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Birthday Blog

The hubby and me in our Civil War finery.

The hubby and me in our Civil War finery.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s my turn to blog again on Slip Into Something Victorian and it just happens to be my birthday. I’m not saying which one.

Anyway, I thought I’d do a blog about how I came to write American Civil War romance. According to most publishers, Civil War romance isn’t a particularly popular genre. And I’ve heard readers comment that they don’t particularly like them because they always seem to be about a feisty Southern belle pitted against an arrogant Union officer. The problem is, since many publishers don’t seem to want them, there aren’t many new Civil War romances being written.

My fascination with the American Civil War started when my husband watched the Ken Burns series and decided the family should take a trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The town is steeped in Civil War history with battlefields, monuments, a museum, shops and other attractions all about the Civil War. And to top it off, we ran into more than a few re-enactors out for the weekend.

The next thing you know, my husband was seeking out local reenactment groups. Once he found one, the 28th Pennsylvania, based in Philadelphia, he was hooked. He dragged most of the family in, including me and our two younger sons.

Once I’d joined as a civilian, I found I had to learn how to dress, how to act and how to set up my camp. We sleep in canvas tents for the weekend and set up our tables under tarps set up in front of the tent, sort of like a porch roof.

So, since I was a fledgling writer by this time, I thought I’d use the wealth of information I had to learn as a re-enactor for my stories. At that time, I wasn’t yet writing romance. I was writing historical stories for children and young adults. The problem with that was, for a new writer, the market was tight, particularly for historicals. They were mostly looking for urban set or problem stories at that time.

Not to be discouraged, I set my focus on the romance market and joined Romance Writers of America. It was several years before my first romance novel, Erin’s Rebel, a time travel, was in shape to submit to a publisher. Being a re-enactor, I loved the idea of a modern-day woman going back in time to meet and fall in love with a Civil War officer. I was more than thrilled when I got an acceptance from The Wild Rose Press to publish my time travel.  My second CW novel, Confederate Rose, is about an Irish immigrant who becomes one of the female soldiers who hid their sex in order to fight. Confederate Rose will also be released by The Wild Rose Press in September 2009. Erin’s Rebel will be a July 2009 release. I’ve also written a short story, titled Angel of My Dreams, to be released in a TWRP romance anthology with some of my fellow Victorian bloggers. I am absolutely thrilled to have found a home for my Civil War romances and plan to pen many more.

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13 Comments

  1. I’m with you, Susan, I find the era filled with romance and love nothing more than to immerse myself in it.

    Another “problem” with Civil War romance is keeping the h/h on page together all the time–that’s not easy when one of them is off fighting a war. There are only so many plot twists that allow for that to happen.

    But writers like you keep finding unique ways to do it. Keep ’em coming!

    Happy Birthday!

  2. Susan,
    Good job! I loved learning about your famiy’s journey toward involvement in the Civil War.
    We’re lucky to have your unique perspective right here in the Scandalous Victorians. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.
    Mary Ann

  3. sandysays1 says:

    If you’re ever in Florida in February, I’d suggest you visit the Battle of Olustee reinactment. It’s a very good one. It can be cold even though it’s Florida. Visit me at http://www.SandySays.wordpress.com for how I “handle” the cold and a few laughs.

  4. Thanks for the comments, everyone! And I heard it’s cold down there in Florida, Sandy! Try to stay warm.

  5. Isabel Roman says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan! I find the Civil War fascenating, have been to Gettysburg several times as a child, but I don’t think anything’s interesting enough to camp. Maybe I’ll come see one of the reinanctments though, you’ll have to let me know next time one’s happening.

  6. Thanks, Isabel! I know quite a few women civilian reenactors who won’t brave sleeping in a tent, either. They usually find a motel nearby where they can spend the night. LOL.

  7. Denise Eagan says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan, and let’s hope that the Civil War becomes a popular sub-genre again. I really do love to read about it!

  8. Thanks, Dee! I’m getting ready for a cup of hot tea and a piece of cake.

    And I hope The Wild Rose Press is the leader in bringing the genre back again.

  9. Caroline says:

    Hi Susan, Happy Birthday to you!!

    Loved your post. I really enjoy anything civil war also….I’ve been to one reinactment and have been trying to find anothe ever since.

    Take care!

  10. Hi Jean,

    Wow, what a blog! A bit, and bite, of everything here. Happy birthday to Susan, too.

    Susan St.Thomas

  11. Thanks, Susan! Glad you like the blog. Drop back in from time to time.

  12. K.-Marie says:

    Happy birthday.

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