Susan Karsten, author of the recently-released Christian Regency novel, A Match for Melissa, answers some questions about the Christian Regency genre
What can you tell us about the Christian Regency genre?
Regency fiction books are predominantly romances, and since they take place in the early 1800s England, they are all historicals. Adding the descriptor Christian indicates the book includes a faith element in the character(s), and how their Christian faith affects the plot through their faith-based motivations, actions, or decisions.
The Regency historical romance genre became very popular starting in the mid-1900s, with the publishing success of Georgette Heyer. Heyer’s books were meticulously researched and she is highly esteemed as a founding author of the genre. Other authors came along and the genre grew in popularity. When explicitly Christian fiction began to be published, eventually, a few authors created the Christian Regency genre by adding faith to the Regency fun.
How does one do research for an accurate Christian Regency?
Although Regency fiction is always historical to some degree, there is wide variation in how much historical detail is included. Some authors structure their entire story around real historical events or characters, while others merely use the historical setting. Therefore, how much research is needed varies as well. If one wants to write a Regency romance, reading dozens of books in the genre is a great starting point. One becomes familiar with the culture, fashion, language, and conventions of the times. One can also easily find material on the aristocracy, politics, military, agriculture, and religious life of the times. For example, if an author needs to know what kind of horse-drawn conveyance would have been used for a certain purpose, that information can be located fairly easily with the use of the internet. Writers can research whether or not a certain word was even in use by a certain date. I, personally, have dug for these answers, as well as what books, periodicals, and music would have been present in the homes of Regency people.
Why did you choose this genre?
It was an easy choice for me, because I am a big fan of and voracious reader of traditional Regency romances. When I sat down to write my first Christian Regency novel, the words flowed well, and it was a pleasant task for me to create within a medium that has given me such enjoyment over the years.
How did you come up with the story?
When I decided to try my hand at writing a full-length novel, I did a fair amount of story daydreaming. I remember posing to myself the question, “If I write a book, what will my story be?” Soon, I needed to answer, “How will my hero and heroine meet?” And then, “How will I wrap things up?” Tying up all the plot lines was intellectually stimulating, and I hope it was done to my readers’ satisfaction.
~It was to mine J
Visit us at First Edition Design Publishing