Historical-romance novelist stickler for details, authenticity

Historical-romance novelist stickler for details, authenticity
Award-winning novelist Regan Walker said the research portion of her historical romances is what brings her stories to life. She spoke about her latest book on March 27 at the Rancho Santa Fe Library. Photo by Christina Macone-Greene

When Regan Walker decided to try her hand as a novelist, she set her sights on historical romance. Her decision paid off as not only does she have a passion for writing historical romance, but her talent has been recognized with book awards. On March 27, Walker’s fans had the opportunity to meet her and hear about her latest book, “To Tame the Wind” at the Rancho Santa Fe Library. 

Walker, a local Solana Beach resident who has authored a dozen books, said choosing the genre was a breeze. The first time she cracked open a historical romance and read it, she was hooked. What makes Walker’s historical romance novels stand out is the amount of research she puts into them. It’s all about the details. 

A retired attorney who practiced business litigation, research is second nature to Walker.

“I do hundreds of hours of research,” Walker said.  “Some people might not like that part of it, but for me, I enjoy it.”

She is quick to point out that discipline comes into play when she is researching.

“I use discipline to make sure I don’t go down every rabbit trail that was available, or I’d never get to writing the book,” she said. “So, there are times when I’m bent on an interesting thing, and I have to cut it off.”

Walker writes in specific time periods including the Medieval 11th century in England and Scotland (post-Norman Conquest), the late 18th century in the Georgian era, and early 19th century during the Regency when Prince George ruled England in place of his father.

Walker’s female readers have told her they never had a penchant for history when they were in school but that all changed when reading her books.

“It’s one thing to read historical facts and memorizing in school so you can ace the test,” She said. “It’s quite another to live the history. If you read my books, you’re living it because there are real historical figures. The history is authentic. It will put you in the era not just in terms of what the characters say in the history, but what they wear, what they eat — everything.”

Walker said even the cats in her novels are felines that would have been owned in those days.

“I think that’s what they (readers) appreciate about it,” she said. “They’re getting history, but they love the story. So, it’s surreptitiously sneaking in the history.”

Walker said she has a strong male following, too, which could be due to a blend of the love story and the action scenes.

“In all my books, I have a certain amount of action in them,” she said. “They often start with an action scene, and especially the Medieval battle scenes. Many of my seafaring romances have battles at sea, and sword fights in the late 18th century.”

Walker said that first-time readers of historical romance might be quite surprised by the authenticity of the history in her novels. One of her readers reached out to her saying they thought one of the inns in her books had existed.

They were right.

“Every single tavern and every single inn in my books is authentic,” Walker said. “When you are setting a scene in an inn or a tavern that existed it makes it so much more real. I could make up tavern names but why do that when I could use the real thing?”

Walker has one reader who lives in the United Kingdom who shared she learned so much about her county that she didn’t even know about until she read Walker’s books.

And that means everything to Walker.

For more information on Walker, visit www.reganwalkerauthor.com.

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