This week Gem Sivad visits. I met Gem online after she teased me with her Six Sentence Sunday snippets of one of her western books, River's Edge. Her writing style sucks you in and paints an amazing panorama of the historical western world without taking you out of your chair. Today I asked her one question about historical romance and why attracted her.
BBTF: Western Romance has been known as a field of "bodice rippers". What attracted you to writing in the genre and what makes yours different from the usual corral-stroll?
Gem: Uhh…I don’t know how I measure up next to other western romance authors. :) My “cowboy” titles are American Historical novels, set in the time period between 1860 and 1897. Research for this era is pretty interesting since I spend a lot of time reading about rigid social rules and interesting sexual mores.
For example, during the second half of the nineteenth century, although war, banking scandals, depression, and fraud precipitated social migration from the eastern half of the country to the western, nothing caused more social upheaval than the invention of the rubber condom.
The readily available, mass produced sheath, allowed families the freedom to control the number of children they’d have. Condoms prevented disease, pregnancy, and by extension, fewer women dying in childbirth.What’s not to like about that? Evidently, plenty.
To quell these insidious ideas, the United States government passed The Comstock Act in 1873, labeling contraceptive devices and educational health-related materials to be pornographic. Of course, condoms didn’t fall out of use. Instead, French Letters, as they were named, were avidly traded and sold illegally. Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the history lesson. ;)
My stories are steamy, often erotic, adventures where my heroines live in the moment, survive by their wits, and do (occasionally) engage in some corral strolling. I can confirm that more than a few bodices (and pantalettes) have been removed, but not ripped because cloth material in the 19th century was too expensive to be destroyed. ;)
I’ve listed my western romance titles with each central conflict identified.
Divorce—Pinch of Naughty
Career Dilemma—Trouble in Disguise
Interracial Love—Wolf’s Tender
Surviving Domestic Abuse—Breed True
Second Chances—Five Card Stud
Inheritance Issues—Outrageous Pride
The Independent Woman—Cerise Amour
Comparing the above conflicts with present day social concerns, the truth of French novelist, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr’s epigram is clear—"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose —the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
Thanks for letting me share a little whimsy with you today! My newest title, Cerise Amour will be available April 10th. Until then, I hope you’ll visit my website and check out the rest of my books. Or stop by my blog on Sundays to say hello and sample a snippet from my current work.
Much thanks to the creative geniuses of Buy a Book Tell a Friend for inviting me today. And I’d also like to say to readers who might be stopping by, ‘Nice meeting you and thank you for all your support.’
Thanks so much for stopping buy. Be sure to buy a book and tell a friend. Happy reading!