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What have a learned after being married for over half a year?

The one thing that stands out to me more now than ever is the differences between man and woman and that when they work together (rarely) there can be such a conjuction of characters so as to produce something the world rarely sees.

It is no wonder that there is such a demand and so many already printed romances (and I mean good ones not trashy crappy ones) when men and women are so different and provide such an interesting conflict and then eventual joining that creates life and incredible companionship and enjoyment.

It never ceases to amaze me what passions my husband can send me into, and, the love which he ignites in me, even when he hurts me. It has shown me most of all (along with good christian teaching) that love is a choice, not just a feeling. There are times in my life when I think to myself – ‘he drives me crazy!’ but yet, in those times I know I still love him and I choose to still love him because that is what I vowed to do. These feelings I am sure are not just felt by me but most certainly by him also! Ha!

Some may call me terribly narrow minded for only reading a book or for that matter writing one, when it contains a love story, I have several arguments for this:

1. When using escapism through reading – I wish to escape into a world I actually like!

2. As I have said – men and women will forever be an interesting subject to read about.

3. It’s my opinion and action, not yours, so deal with it.

When writing I find I have the unchanging habit of ending every story with a happy ending – what can I say? Hahaha.

When writing my most recent story – Miss Rotherham (which by the way I finished a few days ago!!! Yes!) I ended it with the final scene being the declaration of love between the two main characters. However unlike the rest of my stories I did not get the feeling of satisfaction when laying my pen down. It took me a few days to realise why this was.

What is the most important thing regency romance novelists or historical fiction writers should remember and always abide by?

HISTORICAL ACCURACY ———- at all cost to your own story line or character ideas. If you do not understand, research and obey the social norms of the particular period you write about then you are creating a half-hearted, diluted version of what your story could be.

My fault was having a scene where the hero is waiting by the heroines bedside while she recovers from an attack in a posting inn. Now no matter the impropriety of the previous hours (involving an elopement, heroine dressing up as a man and situations devolving into fisty-cuffs rather hilariously) I know that I cannot allow my honourable characters to be put in a situation which simply would not happen no matter if it furthers my storyline.

My hero (if I wish him to remain believable – the foundation of any good character) would never see her in that vulnerable and improper position of being as good as naked (despite the giant night gowns of the period) in front of him, and sitting by her bed which is a nursing ladies position. No, I must inconvenience myself, and keep writing and rewriting until I gain the satisfaction of a believable, brilliant and heart wrenchingly romantic ending.

This is why when I type up my story I shall have to extend and work around the social etiquette’s of the time and forget my ridiculously inaccurate end of the first draft.

Oh it is hard….the life of a writer I mean…..

By Philippa Jane Keyworth