Monday, September 2, 2013

Switching Genres with Guest Author Christy English

It's my great pleasure to welcome my friend Christy English back as my guest. I can't think of Christy without smiling, and although I'm not generally a romance reader, I love Christy's books, regardless of genre. I'll let Christy tell you about switching between them, which she has accomplished with elegance and grace. ~ Sheila

Switching Genres

by Christy English

A lot of people have asked me why I switched from writing straight historical fiction to historical romances. And no matter how many times I'm asked it, this question always makes me blink. I suppose I pause for thought before I answer because when I first conceive of a novel, I think about it in terms of the character, and of the choices she has to make, and how she chooses to live her life. It is only as I rewrite the book that I take into genre into account.

Historical fiction and historical romance call for different types of plots, even different types of language, so as I rewrite after the first draft, I try to do my best to keep the genre, and thus the future readers, in mind. Where an historical fiction reader might be happy to listen to a flowery description of a gown or a palace, an historical romance reader is more interested in watching the hero and heroine interact, which focuses more on dialogue and plot.

But when I conceive of a novel, I begin the same way for every type of book I write. I begin with the characters, and what happens to them, and between them. For me, storytelling is the ultimate goal. Whatever form it takes, in whatever genre, I hope to be true to the characters that have come into my head, the people who need me to tell their stories, to give their fictional lives a voice.

Christy English has been an admirer of strong women all her life and writes about them constantly. She is the author of the Regency romances How To Tame A Willful Wife and Love on A Midsummer Night from Sourcebooks Casablanca. Christy has also indulged her obsession with Eleanor of Aquitaine and 12th century England and France in her historical novels The Queen’s Pawn and To Be Queen. Please visit her blog , on Facebook or on Twitter


  1. It's interesting to me that you don't think about genre until you're revising. Thanks for sharing something about your process.

  2. Thanks for coming by Nancy :) The story and the characters get to me first, and then I think about what box to fit the book into later :)

  3. Thank you for hosting me, sweet Sheila. I always love being on your blog :)