Emma Fischer|feature editor
Renee Bernard, a historical romance author, had received many emails from many different people. What she did not expect is an email about a new magazine to shine some light on the genre. Thimgan Hayden began reading and fell in love with the genre. She found Bernard and contacted her.
“Thimgan Hayden started reading historical romance and she fell in love with them. A lot of newspapers have folded over time and there is not really a review magazine for books anymore. She contacted me, because she had head about me from the historical romance retreat that I put on to celebrate historical romances. She told me she had the idea for a historical romance magazine. That’s where it kicked off,” Bernard said.
This publication is only beginning to be created, which means authors and patience is required to become successful.
“We are hoping to have the digital version first. We should have this by August. As soon as word gets out and we have a strong group of readers, we can get that first print version by spring of 2020,” Bernard said.
The magazine is going to include not just reviews for historical romance books, but short stories with cliffhangers at the end of them.
“I am hoping to get an author or authors to sit down and write serial stories on. Over the course of the published magazines, they’ll be a story and then a cliffhanger at the end. To find out what happens, they have to read the next issue. Not just reviews, but all kinds of things that relate to historical romance,” Bernard said.
Prewritten novellas are more likely to be accepted and printed in the issue.
“If it is a serialized story, then we’ll ask an author who has a novella or a short story about ten to 12 thousand words. We’ll break it up into parts, about three to four sections. There would be about 25 to 30 hundred words per issues. That’s just a guess. If someone’s story is really good but it’s longer, we’ll figure out a way to put it in,” Bernard said.
There is always room for more reviewers. It allows people to get their hands on books that haven’t been released yet.
“For book reviews, we want as many authors as we can find. For the core readers, we need about a dozen or so that do reviews every issue, or write articles. They need to make regular contributions,” Bernard said.
People of any age are welcome to apply.
“I don’t think there is an age minimum to be a great author. If someone is a minor and they want to submit a story or review, they need a sign off from an adult. Writing a review is a great opportunity or anyone. It’s only three hundred words. Three paragraphs,” Bernard said.
And applying to write is as easy as riding a bike.
“To apply to write, all people have to do is go to historicalromancemagazine.com. We have a wonderful webpage. If they are interested in subscribing or applying to write reviews, getting a book before it’s even been published and write a review. They just have to go through the website,” Bernard said.
Bernard wanted to push for more historical romance because of how society views the genre.
“I think that there some sort of stereotype towards romance. I don’t think we’ve lost readers, but I think that the stereotype has prevented some people from reading romance. Romance readers are reading everything, not just one favor. I do believe it has kept new readers from reading it because of the perception about it. People have attached names to it and dismissed them. They call them “bodice rippers.” I want to change that perception for historical romance. I want to bring light to new untraditional historical romance. There is even YA historical romance, now. We want to be as inclusive as possible,” Bernard said.
After the issue become digital, the print can start, which will happen every three months, when there are enough supporters and followers of the publication.
“The magazine is going to be quarterly, one every three months. We will have themes, like Autumn, where we can talk about events historically. There is Christmas of course. The magazine is going to have articles about history and historically themed events as well as book articles. It’s a magazine where, even if you’re not a historical romance fan per say, but you love victorian things, then they’ll be able to find something that is appealing to them, when we have that theme,” Bernard said.
She is even hoping to send the magazine across the world.
“The magazine is going to be national and hopeful available for people overseas, so maybe even international. It prints on demand, so we’re able to ship the magazin copies anywhere. It’s very possible it would be international very quickly,” Bernard said.
With the success of the magazine, Bernard hopes to create something that will be read over again and kept because of the beautiful of the words on the page.
“I am hoping to not only renew fans of historical romance, but to re-energize the inverted historical romance. I think for readers, it will become so much easier to find authors. Everything is in one place,” Bernard said. “They don’t have to jump around from blog to blog. They just have to look at the magazine. It’s a place they can go to where they can find all the information and create a reference point. We wish to create something that is like a coffee table book, something readers can collect and keep and read again.”