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DiAnn Mills | Historical Romance vs the Princess Stories

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I have a theory about historical romance. Think about my conclusions to see if you agree. When we were little girls, we loved pretending we were a princess. Disney animation instilled in us that we were princesses, and fairy tales kept us entertained for hours. We dreamed about our prince, and we dressed in long flowing gowns complete with crowns and magic wands. When we were able to read, we imagined ourselves as the princess in distress or even the princess who saved the day. So what does our girlhood pastimes have to do with historical romance?

We grew into our teen years and attempted to put the princess syndrome to rest. Some of you succeeded. Others of us couldn’t put aside the fantasy world. The color pink and the cute guy with dreamy eyes held our attention. We devoured romance novels. After all, the heroine always fell in love with the perfect hero, and we knew their love would last forever.

We grew older and married our prince, or I hope you did. Then we began to expand our reading horizons. And this is when historical romance moved into our reading pleasure.

Stepping back into time lifts the reader onto a magic carpet ride certain to attract a gallant hero on a dashing steed, even if the horse was swaybacked and the cowboy lacked a little decorum. The costumes of the era intrigue us, despite the women wore five to eight layers in stifling temperatures. Their bonnets accented any shape of face and would work miracles on a bad hair day. We won’t discuss the hard work and the practice of medicine during those times. But propriety ruled from the way the historical woman talked, to the way she penned her diary, to the way she fell in love.

Historical romances have plenty of action. They feature conflict filled with physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental anguish. The characters’ lives are slower paced, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t highly intelligent people who solve their problems using wit and wisdom.

My newest historical romance,THE FIRE IN EMBER, resembles a little of all the princess stories. Set in the 1880s near the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Ember emerges with a story to remember. She’s beautiful and loving, courageous and mysterious. She’s a bit like Snow White in that she’s hiding from someone or something evil. She’s as hard a worker as Cinderella and often considers abandoning her new friends at the midnight hour, not to save herself, but to keep those precious to her safe. Like Sleeping Beauty, Ember needs a prince to break the spell of a wicked villain, although she attempts to take care of the problem herself. Ember, much like Ariel, has the gift of song and will fight for those dear to her. She shares the same high-spirited and stubborn traits as Jasmine. And although Ember doesn’t fall in love with a beast like Belle did, she willingly gives her heart to a man who doubts love will ever find him.

Historical romance and princess stories. What do you think?

DiAnn Mills
DiAnnMills.com

 

 

Comments

67 comments posted.

Re: DiAnn Mills | Historical Romance vs the Princess Stories

i love your books they are the best keep on wrighting .
(Shanan Moening 1:59am January 10, 2011)

I love historical romances. I love it when the heroine has hardships to face and overcome. In marriage there are many hardships and difficulties that come our way. A prince charming is nice but committment to each other is so much better. I had a hard time getting away from feeling I needed to be a princess. I do not know how that is. Yet little things my husband does for me when I'm hurting now mean so much.
I love your books DiAnn. But fairy tales are just that. There isn't a happy always after in real life. Yet one can have a wonderful marriage and life but not taking it easy. It takes work.
(Jane Squires 2:19am January 10, 2011)

Historical Romance would be my favorite genre whether the heroine is a princess or not.
(Mary Preston 2:58am January 10, 2011)

I love the historical aspect...not too important if a princess is involved or not but the whole back in time peaks my interest!
(Darci Paice-Bailey 3:18am January 10, 2011)

I have always loved historical romance because it allows the reader to go back into time and muse how the princess survived. Did they have a type of journal (those who knew how to read and write)? Always wondered about that.
(Kathy Walsh 4:51am January 10, 2011)

Don't we all want to be princesses?
(Joanne Reynolds 6:24am January 10, 2011)

Historical romances are my favorite!
Blessings,
Marajorie
(Marjorie Carmony 7:03am January 10, 2011)

I've never read a historical romance novel but I'd very much like to and this sounds like a great book.
(Angela Bailey 7:38am January 10, 2011)

I to love historical romances.. I shared that love with my GAunt who passed 2 wks before Thanksgiving this year. She gave me a journal when I was younger so I could record my stories I used to rattle off to her. She always laughed at them or cryed. She was my biggest fan.
Also she was a great source of info. Being she was born 1918 she lived through a lot of great times. Her mother my G Grandmother lived to be 103 yrs old and she also gave me great stories to remember and write about. I know thats where my love of historical romances came from. They both with my Grandmother also, loved giving me many ideas and stories of times gone by....
Blessings,
Heidi
(Heidi Shafer-Wilson 7:50am January 10, 2011)

I love the historical side of the romances. I admit I am one that grew out of the princess story, but I still like reading them.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com
(Debbie Penny 9:04am January 10, 2011)

I enjoy historical romance alot and enjoy all the trials to be gone through.
(Vickie Hightower 9:23am January 10, 2011)

