Westward Ho!

Lord_RogueI finally buckled down and did it—edited and prepared LORD ROGUE and CHEYENNE’S LADY for an e-book edition. These books were nearly 150,000 words originally, written back in the day when books were books and men were men. <G> LORD ROGUE holds a place in my heart because it was written about St. Louis and the Mississippi River, an area I lived in off and on for over twenty years. The period of 1812, the year after the Great Comet, was particularly lively with the war with Britain, Indian unrest, a chieftain who could predict the future, the first steamboat down the river, and an earthquake that made the river run backward. And because I had all those lovely words to play in, I used all those incidents! The hero of this book is such a contradiction in so many ways, that I’ve loved him for years. Take a quick look at the first pages and see what you think.

To celebrate my finally finishing these books, I’ve repackaged my other Americana: my Rita nominee, DENIM AND LACE, my sagas SHELTER FROM THE STORM, MOONLIGHT MISTRESS, and WAYWARD ANGEL, plus CHEYENNE’S LADY, my one and only gunfighter story, into a six book series.

If you want to just taste the western waters first, LORD ROGUE will be 99c for this month only.

I’m not entirely certain why historical romance has abandoned our fascinating Moonlight_and_MemoriesAmerican history for England and the Regency era. We had lovely fashions, wealthy mansions, and noble heroes as often or more so than England. But for some reason, we seem to think of that era in our country as prairies and covered wagons. Take a walk on the wild side and see if you don’t develop a taste for a hero who can hold his own in any company!

Diversity

Rice_TheoryofMagic800An old argument, currently revived and raging around the internet, is the one where some people insist authors cannot write about any ethnicity/race/religion/sex but their own—which pretty much leaves the entire library to white male writers since there are far more of them than anyone else.

Yes, I agree that a strong female/African/Muslim point-of-view character would probably be stronger were the author of the same persuasion. But to tell me I can only write from the heroine’s POV because I’m female… Uh uh, I don’t think so. If all my heroines were of the same ethnicity/race/religion/sex as me, my only titles would be the Misadventures of a Spotted White Non-Affiliated Lady of Uncertain Genetics. There’s a big yawn for you.

Let’s face it, folks: Fiction is making stuff up. That’s what authors are paid to do—to pull ideas, characters, stories, times, and places out of their heads and put them on paper for others to enjoy or talk about. If I write about a Martian hermaphrodite, and you happen to be a Martian hermaphrodite and disagree with how I’ve written my character, that’s your choice. I’m good with that. Go ahead and disagree. Write your own story. But understand you’re not the only Martian hermaphrodite on the planet. I stand behind my character because s/he came out of my head, s/he’s mine. S/he is Not You.

My imagination comes in all colors, sizes, shapes, and levels of historical authenticity. I research my characters to the extent necessary for the type of book I write, which is usually directly related to the type of book I read. So, yes, it might be nice if writers write what they know—as long as readers accept that what we know is often in the  books we read.

And do these cultural control-enthusiasts expect us to only read what we are? Can I not read, appreciate, and understand the Martian experience because I’m from Earth? I’m not looking for rants, but any and all thoughtful perspectives.

And while I’m here, THEORY OF MAGIC comes out July 26. It’s about two very large, quite white, English people of Anglican orientation, and I’m pretty sure I’m not any of those unless spotted counts as white.