try to write or read to make the twenty minutes useful. Right now I'm
reading a lot of Mary Balogh on those bus rides. Balogh, if you're
not familiar with the name, writes Regency-set historicals, and I'm
enjoying them thoroughly. Before two or three months ago, I'd never
picked up any of her books, but a friend of mine is a big fan of hers
(so Roberta, I blame all this on you!), and I found I enjoyed them
(though the overuse of the word "haughty" set my teeth on edge with
one book -- Josh and Lady Freyja's story, if anyone familiar with
Balogh's work is wondering). These books, set against the Regency and
the wars on the continent as a backdrop, are a perfect counterpoint
to the sf shared-continuity I'm writing and rewriting for Cerridwen.
Reading one cleanses my mental palate for writing the other.
But these stories about Regency England and a farflung fantasy future
(FFFF) have more in common than you would think. My story got its
start from an op-ed piece I read in The New York Times, a son finding
out his father had been accused of war crimes -- and never told about
them, or allowed to clear his name. Doesn't that sound like a Regency
story? If not Regency, certainly something historical. But it's a
timeless theme, so of course it works even in the FFFF.
Which is why, of course, romance fiction is big. Love is a timeless
theme, and so is family. Love and family, among other timeless
themes, connect the distant past with the FFFF. Timeless themes
resonate in us, and that's why they're popular. Love and family are
two such themes. How many others can you think of off-hand?
THE SLEEPER AWAKES, FESTIVAL OF STARS, Cerridwen Press
"30-Day Guarantee," myromancestory.com