Please welcome GH Finalist Piper Huguley to our Firebird blog! Piper is an aspiring author pursuing publication for her inspirational historical romance fiction. She is a 2013 Golden Heart finalist for her novel, A Champion’s Heart—the fourth book in The Bledsoe Sisters series. She is a member of RWA, GRW, FHL, ACFW and CIMRWA.
A Champion’s Heart
1935 Pittsburgh: Aptly-named Champion Bates is an up and coming Negro contender who harbors a secret—he could lose his eyesight if he keeps boxing. He is tormented by a love lost–at the moment of their elopement; he abandoned his childhood sweetheart, Cordelia “Delie” Bledsoe for his career. Seven years later, Delie needs financial help to sustain her orphan’s home. To prove his love, he will fight—one more time—and give her the winnings to maintain her heart’s desire. Will Delie rediscover her love and forgive him in time to prove she has A Champion’s Heart?
What’s going on with historical romance?
If you haven’t heard, since the beginning of the month, historical romance has folks talking. Lynn Spencer kicked things off in the All About Romance blog.
The fabulous Evangeline Holland (my FB writing group buddy) continued the discussion on her blog.
Dear Author got into the fray and weighed in with the provocatively titled: “We should let the historical romance die.” I commented there:
Even in the Rita chat this past Thursday featuring this year’s Rita historical romance nominees, the first question to any of the nominees (Sarah MacLean), was: How did she feel about the Dear Author controversy?”
For those of us who are nominated in this category this year in the Golden Heart, we have a stake in this. And maybe even previous years. As I said in the Dear Author column, if you consider the Golden Heart nominees as “up and comers” then we have something to say about up and coming into a subgenre that Jane of Dear Author thought should die, so that it can rise up, phoenix-like, and reinvent itself.
For me, since I have been on a quest to fill what I considered to be an empty niche, my thought was to throw caution to the wind and to write whatever I wanted to read. And I did. And I came to find that there is no crazed throng waiting breathlessly for the next Bledsoe sister story to come forth from my old 2007 Toshiba laptop. Yikes.
Some solutions have been offered to help historical romance back to prominence, mainly along the lines of increasing the variety of the genre. This solution has received some acceptance, but it is risky. Until some of us get out there to see how the sales shift things, we don’t really know if this is the answer.
So we must batten down the proverbial hatches, weather the storm and continue to write what we love. Historical Romance will be back someday. I don’t know when or how the next breakout will be (and I pray it will be one of us), but when it does, we need to be ready for it. And to hearten any of my Golden Heart sisters who have been nominated this year or previous years and may not be at the receiving end of that agent/editor love, I offer the words of Jeanne Lin. Lin, a previous Golden Heart winner who now publishes her Chinese Historical Romance with Harlequin, told me via twitter this week: “Strangely, this does not frighten me too much. We write unusual historicals. We’re dying from the moment we’re born.”
Weigh in: is historical romance dying or is it just reflective of a cyclical trend? What might be the answer?
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