I pursued my bachelor's degree in history because of my love of historical costume. The way I'd learned history in high school, dates of wars and political events, did not speak to me. But the way I learned history through theater did. I loved how you can find out so much about a person based on what they wore. Social history, the people that led us to the world as we know it, still fascinates me.
I particularly fell in love with the Elizabethan/Reformation era courtesy of Shakespeare and renaissance fairs. The nuances of dress, the widening scope of the world, changing cultures, this was my focus in college. Because I felt history was a underwhelming subject in school the way it had been taught in my experience led me to becoming a teacher.
This era also led me to start and finish my first manuscript, then called Courtly Love. I've addressed this poor, overworked, Frankenstein of a book many times, but this time it's different.
This time I have a reason to make it right.
There is interest.
I'd stopped seriously pitching my historical romances a few years ago because I could predict the responses: the market is saturated and Elizabethan era is better suited to historical fiction than historical romance (and any other variation on this theme). I stopped even thinking about my historicals. I compartmentalized all the story lines that had built up in my mind and stored them away for another day and concentrated on thrillers.
But interest, oh, that changes everything. The floodgates are open and I am in my element again. My musings are full of grand manors and small villages, court, dancing, gowns, changing social norms... and the stories refuse to be ignored.
So, back to Courtly Pleasures go I. My challenge there is to smooth out the seams. I rewrote it because it was more women's fiction than romance and the two books that followed had more of a romance vibe so they didn't match. My mistake was not rewriting 100%. I tried to salvage parts I liked from the original but my writing style had evolved. Now I'm remedying that error and hope to finish with a manuscript I am proud of once more.
And on that, back to work.
This is my eldest, age 4ish at the time the picture was taken.