My Love Affair with Regency Romances

Carla Kelly authorThis is a guest post by Carla Kelly.New to Cedar Fort, Carla Kelly has been writing romance fiction for national and international markets for years. A two-time Rita Award winner from Romance Writers of America, and a two-time Spur Award recipient from Western Writers of America, Kelly is happiest when the computer keys are clacking and she’s deep in new worlds. Borrowed Light, her first Cedar Fort novel, is soon to be followed by the sequel, Enduring Light, because Kelly likes Wyoming stockmen more than lords and ladies.

After 23 Regency Romances, translation into nine languages, an award or four ““ Ritas from Romance Writers of America and Spurs from Western Writers of America ““ it’s fun to be writing what I want to write, plus introducing more LDS readers to my early Regencies.

Marian’s Christmas Wish was originally published in 1989 by Signet/Penguin-Putnam. My Signet editor told me it was the first full-length Regency Romance focusing on a holiday season. I can’t confirm or deny that, but she ought to know. All I knew was that I had a neat idea about a sister who has to prevent a beloved older sister from Sacrificing Herself On The Altar Of Duty by an arranged marriage, and still keep the sagging family fortunes afloat.

Marian's Christmas Wish by Carla Kelly Author

Marian was my third Regency, and remains a personal favorite. (Yes, authors are entitled to favorite “children.”) When Jennifer Fielding at Cedar Fort told me of plans to reissue it ““ I hold the copywrite for my Signet Regencies ““ I was delighted for a couple of reasons: it will also be available as an ebook, and it’s a loving look at my own children.

Seriously, if you’re going to have five children, why not use them in a novel? Both Marian and her older sister, Ariadne, are a blend of my three daughters, who were 17, 13 and 12 at the time. At times, the Kelly girls acted grown up, at times childish, at times a mystery. So do Marian and Ariadne.

Oldest brother Percy, the diplomat who brings home a suitor from treaty talks in Belgium, is my oldest son, Jeremy. At the time I wrote Marian’s Christmas Wish, Jeremy was serving in the Brazil Curitiba Mission. He has always been sensible and an excellent oldest child/older brother. Percy was a dead ringer for Elder Kelly.

Alistair, the younger brother, is my Sam. (This could be confusing, because there is a character in the book named Sam, but he is not patterned after my Sam.) Alistair is a risk-taker and prone to trouble. He’s also a charming scamp. It would be hard not to like Alistair, and so it is with Sam Kelly.

When I wrote Marian, I also had a boss I detested. I needed the job, though, so I happily took out my frustrations by turning my boss into the buffoon of the novel, Sir William Clinghorn, who is fat, odious, and has bad breath. I enjoyed every word of my secret revenge.

Such are the uses of fiction. Writers write to entertain, and we also write to have a little fun, ourselves, which makes me think that there’s a bit of Marian in me, too.