As a novelist and historian, what do you think of the recent conversation about ‘diverse’ romance?
I think it’s long overdue and I say more, more, more! The more romance fiction accurately represents the diversity of our current society and of actual historical societies in terms of gender, skin color, sexualities, disabilities, religion, wealth and all aspects of human identity and experience, the better the genre will be as a whole, and the better people we will be as readers, too. The myth that, for instance, historical England was all white is as damaging to our understanding of the past as it is to our understanding of ourselves as inheritors of that past.
As a romance novelist and historian, I adore writing passionate, emotional love stories set in real places with real people. I am fortunate to have the generous advice and assistance of my brilliant colleagues in academia to help me do that. My novels all include diverse casts of characters and many are at least partially set in locations other than England and Scotland. Some fan favorites are:
On Facebook and Twitter and in my e-newsletter I often make recommendations of novels by other authors that represent history and the present in all its fabulous diversity.