Happy Saturday, dear readers What’s everybody reading this fine fall or spring (depending on one’s hemisphere) day? It’s time to grab a seasonally appropriate beverage, and get comfy, because this week’s discussion is going walkabout.
Before we get into this week’s discussion, it’s time to hop into the wayback machine and, at last, announce the winners of the drawing for two paperback copies of the Winter Wishes anthology. Everyone who left a comment had their name tossed into a randomizer, and the randomizer says our lucky winners are:
Pamela S. Thibodeaux
Joy, and Pamela, if you can send your snail mail addresses to email@example.com, I can pass them along to Heather Boyd, who will make sure your books get out to you ASAP. Happy reading, and may all your fondest winter wishes come true.
This brings us, rather naturally, to the topic of this week’s discussion. When one thinks of writers of modern historical romance, one usually thinks of the US or UK, and there are absolutely some amazing writers from both places, though neither has a monopoly on romance, or romance fiction.
Let’s go back a little ways, to when I was a young romance reader, finding my way in the oceans of options available at the time. I learned, early on, that certain keyword were prone to pricking my readerly ears. Pirate was a big one, and privateer, sea dog, etc. Disguise, that’ was a big one, and highwayman, that kind of thing. Added to that list, in rather short order, were anything that had even a whiff of Australia.
I don’t remember my first Australian set historical romance, but I am fairly sure that the first Australian authors I remember reading were the sister act of Penelope Williamson and Candace Proctor. I also remember feeling devastated when their historical romances took different turns, and the authors, different names. Ms. Williamson turned to 1920s set mysteries as Penn Williamson, and Ms. Proctor, to Regency set mysteries as C.S. Harris, and modern mysteries as C.S. Graham.
In addition to the authors, I fell madly in love with the historical romances set in Australia. One whisper of Outback or a sheep station, the Blue Mountains, and the people who made their lives there, and I was good to go. Of course, that’s not all there is to Australia, but, as the focus of historical romance took a strong focus on Regency England (another area in which Australian authors have been known to excel. Anna Campbell, I am looking at you, among others.)
Fast forward to the other day, when I was researching other romance websites, I noticed a pattern. Many of the books that looked, to me, especially interesting, unusual, or had settings I didn’t see very often, and one thing in common. The authors were Australian. I didn’t think, at the time, to keep track of these things, though maybe i will go back and do exactly that, but the seed was planted. What if some of this hunger I have been having, to mix up historical romance reading, could be appeased by taking a closer look, and diving in deep.
This, dear readers, and readers who write, is where you come in. Do you have a favorite Australian romance author, or romance set in Australia? Are you, yourself, an Australian romance writer, and, if so, where does one start with your books? If you are an Australian reader, what would you like US/UK/etc readers to know about the romance community where you are? Pull up a chair in the comment section and tell us all about it. There’s room for everybody at this table.