Today author and the Decades project member Lindsay Evans is talking about researching and writing a historical romance set in the 1900s...
Wild Passion and Cool Reserve
Every book I write, begins with a game of make-believe. I start by imagining the clothes, the landscape, the smells. Sometimes I take it even further and try to conjure a place—a churchyard, for example—and imagine standing there in the sun. Then I imagine that particular sensation of sunlight sinking into my skin, into the clothes I’m wearing, and into my hair. Such incredible warmth. Even further, I imagine the church bells ringing, deep and joyful. And I imagine the women in their long dresses that brush the ground, their welcoming smiles, the wide-brimmed hats like haloes. The sounds are real. The place is real. And I am there.
This is one of the reasons I enjoy writing historical fiction. I love putting myself in the place of these women, and sometimes men, who lived years ago. These men and women who survived their struggles, treasured their loves, and walked cobblestoned streets that have been long ago replaced by pavement. Their lives prepared the way for ours.
For my novella A Delicate Affair, (part of Decades, a twelve volume series of African-American historical romance), I wrote about the 1900s. This is a time period I hadn’t explored before. But I happily immersed myself into the research. I hunted for and found photographs of women with their serious faces, high-necked dresses, and their brown skin that we don’t normally see in common images from that era.
Once I found these photos, it was easy (and fun) for me to imagine what men and women like these treasured, loved, and aspired to all those years ago. Comparatively speaking, the 1900s was not an easy time for black people living in America. But just like in modern times, people living then managed to find love, music, and other joys to elevate their world.
This decade I wrote about was one of great social change. Several black sororities and fraternities were started then. The Atlanta Race Riot happened. And the NAACP was created in 1909. Many brave and brilliant people stepped forward then to change our world for the better, and I love reading about them. When I write, however, I typically explore the lives of those who stayed in the background. People who lived their lives on a smaller scale and were heroes in their own small but no less important stories.
The two characters in A Delicate Affair, Golden and Leonie, are two such people. Their lives aren’t perfect or grandiose, but they experienced them as fully as they could. He is from the South and has known struggle and incredible pain. For him, music is both an escape and a salvation, and it also becomes the road that leads him to Leonie’s door. Leonie, a child of privilege who is used to getting most of what she wants, also has her own struggles. She thinks there is no way on earth she and Golden can fit together. He is wild passion to her cool reserve, and their worlds collide with explosive results.
Step into Golden and Leonie’s world with me. It is a place filled with love, music, and bravery of the every-day sort. I loved writing the story and I hope you enjoy being part of it too.
A Delicate Affair is available for pre-order now.
Jamaican-born Lindsay Evans currently lives and writes in Atlanta, GA. A writer of sensual love stories and decadent erotica, she loves good food and romance and would happily travel to the ends of the earth for both.
For more information about Lindsay and her writing, check out her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.