to write dialogue like she does, but she was sexist, classist, anti-Semitic, puritanical in a lot of ways, and probably other things I’m not thinking of. Those things bother me, but I love her writing enough that I’m willing to overlook it. However, I can understand how she might not appeal to many modern readers.

    Reply
  114. I am 24 and I love Heyer, and so do several of my friends! But I think whether you like her depends a lot on which book you start with–there are a lot of her books that are just not worth reading, in my opinion. And some of them do seem more dated than others—for example, while my favorite Heyer is “The Black Moth,” I’ve had a lot more success loaning out “The Grand Sophy,” my second favorite.
    I’ve had several friends who don’t even read romances enjoy “Sophy,” while I remember my college roommate could NOT get past the bit in “Black Moth” where Jack is horrified that Belmanoir would try to kill him RIGHT AFTER Jack himself shoots one of Belmanoir’s henchman in the throat.
    The thing about Heyer is that she is an AMAZING writer, and I would give anything to be able to write dialogue like she does, but she was sexist, classist, anti-Semitic, puritanical in a lot of ways, and probably other things I’m not thinking of. Those things bother me, but I love her writing enough that I’m willing to overlook it. However, I can understand how she might not appeal to many modern readers.

    Reply
  115. From MJP:
    I’ve gotten a kick out of the Heyer discussion. In the end, it’s a matter of personal taste whether we like her or not. There is no writer that is loved by all.
    Another point is that in Heyer’s heyday, there were fewer romances while today we have lots of choices. Fewer people will connect with her style. (I read a ton of British writers, so it came naturally to me.)
    I’m glad to see that Candice has lured some lurkers out of the woodwork. The more the merrier! It’s not too late to post here and have a chance to win a free copy of the first Merry Widow book. Midnight Pacific Coast time will be the cut-off.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  116. From MJP:
    I’ve gotten a kick out of the Heyer discussion. In the end, it’s a matter of personal taste whether we like her or not. There is no writer that is loved by all.
    Another point is that in Heyer’s heyday, there were fewer romances while today we have lots of choices. Fewer people will connect with her style. (I read a ton of British writers, so it came naturally to me.)
    I’m glad to see that Candice has lured some lurkers out of the woodwork. The more the merrier! It’s not too late to post here and have a chance to win a free copy of the first Merry Widow book. Midnight Pacific Coast time will be the cut-off.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  117. From MJP:
    I’ve gotten a kick out of the Heyer discussion. In the end, it’s a matter of personal taste whether we like her or not. There is no writer that is loved by all.
    Another point is that in Heyer’s heyday, there were fewer romances while today we have lots of choices. Fewer people will connect with her style. (I read a ton of British writers, so it came naturally to me.)
    I’m glad to see that Candice has lured some lurkers out of the woodwork. The more the merrier! It’s not too late to post here and have a chance to win a free copy of the first Merry Widow book. Midnight Pacific Coast time will be the cut-off.
    Mary Jo

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