Contemporary Romance Writer: Today or Yesterday?

Historical romance is hot — or so say the publishing pundits.

My debut novel, Wish You Were Here … um, it’s set in the here and now. As in Colorado. Today.

Did I know readers wanted historical romance when my novel was nothing more than a work in progress? Yes. Yes, I did.

Then why, if I was really thinking about getting my then untitled story published, didn’t I set it in the 1800s? Or the 1600s? Or make it a World War II saga?

Because love happens today. “Happily ever after” happens today — not just in the good ol’ days. People today –women and men — struggle with hurts and relationships and questions. And they fall in love in spite of all that.

Truth be told, I have a historical novel tucked away in my brain. I’ve mulled it over. Written a few chapters. Researched things. Talked about my story idea with writing friends. I like historical romances too.

But for now — and possibly forever — I’m embracing contemporary romance. Today has a lot of possibility in it, don’tcha think?

In Your Words: Do you read contemporary romance? Historical romance? Or something else altogether? Do you pick a novel based on the genre? Or do you pick a book because it got a good review or recommendation?


Photo by John Skiba. Used with permission.
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  1. November 10, 2011, 5:30 am   /  Reply

    I’m more of a contemporary reader, but I won’t turn away a good historical when I see one. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      November 10, 2011, 6:39 am   /  Reply

      We’re a lot alike, you and me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. November 10, 2011, 6:53 am   /  Reply

    I’m happy that you and your family live the best parts of what you write.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 10, 2011, 6:55 am   /  Reply

      It is fun to be able to write what I know, i.e. where I live. I traveled to Bandon, OR this summer. The whole time I was there I thought: OH! I have to incorporate this into a book!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. November 10, 2011, 6:53 am   /  Reply

    I have a few romance in my to be read pile, but they remain for now in my “to be read” pile. I’ve got several non-fiction that take priority. I’m more contemporary.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 10, 2011, 6:56 am   /  Reply

      MY To Be Read (TBR) pile is a mish-mosh of both fiction and nonfiction. And I was originally an “I will never write fiction” writer.
      See? There’s that “never say never” rule being proven true again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. November 10, 2011, 7:06 am   /  Reply

    Beth, I read both contemporary and historical romances. I think I lean more toward historical, but what’s funny is I’m writing a contemporary novel (not quite a romance; more of women’s fiction).

    Do you think your publishers would allow you to jump genres if you wanted to write a historical romance? Or do they only care that you continue to write romance, whether it be historical or contemporary? I’ve wondered about that–whether an author pigeon-holes herself with whatever novel she gets published first.

    Enjoying your posts!

    • Beth Vogt
      November 10, 2011, 12:18 pm   /  Reply

      Glad you’re enjoying my posts! :O)
      I don’t know about jumping genres at this point. Right now I’m waiting to hear that my editor likes my synopsis for book 2!

  5. November 10, 2011, 7:28 am   /  Reply

    I’m like you, Beth (except I write suspense, you know murder…) Oh where was I? I love writing in contemporary time, but I have a historical buried in my mind set somewhere on the Natchez Trace…
    Great post.

  6. Jeanne T
    November 10, 2011, 7:29 am   /  Reply

    Beth, great posts. Yes, we definitely need “happily-ever-afters” today. ๐Ÿ™‚ I read almost anything I find interesting. I tend more toward contemporary, but I’ve read plenty of historical romance, as well. Love suspense (as long as I don’t dream about it!), too.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 10, 2011, 12:19 pm   /  Reply

      The question is: How do you turn off your writer’s brain so you don’t dream about all the suspense stuff? ;o)

  7. November 10, 2011, 7:34 am   /  Reply

    I read and write historical romance. When I began writing, I heard many say that historical romance wasn’t happening. Like you, I wrote what I liked and trusted that the market would change. I believe that good stories will find homes, whether they are contemporary or historical. I’m so glad your story has, Beth. =)

    • Beth Vogt
      November 10, 2011, 12:20 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you, Keli. It will be fun to celebrate your debut novel too!

  8. November 10, 2011, 12:52 pm   /  Reply

    I am a reader of both. I love a good romance, no matter when it’s set. I’m writing both, too because I love both. Love is love, whenever it happens! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      November 10, 2011, 1:20 pm   /  Reply

      I like your attitude, Jennifer, both s a reader and a writer!

  9. November 10, 2011, 1:22 pm   /  Reply

    I read and enjoy both, but I write contemporary. To be honest, the thought of writing a historical scares me (all those stinkin’ details to research & incorporate!), but I do have an idea for one swirling around in my brain. Maybe someday I’ll give it a go. For now, I want to tell “today” stories. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great post!

    • Beth Vogt
      November 10, 2011, 1:59 pm   /  Reply

      Thanks, Susan!
      Believe me, all those stinkin’ details can be daunting when it comes to writing an historical novel! I’ve got a box of large-size index cards for the research I started on the idea I’m just mulling over.

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