Romance author Blythe Gifford’s medieval heroes are all “born on the wrong side of the royal blanket” but that is just the tip of the iceberg for these heroes who defy readers’ expectations! Now Gifford chats about the comfort that romance fans find in these historical stories and shares how she works to create heroes who a reader would follow anywhere.
Laura Kinsale famously observed that in romance, “it’s the hero who carries the book.”
This, I suggest, is a major challenge facing those who write historicals set in times and places unfamiliar to the audience.
The reader does not know what kind of hero to expect.
When a reader picks up a book set in Regency England or the Scottish Highlands, the two most popular historical settings, they are getting more than a return to a familiar time and place. They are returning to a particular type of hero.
Regency England means a rakish duke who will be tamed by the heroine, of course, to achieve a “happy ever after” ending.