Shana Galen on Why She Loves Historicals

We’re a sucker for a historical romance, and we fully blame being introduced to Mr. Darcy at a young age. Shana Galen understands the lure of the genre, and her latest the RT Top Pick! The Rogue You Know, is out this week! Today, Shana’s sharing why she loves her chosen genre so. Take it away, Shana!

I’m often asked why I write historicals. After all, publishers and readers have been saying the historical romance genre was dead since I started writing in 2000. And while I do have a penchant for supporting the underdog, the truth is that I write historical romance because it rocks.

The real question is why wouldn’t I write historical romance?

First, let’s take the gowns. My daughter loves to play dress-up. Her dress-up clothes of choice are historical dresses. Cinderella, Elsa, a fairy princess—all of those clothes are based on dress styles from history. In the past, the fashions were so much more romantic. They might not have been as comfortable, but the long skirts, the sumptuous fabrics, and the ornate shoes are like something out of a fairy tale. Every day I get to write a story where I dress my characters in those gorgeous gowns.

Then there are the rules and manners. People were introduced; they didn’t just walk up and say hi. Ladies had chaperones. Gentlemen were expected to stand when a lady entered the room, give a lady the choice carriage seat, and take her riding in the park or for ices at Gunther’s. It was a much more civilized time. Not that I want to bring all of those rules back! In fact, one of the best things about writing historical romances is finding creative ways for my characters to break the rules without causing a scandal. Or maybe I do want them to cause a scandal…

Another thing I love about escaping into historical romances is that it really is an escape. There aren’t any cell phones buzzing or TVs blaring. Imagine dinner being the event of the evening. No TV to watch later, no Facebook to check, no text messages before dessert. Conversation was an art. People actually met in person and paid attention to the conversation. I could definitely go for a few days where I didn’t have to tell my husband to put the cell phone down at dinner or remind my daughter to turn off the TV. But only a few days because indoor plumbing and running water are modern conveniences, and while I love history, I don’t love it that much.

Lastly, let’s talk about historical heroes. Every other hero in romance is just an historical hero dressed in modern clothing. In historicals we have dukes, earls and viscounts. These were the first sexy billionaires. They had stately mansions, wealth, prestige — and don’t forget the title. Historical heroes lived in a time when men protected women and acting a little alpha was pretty much the norm. But the really sexy thing about an historical hero? When he asks his heroine to marry him, he means he wants her as his partner for life. Divorce was rare in history. So the duke who asks a woman to be his duchess is committing for life. And that’s romantic.

Historicals are romantic by their very nature, and I promise you they aren’t going anywhere. 

The Rogue You Know is available in stores and online now! You can get a copy on Amazon, Barnes Noble, Kobo or iBooks, or you can find it at your neighborhood bookstore on IndieBound. For more historical love stories, be sure to visit our Everything Romance page! 

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