It is a great pleasure to welcome romance novelist Emma Bennet back to my blog today to discuss reseaching her first Regency romance. Thank you for your time today, Emma.
Thank you for having me back to the blog today, Val. As you know, I usually write contemporary romance and have seven books currently published in that genre, but I decided to set myself the challenge of writing something rather different for Camp NaNoWriMo this July. I wanted to attempt the first 50,000 words of a Regency romance. I knew this was going to be a huge endeavour, and not just because of the word count which was much higher than I’d typically write in a month.
I had my story all plotted out, in fact, I’m hoping it’s going to be the first book in a series, but I was concerned about whether I’d be able to get the tone and the language of the period right so that readers feel transported to the era of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.
I love the Regency period in fiction and film and had already read a fair number of books set in the period and watched numerous Jane Austen adaptations and Bridgerton, of course.
I decided to use the month of June to delve deeper into research so that I would be more confident when I actually start writing. So I immersed myself in the Regency period for the month, I read as many Regency romances as possible, but especially those written recently as I wanted to be very aware of what the current trends in Regency fiction were, and I discovered some fantastic new authors. I also very quickly realised that readers of Regency romance nowadays want a strong heroine who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, and definitely isn’t going to be pushed around by her hero.
I was also able to count watching the latest series of Bridgerton as work, and I adored watching this as well as several Jane Austen adaptations, including the recent depiction of ‘Persuasion’ on Netflix and ‘Sense and Sensibility’ with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet - I really love my job sometimes! My husband was not so impressed with the selection of films on offer for date night!
I also read some non-fiction books about the period and interviewed Regency romance writers Virginia Heath and Meredith E. Phillips for my YouTube channel. I’m such a professional that, not only did I visit some beautiful National Trust properties, but I even got to stay in the most gorgeous hotel and spa, all in the name of research!
When I actually got around to writing the novel, I can’t say the experience was as enjoyable as most of the research, especially as I was sick and got very behind in my word count, but I would have been completely stuck if I hadn’t taken the time to properly immerse myself in research and get myself in the right mindset for writing my first Regency romance.
I vlogged a lot of my research trips for my YouTube channel. The videos are all collected in a playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnSiposFlv-hItIv2bNcCYcZ1n5t-Hv8X
My plan is to complete my manuscript in the next few months and query it next year!
Emma grew up and lived in London, before falling in love and moving to Wales to marry her own hero. Emma lives with her husband and 4 children in a small Welsh market town. She is often found in rivers attempting to control two overexcited chocolate Labradors.
Emma can be found on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKJKt8kmDXrWQAGkTV1VHMQ/ where she offers tips and tricks for writers, as well as book recommendations, author life vlogs and live writing sprints.
Emma likes (in no particular order): cake, books, Cary Grant films, prosecco, chocolate, guinea pigs, knitting, quilting and happily ever afters!
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKJKt8kmDXrWQAGkTV1VHMQ
My website: www.emma-bennet.co.uk