Wednesday, August 10, 2011

She's Come Undone

I'm over at Heroes & Heartbreakers again today. 

For those romance readers among you who have "known" me a long time, you will recall that there was a moment in the not-too-distant past where I was fed-up, burnt-out and just plain "over" anything involving Regency England.  And naturally, since my timing has always sucked eggs, my burn-out set in during a period when every flippin' historical romance (or maybe it just seemed like it to my burnt-out brain) was set in Regency England.

Well my latest post?  All about how I got over that burn-out.  Go on over and take a gander.


Marguerite Kaye said...

From the moment I first came across the imprint title, Undone, I couldn't get the Robbie Williams song out of my head.

I think lots of people had Regency burn out at the same time as you, but the great thing is that we're starting to see loads of Regencies now that are breaking the mould with non-aristocractic heroines who do more than languish and sigh and wait to be rescued, heroes who aren't rakes, and a move away from the ballrooms and parties into a much more edgy world that might also be a bit more real.

Elaine Golden said...

LOL, Wendy! So glad you posted this. I've been holding off sending you copies of my Undones (even though you told me when we met in Orlando that you were a big fan of them) because I was aware of your Regency burnout. They are definitely Regencies, though not a rake to be found among my heroes. So glad to know you're able to enjoy them again!

I love the Undone format too --they're the perfect fix for romance when I haven't the time to invest in a full length novel. I always keep a couple on hand if I get stuck waiting places like the mechanic. And Harlequin has really done a great job with unique locals: Roman, Medieval Japan, China, even a few paranormal historicals.

JamiSings said...

Well, since you've gone through the burn out thing, maybe you have advice to deal with my burnout.

If I have to read about one more hero with an awful childhood I will scream.

I'm totally burned out on the "I was an abused child" trope for heroes in romance novels. I mostly blame Sherilyn Kenyon who seems to write only about heroes who were beaten, raped, even sold as sex slaves. Yet, even though they never go a therapist or even tell anyone other than the heroine (who always has a happy golden childhood) about it they still turn out to be good guys instead of drug addicted male hookers and/or serial killers. Other authors are doing it more and more as well.

It's so bad it's starting to affect my enjoyment of non-romance books as well. Is it suddenly "in" for heroes to have been brutally raped or something? Or is it just my fondness for paranormals? And how might I get over this burnout?

Wendy said...

Marguerite: Yeah, part of the issue for me was I like my Regencies a bit more angsty, and at the time of my burn-out "light and fun" was definitely in vogue. Hey, nothing wrong with that - I just don't want a steady diet of it. Another thing that I think helped was that now authors are taking the Regency era out of the London ballrooms. We're seeing more variety re: settings.

Elaine: That's exactly it for me. They're perfect reads for when I just don't "feel" like a full-length novel. Undones have seen me through more than a couple of "reading slumps."

Jami: I think part of it might be your affinity towards paranormal - although you see the Insanely Tortured Hero in some corners of romantic suspense as well. Heroes with screwed up childhoods are fairly common in the genre - but I know for me that there is a big difference between "merely dysfunctional" and "OMG! How are you not a serial killer?!?!"

My advice? Take a break from the paranormal for a little while - or rely very heavily on reviews to select your reads. That's literally what I had to do with the Regency era. I just avoided them for a while, until the worst of my burn-out seemed to have lifted. I discovered I could go back to them by reading short stories and anthologies.....