One summer, a very long time ago, I packed up my kids, flew to England, and fell in love. I was keeping a promise. Five years earlier, after watching a King Kong remake showing the giant ape creating havoc in London, my son begged to go there.
“When you’re nine,” I said as I ran out of the house, late for some meeting. “I promise.”
On his ninth birthday my son pointedly reminded me of the long ago promise. That summer, we flew from Los Angeles to New York, and onward to London, taking a trip none of us will ever forget.
The visit to England was momentous for me in one special way, I fell in love with its history, its people, its quaint country villages, its grand estates. When I came home I read Lunt’s History of England and then settled on the Regency period for most of my recreational reading.
Jane Eyre was one of my best-loved books. I also read old Barbara Cartlands and all of Mary Stewart’s books.
My favorite author became Mary Balogh and she still is today. Her characters have longings and fears and Balogh has a way of making the reader feel and care. I decided I wanted to write books like hers.
I didn’t do it right away. Many years passed before I sat in front of my desktop and began writing Scandal’s Child, my first Regency. I’d already published several contemporary books set in the Northern California wine region, but writing a historical romance was quite different. The history has to be correct because there are critics—serious ones—who will point out every rule your heroine breaks.
I made mistakes, but I loved the story, so I continued to write in this period. I already had the sequel in mind. That sequel is Scandal’s Bride, out July 10 and available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.
My latest Regency is set in London and in Yorkshire. My hero and heroine have longings and fears, just like Mary Balogh’s characters. When revealed, my characters discover their “perfect” marriage of convenience isn’t so perfect after all.
Thinking back on that long-ago trip, my daughter was amazed by all the “broken castles.” My son was surprised that Westminster Abbey and Big Ben were intact after King Kong’s rampage. My favorite memory was the tour of York and the climb up a gazillion steps into a church bell tower and the extraordinary view of the countryside.
I finally got to write about that.
Thank you, King Kong.
Author of nine novels and eight history books, Pamela Gibson is a former City Manager who lives part time in Northern California’s wine country and part time in the Nevada desert. Having spent the last three years messing about in boats, a hobby that included a five-thousand-mile trip in a 32-foot Nordic Tug with her patient spouse, she now spends most of her time indoors happily reading, writing, cooking and keeping up with the antics of her gran-cats, gran-dog, and gran-fish. Sadly, the gran-lizard went to his final reward.