Many authors wisely choose a genre and stick with it. Most historical romance authors master a specific time period, such as Regency England, and set up camp. They learn the drill and can summon appropriate dress, manners, transport…without a second thought. Not me. Like a restless spirit, I wander about. I compare it to flitting through time, or venturing through the rooms of a very large house or old castle and discovering a different era/theme behind each door. Like these spooky castle stairs, leading who knows where or to what, or WHO, much mystery is involved in the exploration, a great part of the allure. Writing would be far easier if I’d stay put, but not as much fun.
So I write both historical, with varying time periods and settings, and light paranormal romance, generally with a time travel or ghost in the fantasy meld. If I were to choose a favorite era it would probably be colonial America, but I also love others. Research into my early American ancestors and their interaction with Native Americans (some were taken captive) inspired my historicals set in the colonial frontier, Red Bird’s Song, Through the Fire and my upcoming November release, Kira, Daughter of the Moon, and a spinoff of that theme in my upcoming December release, A Warrior for Christmas. Family involvement in the American Revolution led to my writing historical romance novel Enemy of the King.
The connection I feel to the past and those who’ve gone before me is the ongoing inspiration behind all my work. I’ve done a great deal of research into family genealogy and come from well-documented English/Scots-Irish folk with a smidgen of French in the meld, a Norman knight who sailed with William the Conqueror. One line goes back to Geoffrey Chaucer. And there’s a puritan line with involvement in the Salem Witch Trials—my apologies to Susannah Martin’s descendants—but that’s another story. With my historical romance Into the Lion’s Heart, I more deeply explored my British ancestry, and The French Revolution. I don’t think our family lost any heads back then but it’s a fascinating time period and figures heavily in the story.
In my historical/paranormal romance novel, The Bearwalker’s Daughter, I ventured into the shape shifting realm with a bearwalking Shawnee warrior. Depending upon whom you consult among the Shawnee, they may not consider this to be fantasy but an actual ability some of their people possess, or used to in ages past. The Bearwalker’s Daughter also has a magical moonstone necklace which I wish I could’ve kept, but the novel sucked in that prize and won’t let me have it back. Bummer.
Scottish time travel romance Somewhere My Lass was a departure for me in that I also wove sci-fi elements into the story. My paranormals require the same research I’d do for a historical because there are other time periods to explore, and then the added contemplation involved in otherworldly elements, so they are not easy, but enjoyable in a challenging way.
The concept behind my Somewhere series, is that the story opens in present day, so far my home state of Virginia, and then transports the reader Somewhere else. Either back to an earlier time in the same house, as in Somewhere My Love and Somewhere The Bells Ring, or another place altogether, as in Somewhere My Lass. The wonderful old homes I grew up in and visited over the years are an integral part of the inspiration behind this series. In Somewhere My Lass, I used a compilation of Victorian homes for the mysterious house in historic Staunton, Virginia where the story begins. How do they go back and forth in time, you ask? Why through the ‘door to nowhere,’ of course, a portal to the past. I was acquainted with just such a door as a child.
*Royalty free castle image