Why Two Whole Books About Ginny Delacourt?  

Posted by Heidi

I wrote Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind in 1993.  It was the year that the traditional Regency Romance genre crashed and burned.  When I began writing it, there were six publishers who bought regency--when I had finished it six months later, there were only two.  By the time I had received a rejection from the publisher I preferred, the other publisher's regency line had sunk, as well.  Thoroughly disenchanted, I put Miss Delacourt away in a box and focused on raising my children.

Twelve(ish) years later, a friend published one of her traditional Regency Romance novels through Avalon Books.  Avalon had been in business for over 60 years but when I researched those who published regency, I skipped right over Avalon for the simple reason that they referred to their clean, regency-set romances as Historical Romance.  Back then, that was French for "smut".  Since all of their books were clean (they were a library publisher and never changed their guidelines the entire 70 years they were in business) those at Avalon didn't see the conflict.  However, the misnomer put paid to any pretensions I might have had of publishing with them.  Thank goodness for my friend and her tenacity.  She strongly encouraged me to submit Miss D and so I did, even though I had made up my mind that I could not do a proper job of raising my children (they were tough kids to raise) and immerse myself properly in the world of an author at the same time. 

And Avalon Books bought it! (You can read about my reaction to this on my blog HERE.)  I saw this as a lovely experience, one that was never likely to happen again, one to be cherished . . . And then a friend who I had met blogging said how much she loved my characters and that I should write a sequel so she could spend more time with them.  My reaction was, Of course not!  The book had been written as a stand-alone and, furthermore, sequels in this genre were unheard of.  Series happened, usually featuring the same perpetually engaged couple who solved mysteries together, but not a second book about the romance of the very same couple.  And then one morning, I woke up with an idea.  I wrote to my editor and ran it past her.  Her reaction was, Of course not! But then she thought about it and suggested I write it and see how it flew.  And it did! 

Some say that it is technically not a romance because Ginny and Sir Anthony had already met, fallen in love and become engaged to wed.  However, the fans of Sir Anthony and Ginny Delcourt loved reading the futher adventures of . . . As such, Miss Delacourt Has Her Day has been my best selling book, to date.  It was also a finalist in the historical category of the Whitney Awards.  In June of 2012, Amazon bought Avalon Books and in September 2012 they brought out my Miss Delacourt books as ebooks for the first time.  Their promotion machine pushed Miss D 1 and Miss D 2 into the numbers One and Two spot on the Top 100 Best Selling Regency Romance list in May of 2013. 

Before that happened, however, I decided it was time to write another book.  Though I had begun writing several others during the 14 years between writing Miss D and its publication, none of them felt quite right.  And then I began to wonder what Ginny's and Sir Anthony's daughter might be like--and an idea was born.

Lord Haversham Takes Command is the result of my curiosity and, as a bonus, I had the opportunity to explore and write about the relationship of Sir Anthony and Ginny 25 years later.  (As such, it is not, officially, a regency era romance--it is early Victorian--however, since it is part of a regency series, it has been labeled a regency.  Mea culpa if it has led anyone astray.)  Whilst I was writing this, however, I decided to take the plunge into the self-publishing world and last Thanksgiving I wrote a Christmas novella featuring Miss Delacourt, now Lady Crenshaw, and her love, Sir Anthony Crenshaw, six months after their marriage.  Lady Crenshaw's Christmas hit the Top 100 Hot New Releases in Regency Romance list on Amazon twelve hours after I hit the publish button and continues to sell well six months later, despite the fact that Christmas is long gone.

Though my next work is another novella featuring ancillary characters in the Miss Delacourt world (namely, the Dowager Duchess of Marcross, for one--see sidebar for details) I have written a story featuring completely different characters.  It was published in a Christmas themed anthology in October of last year.

A Timeless Romance Anthology:  Winter Collection features short romances in historical settings (all clean!) set during the winter holidays, all by award-winning authors.  It is currently a finalist in the RONE awards, winners to be determined in August of this year.  Meanwhile, Lord Haversham Takes Command is my most recent release as of June 21st.  Since its release, it has hit the Hot New Releases in Regency Romance list, the Hot New Releases in Historical Romance list, the Top 100 Best Sellers in Regency Romance list, the Top 100 Fiction and Literature list in the historical category and the Top 100 Best Sellers in Historical Romance, as well. 

Shound I fret when I hear that people simply can't understand why there are two whole novels about Ginny Delacourt?  No.  I love Ginny Delacourt and her Sir Anthony and hope to write about them, one way or another, for a long time to come.

This entry was posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at Saturday, June 29, 2013 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

3 wise, witty and wonderful comments

Heidi, I'm so glad you didn't give up. There's a lesson in your story for all writers (and everyone else too) and, of course, I'm delighted to be able to read your stories. Continued good luck with your books.

June 29, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Wow, Heidi, good thing your friend helped guide you to publishing. And that, even with lots of years in-between it all came together! Thanks for sharing your story.

June 29, 2013 at 7:10 PM

A lesson to us all. So pleased for your well deserved success.

June 30, 2013 at 12:32 AM

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