I don't read many historical books anymore.
(Diane Sadler 9:33am January 10, 2011)

i like the book and it would help in my english this year and i would blog on all site please please
(Desiree Reilly 9:52am January 10, 2011)

I enjoy reading historical romance. It's fascinating to find out about people and the type of lives they may have lived at a different period of time. I especially like the plot in THE FIRE IN EMBER.
(Anna Speed 10:23am January 10, 2011)

I love historical romances!
(Leagh Christensen 10:46am January 10, 2011)

I throughly enjoy historical fiction. I love reading about
their homes, clothes, food, and experiences that it took to
survive in the less technological times.
(Lisa Richards 11:01am January 10, 2011)

I agree with you on the differences between the two, I do think that one steers us into the other. As we grow up, we want more to challenge our minds, and that guides us into the romance novels, us seeking more for our minds.
(Debra Simning-Chapman 11:02am January 10, 2011)

I have never really sat down to think why I read what I do. However, this is an interesting look at why people read historical romances.
(Norma Wills 11:04am January 10, 2011)

I enjoy reading historical romaance novels and this sounds like a very intersting book. Am definitely going to add it to my book of reads.
(Jo Legat 11:34am January 10, 2011)

I am looking forward to reading your next book. Romance novels are wonderful ways to escape the stress of daily living.
(Valerie Piotrowski 11:51am January 10, 2011)

I think that your points are valid, although I must have had an odd childhood! lol Although I did dream about my Prince Charming, and saw the movies on the big screen, I used to take books out of the library on insects, butterflies, and birds. Those topics intrigued me to no end!! My Mother didn't give us things for dress up, although she had a few pieces of junk jewelry that we could put on from time to time. I suppose that's why I never got into romance books until later in life. Instead, I grew up with a love of the outdoors and animals just as much as a love of the male species. lol Anyway, point well taken, and your book is already on my TBR list. I had to do a report in school a long time ago about Colorado, and I read anything having to do with it. That isn't the only reason why I want to read your book, of course!! I also love to read books from that time period. I can relate to that era.
Have a wonderful New Year!!
(Peggy Roberson 11:51am January 10, 2011)

Happy and Healthy 2011 DiAnn. Spending the winter months on FL and nothing I enjoy more than to relax out on the prch and read a historical romance....my favorite genre. Keep writing and best always.
Pat Pascale
(Pat Pascale 12:04pm January 10, 2011)

I can also remember playing prince and princess as well as western heroes and heroines. I have always loved/love history.

I love to read historical romances and other romances for escapism. It fascinates me to read about the time periods, clothes, mores, and challenges they faced or are facing. It's wonderful to have a happily ever after in a story, even though in real life there is no such thing as happily ever after.

Jane is right. It takes commitment and hard work to make a marriage work, but it is so very much worth it when you or your partner do little or big things to cheer up, make smile, or just kiss and hold each other. You/They are home and safe.
(Cathy Phillips 12:40pm January 10, 2011)

Marriage is never easy. It takes time, communication, effort, trust, loyalty, heart, love, and common sense.
(Anthonia Sharp 1:10pm January 10, 2011)

Historical Romance I love it when a writer sets the scene and you can actually see it in your head like a movie. To have actual facts, historical landmarks,customs and how people thought back then makes it all the more worth it.
(Cj Swier 1:23pm January 10, 2011)

Historical romances are always the best because they give yo insight on how things were once upon a time. It really is very interesting and reading about from a writers point of view through characters is a plus.
(Anthonia Sharp 1:44pm January 10, 2011)

romance is always a bonus when it comes to love and heart. Marraige is always thrill ride with both up's and down's in life.
(Anthonia Sharp 1:59pm January 10, 2011)

Loved the Disney analogies - snippets of wach of the princess traits is a great idea! Putting this one on my TBR list.
(Diane Sallans 2:15pm January 10, 2011)

I have always been a lover of Historical Romances and can not tell you how many I have read over the last 50 years. It's interesting to see how much has changed over the years and how much has not.....
(Joyce Bruner 2:16pm January 10, 2011)

Historicals are the genre that got me hooked on reading. I love reading about things and places of the past.
(Colleen Conklin 2:16pm January 10, 2011)

love historical romance novels
(Wendy Hutton 2:17pm January 10, 2011)

Love is never easy, but it easier when both people are in love when they get married. i love historical romances during the times in which it was about land and title.
(Anthonia Sharp 2:27pm January 10, 2011)

Never go against love, trust, friendship, companionship, truth, honesty, and hope. In all things these are factors in life and they help to make your life complete.
(Anthonia Sharp 3:06pm January 10, 2011)

Romance is always a bonus and plus in any book.
(Anthonia Sharp 3:19pm January 10, 2011)

I just kind of fell in love with the picture of that leather
journal.....
(Michele Powell 3:20pm January 10, 2011)

I love your work! Thanks so much for writing such awesome books! :)
(Donna Long 3:34pm January 10, 2011)

