Thursday, December 16, 2010

Inspire Me!

Let's talk romance.

      Why do we read historical romance? Personally, I like to be swept away to a time that lives more in my imagination than between the pages of a history book, to times more romantic and fantastic from the rosy-filtered distance of centuries than they ever were to those living in the moment.

       Research is all well and good and has its place, but do not bog me down in it! If I wanted to learn all about The Insidious and Enervating Effect of London Fog on 19th Century British Constabulary and the Criminal Classes 101, I would have enrolled in the course.
       I want to hear the silken swish and rustle of the ball gowns of the beau monde, not the cries of workhouse orphans. I want to inhale the innocent scent of lavender or lemon verbena, rather than the stench of poor sanitation and rotting teeth. I want to live the fantasy, not be treated to a history lesson!

       Oh, dear me. I am in a mood

      Yet, I do not think these dark humors call for the application of leeches or smelling salts. They call for the mouthwatering sight of a romantic hero, a dark and brooding Byronic devil like the handsome and taciturn Mr. Darcy.
Colin Firth in Pride & Prejudice

       Or, as with my hero in Healing Hearts, a soldier as brave and true as Richard Sharpe.

Sean Bean as Sharpe

         Don't you agree?

         (Come on people. Gavotte with me!)

        And yes, do give me poetry!       

        Although there are no ballroom scenes, Assembly turns or Almacks interludes in Healing Hearts, my Regency romance releasing from Carina Press on February 28, I tend to go back to Byron (his ambiguous sexual orientation and unfortunate liaisons with Lady Caroline Lamb, his half-sister and wife nothwithstanding) to get me in the proper Regency frame of mind.

          Tell me you can read this without getting your imagination all fired up! 


She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennett

              So those are some of the places I get my inspiration.

              Where do you get yours?

             And what's your favorite read?

Taryn Kincaid is the author of an erotic paranormal romance, Sleepy Hollow Dreams. Her debut historical, Healing Hearts, a Regency romance, will be released by Carina Press, February 28. Please come visit her blog at Her free-read Christmas story, I'll Be Home for Christmas, will be up all month!


Rebecca Royce said...

You just picked out some of my absolute favorite inspiration. Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy....Sigh

Taryn Kincaid said...

Dreamy, right?!

Anonymous said...

Sorry what? I saw the picture of Sean Bean and blanked on the rest lol!
Nice post babe!
Regency is awesome to read, I wish I could write it. Guess I'll have to stick with living through your writing ;-)
Liia x

Anonymous said...

You totally have the same taste as me!! Ok, So I am an English country girl and the idea of a man gallping through the English countryside into the arms of his love just thrills me!! Really!
I love nothing more than reading Jane Austin or a Brnote novel.
The men were courtly and respectable, but hard and intriguing!
Romance was portrayed so perfectly in those times. *Swoon*
I cant wait to read yours, xx I love Historical Romance (as I said above) but I'll bet yours ROCKS!!

Wendy Soliman said...

Yeah, what the others said! I'm for getting the facts right without getting bogged down in detail, too. Great post!

Eleri Stone said...

Thanks for the inspiration. Sean Bean looks good in a uniform. I appreciate when authors do all that tedious research so I can just sink into their recreated world and enjoy it.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Very nice! Although sometimes, I like the flashes of the underside of society. Most of the time, though, I'm with you on preferring the elegant fantasy.

Wendy S Marcus said...

Ok. Let's try this again. I hope it doesn't post twice!
Hi Taryn!
I enjoy historical romance and agree with you 100 percent. Please hold the history lesson. I love the romance of the period. The chivalry and innocence. I'm looking forward to reading Healing Hearts. I loved the excerpt you read at an RWA meeting a while back.

With regard to what inspires For my current WIP I am addicted to Carrie Underwood.

Bobbie (Sunny) Cole said...

Excellent blog home, authors! Very cozy indeed. While I don't write historical any more, I sure read it and I look forward to your books!

