When my editor asked me if I would consider writing historical Vikings instead of my usual, very contemporary, Presents and Dares, I didn’t have to think about it. I said, YES PLEASE almost before she finished asking the question!
Writing historical Vikings meant exercising completely new writing muscles for me. Luckily, I’ve always loved Viking books. And I lived for five years in York, England—known as Jorvik in Viking times and still possessed of many Viking influences, which I figured gave me a head start.
Most importantly, there’s that delicious Viking hero glowering magnificently at the center of any Viking romance. Having read approximately eight million Viking romances in my time, I would rank a Viking hero in my top ten most desirable romance heroes…. Okay, maybe in my top five.
What a treat to get to write my own!
But then I had to actually sit down and write a historical.
I won’t lie—it was a little daunting.
The first challenge was to pick a particular Viking period. I quickly discovered that when historical authors talk about disappearing down research rabbit holes, they’re not kidding. I lost myself in books and articles and the odd handy blog, following a notion wherever it might lead…
The thing about writing contemporary books is that the word building has appear invisible to the reader. A small town romance, for example, must take what readers know about small towns (or think they know) and imbue it with aspirational elements. The goal is to leave a reader feeling as if she might quite like to take a holiday with the heroine in said small town. Historicals, by contrast, take actual historical events and what extant period detail exists and breathe a new sort of life into them, weaving the romance in and around the particular constraints of the time in question in a way that should feel real to the reader. Historical readers want to feel that they are transported to the past in question. Different ways of telling stories, to my mind— and I had a marvelous time figuring out how to narrow in on a time and a place, then how to breathe life into my characters and their love story through the set lens of the period I chose.
You’ll be able to see if I pulled it off or not in Kidnapped by the Viking, my very first historical romance, which comes out later this month/next month from Harlequin Historical. For my part, I’m absolutely thrilled that I get to play around in a brand new (to me) subgenre of romance. I can’t wait for you to meet my delicious Viking hero in all his glorious alpha-warrior-ness. (Maybe a Viking hero is in my top three, now that I consider it.) I feel so lucky that Harlequin encourages me to imagine, well, pretty much anything!
And most of all, I can’t wait for this new sort of book from me to be in readers’ hands at last!