I was always more of a tomboy than a princess but I like reading about different time periods.
(Sandy Giden 3:34pm January 10, 2011)

I love period stories - and the girl on the cover is so pretty! LOL!
(Nancy Bird 3:36pm January 10, 2011)

What a lovely post today. Historical novels are always memorable and give me great enjoyment. I can live within that time period and dream.
(Sharon Berger 3:40pm January 10, 2011)


(Joanne Bozik 3:43pm January 10, 2011)

I love Historical Romances for there's always a happy ending.......in life, it's not always that way....
(Joanne Bozik 3:44pm January 10, 2011)

I love reading historical novels.They are my absolute favorite books to read.
(Jackie Preas 4:03pm January 10, 2011)

WOW! This book will be most interesting. What a story! The suspense coming is absolutely unreal. Enjoy this kind of story. Most interesting.
(Margaret Garrison 4:52pm January 10, 2011)

A princess story and a Historical! What's not to like! Two of my favorites
combined into one! I love it! Thank you for sharing!
(Cindy Lacey 5:32pm January 10, 2011)

What girl never dreamed of being a princess? I know I did and I love Historical Romances! Can't wait to read this book!
(Cassie Holloway 5:33pm January 10, 2011)

Interesting theory!
(Diana Donahoo 5:46pm January 10, 2011)

I love historicals. They take us to a place we couldn't possibly have a chance to vist. We get to do it through reading.
(Maude Allen 5:50pm January 10, 2011)

I think you are right. Also, when I had my daughter then it was fun to give her a pink room and frilly dresses and Disney videos.
(Maureen Emmons 6:17pm January 10, 2011)

Greetings:
Just love reading about a different
life style. Pure escape. cheers
(Dayle Butler 6:19pm January 10, 2011)

It took me quite some time to get into historical romances. Now they are up there on my list of genres that are a favorite to read. I haven't read too many with a princess theme though.
(Leni Kaye 6:33pm January 10, 2011)

I love historical romances. They provide good reading.
(Mary Lynch 6:52pm January 10, 2011)

I am curious what is it that Ember is hiding from?
(Kathleen Bianchi 7:01pm January 10, 2011)

I love them. Don't need princesses per se, but your last paragraph highlights
exactly what those princess stories have added for us to draw from when we let
our imaginations wander. Westerns and Medievals are favorites. This sounds
like one I will enjoy.
(Patricia Barraclough 7:21pm January 10, 2011)

I love reading historical romances. Thank you for giving me a chance to win your book.
(Linda Hall 7:57pm January 10, 2011)

I love historical romances. It dosen't have to be a princess to get her happily ever after. Maybe a lady or a cattlewoman or maid whoever it may be I love to go the journey of the story.
(Cindy Olp 8:26pm January 10, 2011)

Thanks so much for all of your comments! I appreciate you.
(DiAnn Mills 8:42pm January 10, 2011)

Historical romance is my favorite type of story. It doesn't really matter if it's western or regency. About the only kind I don't like is Georgian. :)
(MaryAnne Banks 9:55pm January 10, 2011)

It is interesting how much you can learn when you read a historical.
(Lisa Kendall 10:13pm January 10, 2011)

I love historicals, really do!!
(Maria Antunes 11:27pm January 10, 2011)

I love the way historical romances takes me away to another time.
(Ginger Hinson 11:31pm January 10, 2011)

i love historical books, i would love to win.
(Maria Cole 11:33pm January 10, 2011)

My first love were historical novels because my father and I both enjoyed history. When the historical romance arrived, I also took to those, though I cherished any bit of "real" history I could find in them. Thanks to all you authors who try to put that extra little bit in your books. Of course, I touch of the princess never hurts either.
(Sigrun Schulz 1:19am January 11, 2011)

While being a princess would be cool its the historical period and costumes and customs that get me :)
(Dawn Vaeoso 1:46am January 11, 2011)

Historicals take us away from whatever is going on in our lives at present.
Princess stories are just to fantastical. There is just so far you can suspend
disbelief. When you come up for air from a really good historical it is as if you
have taken a mini-vacation and can better face whatever you have going on.
(Sandra Spilecki 9:59am January 11, 2011)

I love historical romance but I'm always looking for an author with a different "twist" - yeah - I found you! I fell in love with historical romance and since my husband is a history "buff" we often will be reading about the same era and characters but from two entirely different views. It's fun to compare and discuss the differances. We have even combined these "viewpoints" on trips where we have visited different locations that are pertinent in different books. It can put a whole new twist on sightseeing.
(Jeanne Miro 11:28am January 11, 2011)

I think that growing up with fairy tales starts the princess syndrome. Then as we learn history, it seems to cover only women of position, not the common people. Anyways, I like historical novels.
(Carol Drummond 6:57pm January 11, 2011)

Historical fiction has more content than princess stories, but I do like to mingle my royalty with the setting.
(Alyson Widen 2:50pm January 22, 2011)

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