Please give a warm welcome to historical romance author, Viveka Portman!
Romance coloured glasses
When you read Historical novels, particularly historical romance novels, you’re generally reading through a very pretty pair of what I like to term ‘romance coloured glasses’. I happen to love wearing ‘romance coloured glasses’ they are wonderful to whisk you away into a gluttonous feast of romantic literature. However, sometimes, I like to read a book that still has romance, but without the pretty gloss and see the real nitty gritty side instead.
I wanted to read about many of the issues traditional historical romances shy away from. How did a young woman, in an arranged marriage to an older man, actually feel about her circumstances? How was the sex? Or, how a marriage that was not a love match actually functioned? What about bisexuality in the era? How did a wife deal with the philandering of her husband in a time when women had few rights?
They are some of the (many!) reasons why I chose to write my Regency Diaries in the tone and fashion that I did.
I wanted to tackle issues we all know happened during those times (and in some parts of the world - still occur). I wanted to examine the emotions and responses of those women from the intimate point of view of their diaries. In their diaries, they are at liberty to discuss and write their most private thoughts without the risk of censure from societal pressures and morals.
To make the books increasingly realistic, I also studied other diaries written in and around the era. The London Journal of James Boswell 1762-1763, and Letters on Improvement of the Mind, addressed to a Young Lady, by Hester Chapone 1773 – were two such writings that I have pawed over to improve my antiquated English voice for the books – and I must say are utterly fascinating (and shocking!) reads.
Of course, my Regency Diaries contain erotic content as well, because being a diary entry, they can. I was initially concerned about the shock factor in writing a first person narrative sex scene, but I found, that with the benefit of hindsight, my character’s recollections of the events are easy to read, and still (I think!) remain titillating to the reader.
So if you feel like giving historical romance a read, from a very different perspective, my latest release The Private Affairs of Lady Jane Fielding, was released on the 1st June.
Thank you for having me!
Photo attribution: rose coloured glasses: http://rosieroundtheworld.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/rcg1.jpg