If I had to choose a book to read for pleasure, it would be a historical romance. Whether paranormal or not, I love a good story set in the past. I have specific time periods and places I prefer, but sweep me away to a different time and I’m happy. The first book I ever published, though touted as a contemporary, had time travel back to the 18th century because of that. I followed with five historical novels, and a few fantasy novels set in medieval times.
Lately, I’ve been writing contemporaries, while pining to get back to the history of things. That’s why I enjoy paranormals, because many times the heroes and heroines have lived for a very long time. They have history, and some have centuries of history. I like to toss in a flashback scene when possible, just to fulfill my own love of history.
But I know some readers have very defined lines drawn when it comes to time period in a novel. Some will only read historical, others love contemporaries. I’m not sure how many enjoy both, and I wonder if they like to see the various time periods mixed in a story?
It’s neat how the paranormal genre allows we writers to incorporate history into our stories. If we have a passion for Napoleonic times we can craft a hero who may have served in Napoleon’s army before being bitten by a vampire and now he’s lived for two centuries. Perhaps we prefer medieval times, and decide that our shapeshifter was summoned in the thirteenth century, and has been walking the world since then, desperate for love and acceptance. I believe that history makes the character stronger, more interesting and ultimately, both smarter and vulnerable as he walks through modern times.
So I want to know which you prefer in your paranormal romances. Straight historical? Set completely in modern times? Or do you like a mix, a contemporary story with flashbacks to the characters’ history?