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Literary Period Romance Fiction

April 1, 2011

So, for Valentine’s Day this year I got my Dear Wife a very nice bound edition of a collection of 7 Jane Austen novels.  She’d been telling me she wanted to read some classic women’s fiction of that sort, so I thought this would suit her nicely.

Unbeknownst to her, however, since that time I have been secretly reading these books for myself.  And I have unabashedly fallen in love with the style and genre.  So much so that, in fact, the thought of writing another word of fantasy or speculative fiction fills me with utter disgust and self-contempt.

For that reason, I am announcing today that I will no longer be writing such fantastic tripe.  I will pursue a career, instead, in the genre of Literary Period Romance.  I will be publishing under the name Stephanie Wyeth – because, of course, you can’t have a man’s name on the cover of a Literary Period Romance book. 

My first book, tentatively titled “Attraction and Accountability”, will follow the misadventures of Miss Penelope Southampton, the younger daughter of wealthy merchant Carlsbad Southampton in the city of Kentshire, England, as she attempts to woo the attention of the dapper young Lord Vermillion.  But Master Southampton won’t allow her to be married off until her older sister, Harridan, is first married.  So Penelope devises a plan to have the odious old bachelor, Lord Rathsbaneshire, abscond with her unmarriageable older sister.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to start work on my first book of Literary Period Romance, “Attraction and Accountability”.  I’m open to any suggestions and advice you have as I embark on this new endeavor.  Wish me luck!

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31 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2011 10:37 am

    Stephen, what a surprise! I wasn’t expecting any such turn of your writing career…

    I suggest you read some Brontë. Jane Eyre is my #1 all-time favorite book, and it has some wildly romantic concepts that you might like and utilize for this next book. I definitely want to be your #1 beta-reader for this project!!!

  2. April 1, 2011 12:37 pm

    Ahh April 1, I have a feeling today will bring plenty of surprise announcements 😉

    • April 1, 2011 12:38 pm

      That’s probably because April 1st is International Surprise Announcement Day. It’s a historical tradition that we reserve surprise announcements for this day.

      • April 1, 2011 2:02 pm

        I had a feeling this was a “Surprise Announcement” but I didn’t want to say anything, for fear of spoiling it for anyone else 😉

      • April 1, 2011 2:09 pm

        You almost gave it away when you lead your comment off with “What a Suprise!”… But it’s hard to hold back on International Surprise Announcement Day.

  3. April 1, 2011 1:18 pm

    I spotted the word ‘Jane Austen’ in my subscription list and of course I had to have a look. I applaud you for this magnificent career change. I particularly look forward to hearing more about Miss Harridan Southampton (are we channelling ‘Taming of the Shrew’ a bit here?)

    • April 1, 2011 1:20 pm

      Are you accusing me of Plagiary! Pistols at dawn, my dear madam. Pistols at dawn! 😉

      • April 1, 2011 1:40 pm

        Influence, my dear sir, influence! (Though ‘Plagiary’ would make a great book title. Or perhaps it’s a country house? I think Lord Rathsbaneshire would live at Plagiary Hall).

      • April 1, 2011 1:43 pm

        A fine suggestion. Much better than “Wartwhig Hall”, which is what I was originally planning.

      • April 1, 2011 2:01 pm

        Plagiary? Wartwhig? Excellent ideas.

        And I suggest that the estate that dear Miss Southampton lives on should be called Womansfield Park—indeed, Mansfield Park worked back in Austen’s day, but by today’s standards it is faaaar too sexist.

        We must appeal to all markets.

      • April 1, 2011 2:09 pm

        In that regard, then, it should be “Personsfield Park”. More gender-neutral, that way.

      • April 1, 2011 2:34 pm

        I think PETA may have a problem with that. I suggest as an alternative, “Creaturesfield park.” Or, if you’re scared of the evolutionists (who do not believe in a create-ure), perhaps “Organismspark.”

      • April 1, 2011 2:40 pm

        Primarily, animals and non-speaking beings are not in my target market for this work.

      • April 1, 2011 2:35 pm

        Addendum: Organismsfield Park.

      • April 1, 2011 2:38 pm

        Now that just sounds like a dirty word.

      • April 1, 2011 4:20 pm

        I was trying to strip it down of all its defining characteristics, just like “killing” has become “unlawful deprivation of life,” or something like that…can imagine?

  4. April 1, 2011 2:34 pm

    Hey Stephen, why not combine both fantastical/speculative elements with literary ones? (And romance, of course.) You don’t necessarily have to abandon one just to do the other! Change the game up, you know? Mix stuff up.

    Maybe the “literary” part will lead the way, but the fantasy element can still be present. (Susanna Clarke has done this in her novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which I’m currently savoring. :D)

    • April 1, 2011 2:43 pm

      Ah, but if it isn’t both Literary and Regency Period Romance, I no longer have any interest in it. The winds of change have blown, and they have swept away the clutter of my old mind. (I wonder if I should add Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell to my reading list…)

  5. April 1, 2011 8:47 pm

    I was going to take away your Superhero membership card if you decided to go down this foo-foo road and then my spider-sense tingled. I knew that this was a mere ruse.

    *puts back the rational whacking stick*

    • April 2, 2011 8:28 pm

      Do you mean to tell me you believe this to be a mere April Fool’s Joke? I suppose, it now being April 2nd rather than April 1st, it would be adviseable of me to admit as much.

  6. April 1, 2011 11:52 pm

    Is there room in the story for winged zombie cats weilding wire cutters? *whistling innocently*

    • April 2, 2011 2:41 pm

      Can you do Regency Period Romance without winged zombie cats weilding wire cutters? If you can, that’s news to me.

  7. marjorie permalink
    April 3, 2011 3:40 am

    Very funny, Stephen (Yeah right, it was April Fool’s Day). Can’t imagine a dyed-in-the-wool fantasy writer like you penning a love story. But since you’ve introduced the idea, how about injecting a little romance into your hard-core speculative fiction writings,hmm?
    🙂 Can’t wait to see how you’ll do on this one.. 🙂

    • April 3, 2011 8:47 pm

      Actually, I’m a firm believer that truly good stories – at least those that are going to be novel length – need to include at least some romance… because it’s a fundamental part of human existence. I don’t always include that particular theme in my short stories, because there isn’t enough room in that space to include every major theme.

  8. April 5, 2011 12:52 am

    Nicely done “aprilskämt” (swedish, since it’s no longer April 1st, I can’t make up a word to fool you).

  9. April 6, 2011 10:13 pm

    I didn’t believe it for a minute…lol.

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