From Authors to Authors: Writing Gay Historical Romance

Hello and welcome to a new post in our From Authors to Authors series. Today, our guest blogger is Ruby Moon and she’s talking about writing gay historical romance. Enjoy!

Stepping into the Past – Writing Gay Historical Romance

There is nothing quite like disappearing into a M/M historical romance. All those cravats and buckskins, seething passion behind genteel manners, and endless, fabulous, forbidden love. But what makes a good historical? How much detail do you need to allow you to fall seamlessly into another world?

As an avid reader of any kind of historical, when I eventually plucked up courage to put pen to paper it was perhaps inevitable that I would write historical novels. What I didn’t quite realise was the amount of research that is needed to make the historical detail flow along with the story. Not that I have a problem with research, quite the opposite. I can spend days hunting down the detail of a carriage journey from London to York, more days searching out just the right turn of phrase…and so on and so forth. In fact, it has become my procrastination activity of choice!

If you haven’t looked at Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue published in 1811, you really, really should. It is absolutely hilarious, and any writer of Regency romance can spend days delving into it.  If you want to use it as a reference, Louise Allen has written a super book, Regency Slang Revealed –  Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue & Later Versions – organised and indexed.  Louise Allen writes gorgeous M/F Regency Romance for Mills and Boon and she has taken the original dictionary and organised it so a writer can look up terms by category. If you want to find out some words for, say for example, for sex. Well, it is just fantastic. One entry describes an activity called, to Huffle. The description is that it is a, ‘piece of bestiality that will not bear explanation.’ The mind boggles!

As a writer though, what I aim to achieve is a story that pulls the reader in to an unfamiliar world that is made familiar. Historical detail needs to be unobtrusive because if there is too much unfamiliar detail it can jar and pull the reader out of the story. I absolutely love Georgette Heyer, and Frederica is one of my all-time favourite books. For me, Heyer’s language is delectable, but for some it is simply too much, and this then becomes a barrier. Read any blogs on historical writing and debates rage long and hard about how much modernisation should take place to bring historical romance to a wider audience.  I think it is fair to say that Regency men bathed, shall we say, infrequently. But who wants to read about smelly heroes! My own piece of poetic licence is to have well scrubbed, fragrant heroes who have shiny, clean hair. After all, if you are going to ‘do the huffle’ you might need to be sweet smelling!

Meet Ruby Moone

My name is Ruby Moone and I love books. All kinds of books. My weakness is for romance, and that can be any kind, but I am particularly fond of historical and paranormal. I decided to write gay romance after reading some fantastic books and falling in love with the genre, so am really thrilled to have my work published here. The day job takes up a lot of my time, but every other spare moment finds me writing or reading. I live in the north west of England with my husband who thinks that I live in two worlds. The real world and in the world in my head…he probably has a point!


Ruby Moone Regency M/M available free to read on Kindle Unlimited

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A pleasure to meet you! I’m Alina Popescu, an author, traveler, and hopeless coffee addict. I write urban fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and sometimes even contemporary stories. A significant number of my books are LGBTQ fiction and romance.

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