Using History to Create Unique Characters by Amanda Forester – guest blog and giveaway

Using History to Create Unique Characters
by Amanda Forester

I enjoy unique characters, although when I read historical fiction I do want my characters to reflect the time period in which they lived. And yet, reading about a heroine who always did everything that was expected of her and got married at sixteen to the person chosen by her parents may not make the most exciting read. Thus, in creating characters I try to find ways to have unique, interesting characters who still fit within their historical timeframe.

To do this, I find reading history to be not only interesting but also quite entertaining. There are times when I discover the most amazing things that are historically accurate, but sound like pure fiction. For example, in researching for my next Regency novel, I found that the Royal Navy had the right to seize vessels at sea and press any English sailors into service. At this time, British warships were prowling American waters, seizing ships, and since England did not recognize American citizenship (and hardly cared about other nationalities), American sailors were being taken from their ships at sea and pressed into service. This practice was one of the reasons for the war of 1812 between America and England, and also became the exciting beginning for MIDSUMMER BRIDE.

Although all my Regency characters until now had been English, I began to wonder what would happen to an American heiress who was on an American ship seized by a British warship and brought back to England. Voila! The idea for Harriet Redgrave was born. Harriet is not just any American. She is an amateur scientist, wealthy heiress, and the granddaughter of the Earl of Langley. When she is returned to her grandfather, he is determined to see her properly wed. She, naturally, has no such inclinations…until she meets the Earl of Thornton!

I enjoyed writing this story of an unconventional heroine who gets suddenly plucked out of her comfort zone and immersed into polite London society…which is anything but polite!

What is more important to you when you read historical fiction: historical accuracy or a fabulous romance? Comment for a chance to win a copy of MIDSUMMER BRIDE!


  1. a good story with an HEA

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  2. Barbara Elness says:

    The romance is the most important, but I do like as much historical accuracy as possible that will fit in with the romance.

  3. Janie McGaugh says:

    The romance is the most important thing, but I do have a hard time coping with glaring historical errors (such as getting things wrong that any reader of Regency romances should know).

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