Historical vs Contemporary: Which would you read?

Do you buy an author no matter what genre they write, or do you buy each particular book based on the blurb?

I’m about to submit a proposal to my editor at Carina about a story I’ve got outlined and the first three chapters written. It’s inspired by a conversation in Texas Tangle a lot of people have commented on–the dinner scene with Gramma Barnett, where she reveals that her grandparents had been in a permanent threesome. The story I have planned would follow how the grandparents ended up in that arrangement. Which means we’re talking 1890s Texas–historical.

But I’ve also heard a lot of contemporary readers say they refuse to read historicals.

Which makes me wonder if instead of working on the prequel I should first work on a sequel, following Dillon’s brother Griffin.  I’ve got an idea of what I want to do with him; I’ve even written the first chapter. I have a strong idea of the external conflicts and the direction the story can go. (For Texas Tangle fans, yes, Dillon, Brett and Nikki will appear, as will Gramma Barnett, Dillon’s parents Faith and Jackson who will all be embroiled in the fallout over D/B/Ns lifestyle decision.)

This is Gandalf aka Merlin in Texas Tangle

I still want to write the prequel, the characters are really talking to me. Actually they’re yelling at me lately for even considering delaying their story. (I don’t need a psychiatrist. Honest. Other writers will understand that statement.)

Mainly it’s a matter of timing — do I write the contemporary follow-up to Texas Tangle first, then the historical prequel? Or the historical prequel followed by a contemp sequel?

Which do you want to read?

14 thoughts on “Historical vs Contemporary: Which would you read?

  1. I buy mostly based on if the blurb interests me. There are a few authors that are auto-buys: Robyn Carr, Jodi Thomas, Elizabeth Hoyt come to mind. But, once upon a time it was probably a blurb that made me want to buy their first books :)

  2. PS I love that your characters are talking to you still. I say write first whoever screams the loudest.

  3. Hey Leah
    If it's a fave author I will try different genres. I agree with the other Mary. Listen to the strongest voice. It'll make the strongest story. It needs to be written no matter how many people read it. Who knows, maybe whatever you work on could inspire the other story. Win-win either way.

  4. I buy their books based on the blurb. But I'm MORE willing to give the new books a chance if I like the author.

  5. I have yet to start Texas Tangle, and now I am itching to know about that infamous conversation.
    I say write the prequel first and then the contemporary sequel.

    I'm so exited to start!!!

    There are some authors whose books I get regardless of the blurb

    Good luck!

  6. I sometime don't even read a blurb before I buy if I like the author. So I will say since I fell in love with your witting after reading your Texas Tangle I wont even read your blurb or care if its historical or Contemporary maybe you will get inspired and write a paranormal, I would buy it too LOL.. I think it boils down to if you like an author you'd give it a try no matter what the genre they wirte.

  7. I think some readers associate regency and historical with boring…English Lord of the Manor mistakenly deflowers beautiful young woman…yada, yada, yada.

    You would never write that way, it just isn't you. Can you stay away from the word historical and just write the story? Or is there a way to combine the two…without time travel, please?

    I'm a reader not a writer, I don't know these things.

  8. Ooh, thanks to everyone for commenting. The strongest voices are from the prequel.

    Donna — I've heard similar things about historical meaning Regency these days, although I do have one friend who refuses to read historical westerns because all she can think of is how they never washed. Maybe because it's 1890s and a lot of houses had indoor plumbing at that time I can convince her it's different? I think you may be right too about it not being historical so much as history and it's all in the approach.

    And thanks, Laurie, Anilu, Mary, bookfanMary, Lori and Beverly too! I think the prequel is winning out…

  9. I get my books based on the author, the blurb & exerpt or because someone recommended it to me. I've been reading more historicals than contemporaries lately.

  10. All prejudice aside, you know how much I love your work and will read anything and everything you write, I tend to read by author.

    and LOL about the photo. I guess I should be checking your blog more often.

  11. I read both, Leah. I say follow your muse. You might pick up an entirely new set of readers at the same time. Your historical sounds intriguing.

  12. I read both. If I enjoy an author's voice its going to translate well in whatever genre is chosen.

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