I’ve always maintained I’m not a big fan of the historical romance novel and its true that I don’t have any particular recommendations in that field. (I’ll also admit I haven’t exactly torn apart my local bookstore looking for them.) But I was glancing over some of the titles in my collection and had a minor revelation. Maybe I’m just not interested in the historical periods most writers are choosing: ie Regency London or Victorian England, etc.
Because I do like historical novels and I used to devour them when I was a kid. The Little House on the Prairie series (both novels and the TV show), Anne of Green Gables (novels and movies), Gone With the Wind, Little Women … I could keep going but I think you get the point. I’ll even admit that I liked Dr. Quinn while it was on (and watched it in reruns). I also have a well worn copy of Dances With Wolves and have seriously considered tracking down the novel it was based on.
Of course, all of these books have something in common. They are all set in North America between the end of the Civil War and 1900. I think I may have found the historical period which works for me. There’s huge “scope for the imagination” as Miss Anne would say. There’s the expanding Western frontier ranging from homesteads to Indian territory to the tradition Western town settings. There’s the “civilized” settled territory of the Eastern seaboard. Not to mention enough drama to make any author drool in the fresh wounds of the Civil War, the beginnings of the suffragette movement and the Emancipation and Reconstruction. It’s good stuff.
I’d have to start doing some serious research before I got into any plot commitments. Right now I’ve got enough projects on the go. But it’s nice to have identified something which inspires and works for me.