Wendy, I must comment. Cracking up here. Would never have thought of Carrie while writing a historical, but then have me imagining it. I once wrote a contemporary love scene while watching Taming of the Shrew, so why not...right?

Best, everybody!

Wendy S Marcus said...

Hi Bobbie (Sunny)!
I love to read historical. I write contemporary. I've never really been a country western fan, but some of the lyrics in Carrie's songs really hit home for me while I'm writing these particular characters.

Susanna Fraser said...

Mmm, Sean Bean...

Though I have to say, I'm a serious research geek. I love reading about the larger than life personalities and big events of my chosen era, then imagining what it would be like to live through that time and building a story around it. I don't put anything like everything I've learned on the page, because that would be an infodump and would bore everyone except my husband and one of my critique partners. But for me, there's nothing like finding another book on Waterloo or re-reading my favorite Wellington biography to put me in a writing frame of mind. :-)

Erastes said...

Oh dear - I'm going to be the odd one out here. While I agree that I don't want a history lesson in my reading (and hope I don't do it too in my writing) I am obsessed with getting the details as right as I can, and won't always shy from the more unpleasant aspects.

I agree that it's horrible to put details such as bad teeth or body odour - and pointless because your H&H won't know that the other smells, they will both smell - but there are ways to get the legitimately clean and nice smelling without being horribly anachronistic. I just think that historicals shouldn't be "men and women in pretty clothes but with modern sensibilities" because we read historicals to escape.

Cindy said...

Lovely. Simply lovely. And Sean Bean as anything...slurp! Great post. Got this site bookmarked.


JL Walters said...

Great Post. For me Pride and Prejudice and Colin Firth. Have watched the series about once a year. Also read the book a number of times.

Taryn Kincaid said...

Hey, peeps, I'm delighted every stopped by. Great comments, all.

For me, research is another way I procrastinate. In Healing Hearts the hero compares the fragrance of the heroine's hair to a Portuguese plant used to make a very potent Portuguese brandy, with which he anesthetized himself. Spent hours researching the plant -- a strawberry tree -- and then hours more on the brandy! All for one, probably unnecessary sentence.
I think we need to consider, as Wendy noted, who we're writing for. I think the answer to that should be readers, of course!
And, whoa, Nellie! Who knew there were so many closet Sean Bean fans out there?!

Heather Boyd said...

*clapping hands* Another regency for the to buy list. I really like it here!

I like my historicals light and fluffy, I like them dark and grubby. I do get thrown out of the story when I find historical inaccuacies but then I should spot those since I write regency too. Light, dark - it doesn't matter to me. REGENCY ROCKS!

Liz said...

Right now? Well - Sean Bean is inspiring me - that dirty sexy man!

Jenna said...

I love that poem. Great post. You captured the romance of period writing beautifully.

Patricia Preston said...

Count me in when it comes to Sean Bean!

Shoshanna Evers said...

I love reading historical, but I find it's difficult me for to write because I get bogged down in research. I admire authors who are able to seamlessly incorporate history into an interesting romance! I'm looking forward to reading Healing Hearts :)

Winona said...

Well, just WOW! I loved this post and am loving this new blog from Carina Press. You are so very eloquent. Love Byron. But, just let me tell you that I really have this "thing" for Sean Bean in his Sharpe role. I've seen the entire series and would love to own it.

Thanks to Carina Press and this array of talent for a new blog I will definitely follow.

Taryn Kincaid said...

Oh, dear. No one thinks I wrote the poem, right?

It's Byron's She Walks in Beauty!

Just wanted to clear that up, in case there were any misunderstandings!

I so appreciate all the great comments. Love that you all love the Sharpe series. And here I'd thought I was the only one watching it!

O'er the hills and o'er the main
Through Flanders, Portugal and Spain.
King George commands and we obey
Over the hills and far away...

Vivien Jackson said...

I'm a sucker for Keats myself. Eve of St. Agnes is some kinky stuff. :D