I just received the latest issue of Romantic Times and when I turned to the historical romance reviews section, my heart plummeted. Most of the new books were set in Regency England. Why did my heart sink? Because that's where my novel is set. And I keep thinking, Why would anyone want to buy more stories set in this time period? The market is just saturated with Regency historicals.
As a writer, I have a hard time wanting to just write in one particular time period. I have lots of ideas for stories in different time periods - the French Revolution, the American Revolution, World War II, Napoleonic France, the Troubles in Northern Ireland, etc., etc. So if I happen to sell the novel I'm working on (the Regency historical), does that mean I'm committed to writing more Regency historicals until I'm successful enough to branch out? In other words, that will be my "brand."
Unfortunately, that doesn't sit well with me.
I don't want to spend years writing in the same time period because, frankly, I'll get bored. And I don't want to just do what everyone else is doing. When I started writing this book (I won't say how long ago), I wanted to write it because I loved that time period and because it was very popular. Now, though, I think it's gone overboard.
I think something is brewing in the historical market. This trend of Regency historicals can't go on forever, nor do I want it to. I love this time period, but I think there is plenty of room for other time periods, as well. I think a lot of romance readers would agree.