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Miriam Minger | Writing the Unusual Historical Romance


"Miriam, you write such unusual historical romances.  Medieval Russia, medieval Ireland, Vienna, Austria, pre-American Revolution, and even a Viking romance featuring twin sisters!  Where do you get your ideas?"

I'm sure every romance author has been asked where she gets the ideas for her books, but the "unusual" aspect of that question surprised me.  I don't recall that I set out to write unusual historical romances as a goal when I began my writing career.  I believe the inspiration for my stories came simply from life's events, a romantic spirit, and probably too much imagination for my own good!

My first historical romance TWIN PASSIONS was a tribute to my Norwegian grandmother and my fascination with Norway and its history.  Nana and I visited Norway for six weeks one summer when I was an impressionable teenager to reconnect with family, and I've considered that stunningly beautiful country as my second homeland ever since.  I even developed a major crush on a Norwegian sailor during that trip so I guess once a romantic, always a romantic.    

At every turn as we travelled across the country, I envisioned Viking dragon ships cutting across the water of those deep mysterious fjords.  On every imagined deck I could see strapping blond Vikings manning the oars.  The magnificent beauty of the land with its snowcapped mountains, lush green valleys, and thunderous waterfalls enchanted me.  I'm not surprised at all after that life-changing trip that my first historical romance would be a Viking story, but I also knew it had to be different and special. 

So what did I do?  Instead of one romance I packed two romances into an adventure-filled novel featuring twin sisters, Gwendolyn and Anora.  Perhaps this one twist made TWIN PASSIONS unusual from the start.  As the story opens in Saxon England, Anora is happily preparing for her wedding to her fiancé Wulfgar.  But fate soon intervenes and Anora and Gwendolyn find themselves kidnapped by Vikings and bound for Norway.  And here's another plot twist that sets this story apart and makes it unusual.  Tomboyish Gwendolyn with her short hair and male garb is mistaken by their captors for a young man—a fortunate oversight that she uses to her advantage as she vows to her sister that she will somehow find a way for them to return home and Anora to her beloved Wulfgar. 

I had so much fun writing TWIN PASSIONS with its twists and turns, high emotion, and yes, incredible passion... just as I had fun creating my nine other unusual and award-winning historical romances.  Have you ever read a Viking romance set in medieval Russia?  THE PAGAN'S PRIZE--winner of a Best Medieval of the Year Award from Romantic Times--is one of my personal favorites.  Have you seen many stories set in Tidewater Virginia some twenty years before the American Revolution?  DEFIANT IMPOSTOR might just be your cup of tea with an amazing hero and heroine who came into the world with nothing and had to fight for everything they had...including love. 

Or what about a pair of stories set in medieval Ireland, the O'Byrne Family Series?  In WILD ANGEL, Triona O'Toole wields a bow as well as any man and defies her handsome and exasperated guardian, Ronan "Black" O'Byrne, at every turn, while in WILD ROSES, Ronan's little sister Maire finds love with one of his sworn enemies.  I hope you enjoy reading all of my historical romances as much as I enjoyed writing them for you.  I also hope you take a moment to visit my website and Facebook page for updates on freebies, contests, and other fun news about my ebooks and those of my author friends.  Much love to you all!








7 comments posted.

Re: Miriam Minger | Writing the Unusual Historical Romance

Miriam, I found you when I started reading about 20 years ago. Wild Angel, Wild Roses, My Runaway Heart, The Pagan's Prize, A Captive Rose, A Hint of Rapture, Stolen Splendor, Secrets At Midnight, and Defiant Imposter grace my shelves. I really need to reread them all and get reviews up on Goodreads and Amazon for you. It was so nice to see you here! :)
(Leah Weller 5:33pm September 13, 2012)

I think that it is inspiring to take ancestory and find a story. Thank you for sharing.
(Carla Carlson 6:09pm September 13, 2012)

I like romances that are set in other countries. It gives me more of a sense of their culture and traditions.
(Alyson Widen 7:36pm September 13, 2012)

I've read Romance books set in England, and have enjoyed them immensely. I must confess that I'm not familiar with your books, but would love to read your books. I'll have to put them on my TBR list, and give them a shot. They sound like a good read. I just hope they're not all in e-book format, or I'll be at a loss, since I don't own a reader. Best of luck to you with your future writings, although with all of your awards, it doesn't sound like you'll need the luck - your writing is already top-notch!!
(Peggy Roberson 10:20pm September 13, 2012)

I love to read a novel set in other places and times, well researched and written. I have read many crime novels of that sort from Cadfael to 1930s Chicago, and romance is a natural way to go because it beings people together. I have also read a good many of what I call social history books, not strictly romances but say, the story of a girl growing up in Liverpool before and during the second world war. Her romantic life is part of the story.
(Clare O'Beara 5:39am September 14, 2012)

It's so nice that someone is picking more unusual countries to write about. I'm very aware that few writers, if any, write about my homeland. I was born in Germany but have been a Canadian since 1957. Is it still a part of the Hitler years that there just aren't many writers who "dare" to write about Germany? There's not even much German history being taught, nor is it exactly easy to find history books about Germany. It's all placed more in the overall European context. I want to make it a goal to learn a little more about the land of my birth. There are some areas that I have studied or been able to grasp from conversations, but everything is definitely fragmented.

Does anybody have any titles to offer on German history? Oddly enough, when I was teaching English and French in Germany, my colleagues gave me the German translation of an English novel as a farewell present. I found that really strange. But then, maybe someone happened to have the book at home and wanted to get rid of it. That's very cynical of me, isn't it? Maybe I'll try to find some books at the university library in town.
(Sigrun Schulz 6:34am September 14, 2012)

Love the historical romance novels; great learning while I am being entertained:)
(Barbara Studer 5:28pm September 14, 2012)

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