Why I just can't make my British heroes too "traditional"...and an offer to US readers
Look up the HarperCollins 360 promotion 'Backlist Gems' and discover the joys of energetic fake governesses, stiff-necked stroppy aristocrats, and the problem with drinking too much gin. My Lady Governess is on offer for $1.99 to US readers this month, my first Regency romance with Escape!
I admit, it is not a traditional Regency, but read Regency letters from men to their friends, and not that much has changed in the way they talk to each other or behave. There is a reason Jane Austen did not note exclusively male conversation, and not just because she wasn't there; British men don't have polite conversation with their friends - good friends in Britain fling insults at each other constantly, often with bad language. Even Bingley makes fun of Darcy, in a classic British moment; imagine what he said to his friend with no ladies around.
Bill Bryson noted that two British friends together can't go ten minutes without one of them making a joke, even on a serious occasion, and there's a lot of truth in that. The British often love being silly, which was even more in evidence two hundred years ago (practical jokes were very popular - read Evelina), along with a lot of eccentricity and dreadful relations. Terribly aristocratic as Lord de Waare is in My Lady Governess, strict as social conventions could be in public, no British man on earth would keep that stiff-necked super-conventional act up in private. No British friend would let him.
I just can't bring myself to write a super-conventional story with a boot-faced hero knowing this. No British heroine worth her salt would go after Lord Boot-Face if he couldn't laugh and be a bit daft - it's not even as realistic as drunken men abducting girls in disguise - and ultimately, my books never come out that way anyway. I do, however, have historical examples to support my stories at every stage. Unusual, maybe. True to life? You'd be surprised. Authentically British? Absolutely.
Break the mould! All for $1.99 this month only!