So...how do you get your ideas?
If we're talking historicals (and of course we are!), Regencies and Victorian romances, specifically, there's a treasure trove of tantalizing tidbits I stumbled across recently that cannot fail to fire your imagination and fill you with inspiration. (Unless your heart no longer beats, which is another story entirely and, in which case, perhaps you should be delving into paranormals.)
Apparently, back in the days of yore (and perhaps still for all I know), The Times (that'd be the London Times), ran a newspaper feature somewhat similar to the classified ads and personals of today. This second column became known as "The Agony" because it was chock-o-block with titillating scandal, the woes of star-crossed lovers, secret babies, financial ruin, family skeletons, trysts galore, prodigal sons and daughers and illicit romances. In 1881, some of the juiciest of these were collected by a lady named Alice Clay and published by Chatto & Windus, Piccadilly.
I herewith give you some additional entries:
Monday, January 13, 1800.
THE ANSWER of a LETTER to an OFFICER at HEREFORD is, "That he Was."
Thursday, December 18, 1800.
A CARD -- If the Lady who a Gentleman handed into her carriage from Covent Garden Theatre, on Wednesday, the third of this month, will oblige the Advertiser with a line to Z. Z., Spring Garden Coffee House, saying if married or single, she will quiet the mind of a young Nobleman, who has tried, in vain to find the Lady. The carriage was ordered to Bond Street. The Lady may depend upon honour and secrecy. Nothing but the most honourable interview is intended. The Lady was in mourning, and sufficiently cloathed to distinguish her for possessing every virtue and charm that man could desire in a female that he would make choice of for a Wife. Deception will be detected, as the Lady's person can never be forgot.
Saturday, June 16, 1804.
TO MAME. "Forget" you? By Heaven I cannot! Engraven on my soul is your memory, in deepest characters, which time vainly will endeavour to efface, contracted as now must be its span, since without one remonstrance, one expostulation, you can resolve for ever to forget me. Wherefore, then, often warned, persist in exciting a reluctant, indeed, but never more unfeigned, sensibility only to wound it? DO I DESERVE THIS? Is it generous? Is it equitable? But severe no longer, welcome now, is the mandate of authority, enjoining oblivion of
Friday, September 21, 1804
IF the YOUTH THAT LEFT ISLINGTON on Sunday evening can remember that he ever had a Mother, he is informed he will soon be deprived of that blessing, except he immediately writes particulars, or personally appears before her. His friend will redress any circumstance, and settle every point to his satisfaction.
Thursday, September 21, 1820
H begs leave to acknowledge receipt of J.A.'s communication, and to inform him, that he need not hesitate in naming the harbour and using his own oars.
Saturday, November 6, 1824
JOE to JACK -- SURRENDER!
Now, I admit I did not get the germ of the idea for Healing Hearts, my February 28 Carina Press release, from any of these. But I am suddenly seized with all sorts of possibilities. I imagine Emma's Times notice to Adam might have gone something like this:
IF the noble Gentleman responsible for the death of a Young Lady's twin brother on the Peninsula still feels any attachment to the Family that held him in esteem as a Youth, he should call upon them in the Country at once, as they are in dire straits. ~ E
So? Find any fabulous ideas lately?
I've been reminded that I forgot to add the link to "The Agony." Silly me. Here it is: http://www.archive.org/details/agonycolumnoftim00clayTaryn 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 http://dreamvoyagers.blogspot.com/