I'm doing a beta read for a fellow writer.
It's a historical romance. I'm not sure if I told her when I agreed to read it, but historical romance was probably my least favorite genre.
The operative word there is WAS.
A little more than halfway through, I started to develop a new respect for writers of historical fiction.
Well, not only do writers of historical fiction have to do an incredible amount of research about the period and have a vivid imagination to twist their plots (like all writers), they also have to put themselves in a completely different frame of mind.
Our present-day society works nothing like that of old.
For instance, two days ago, I tried to explain to my daughter why it was inappropriate for her to have a boy in her room.
Molly: "Mom, you and dad were watching TV in the living room. We wanted to listen to music."
Me: "That's fine, dear, but not in your bedroom. And certainly NOT with the door closed."
Molly: "Why? I don't even like (boy) in that way. We're not going to do anything. Eeew." *shudders*
Me: "It's just not appropriate."
Molly: "But Mom..."
Me: "Someday when you have a daughter, you'll understand."
Now, compare this scene to 100 to 150 years ago, when social mores practically prohibited girls and boys Molly's age from so much as looking at each other without parental permission.
A century ago, a kiss constituted a lustful thought. Now, well. . .it's pretty sad when "Girls Gone Wild" commercials merely spur an eye roll or change of channel.
Sometimes I wonder what must go through my 96-year-old grandmother's mind when she watches television. Having watched Days of Our Lives religiously since its first episode, she's seen the decay of those old ways.
I used to think living back then would have been much simpler. I don't know about that, but it would certainly be a shock to the system.
Anyway, historical fiction has a new fan. Well, at least the author of the novel I'm reading has a new loyal fan.
Now, if someone could just pack a few more hours into the day.