Sunday, September 28, 2008

Some Thoughts & Things

Hi all! Have you missed me? :) I've been on vacation all week and haven't been online anywhere near as much as I thought I would be. For shame! :~P

I've got multiple reviews I'll be doing over the next day or two, plus an interview/giveaway with Delilah Marvelle, a debut author and super sweet lady.

But what I wanted to discuss here was some thoughts I've been having about historical romances. I know, it's a topic in and of itself, but I wanted to speak specifically about the "voice" of a historical.

For many, many years (age of 10 to about 17) I read nothing but bodice-ripper, super awful purple-prose historical romances. I was in love Rebecca Brandewyne and her epic tales of lies, lust and romantic insanity. There were a couple of others, but Ms. Brandewyne is the one that sticks with me.

Anyway, I grew up and grew out of love for these crazy books. I stopped reading historicals cold turkey and moved on to contemporaries, romantic suspense and paranormals. I basically refused to read historicals due to my previous history with them and what I remembered them being all about.

It wasn't until about a year or so ago that I even consented to read a historical romance again. I'd come across Kristie(J)'s blog and she was raving about the wonderful Derek Craven and the novel Dreaming of You written by Lisa Kleypas. I poo-pooed the notion of reading it, but she was so adamant in her love for this character that I finally broke down and read it. And fell in love with the writing of Ms. Kleypas. I went and bought her entire backlist; not even flinching when I found out she had a MAJOR backlist. Same thing with Julia Quinn.

I figured that I'd gotten lucky; that there couldn't be that many historical romance writers out there that would convince me. Oh, did I eat my words. Loretta Chase smacked me upside the head with Lord of Scoundrels. And then I met Samantha James and really liked her stuff. And now it's on to Stephanie Laurens and her Cynster novels. I'm finding that there are a lot of great historical authors out there that deserve to be recognized. But, that's not what this entry was to be about.

What I actually wanted to talk about was the voice of a historical. I've read ones where the author tries to keep the vocabulary and cadence of voice true to the time period and others who have their characters speak in an almost modern cadence. It's made me think about what I prefer...and what drives me nuts.

Lisa Kleypas is the prime example of what I prefer when it comes to Historical authors. Her characters speak in a way that is pleasing to my reading "ear". I can hear the words in my head and I'm comfortable with that. I've tried authors in the past who try too hard when it comes to the historical verbal accuracy and they drive me nuts. Lots of 'tis, thous, wouldst, etc. I cannot stand that at all.

And though I'm coming to love the Cynster novels, I cannot understand why Ms. Laurens is so fond of the word HUMPH. I kid you not, she uses it ALL THE TIME!!!! I counted it close to 20 times just in one novel and it's not humph it's hmph...and it shouldn't be used as a verb. It's a vocal tone that expresses disgust or is not a word! *ahem* Excuse my rant.

Anyway, my big question for my readers is...what do you prefer? Do you prefer authors who use a more modern language that still makes their characters sound like they belong in their time or do you prefer authors who seem to be stuck in the days of yore? I'd really like to know.

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