Christina Lorenzen began writing as a young teen, jotting stories in wire-ring composition notebooks. Her first typewriter made it faster to get all those stories out of her head and down on paper. She is currently working on a modern take on her favorite fairy tale, Rapunzel, for a summer release. Learn more about Christina and her books at her website.
I had never had much interest in history. In high school my favorite classes were anything related to reading and writing. When it came to history, I did the bare minimum so I could pass the classes. It had never occurred to me that culling an interest in history could be good for my writing. Writing a historical story never even dawned on me.
The first time I thought about writing an historical romance was about three years ago, after having picked up a book by Eloisa James. James is an exquisite historical romance writer. That book led to another James book and several more by an assortment of authors recommended by friends on Facebook. After reading those books, I was thinking it might be fun to try my hand at a time period romance. The first idea that came to mind was a pirate love story. For some reason I’d gotten very interested in pirates. Probably because there’s quite a lot of pirate history where I live on Long Island in New York.
After doing hours of research about Captain Kidd’s visit to Gardiner’s Island, I knew I had my story. I was going to write a romance between Kidd’s brother and a shop owner on the island. I was tingling with excitement.
It was June 1699 when Kidd’s sloop was spotted off Gardiner’s Island. Gardiner’s Island was a privately owned island between today’s famous summer spots, Montauk and Amagansett. When Kidd came ashore, he met the owner of the island, John Gardiner, as well as his family and servants. Kidd gifted John Gardiner’s wife with a piece of gold cloth. Shortly after that, Kidd took Gardiner to a beach and let him watch as he buried boxes of treasure he had brought ashore with him. He warned Gardiner that he would return shortly and if the treasure was not there, he would kill his entire family. His plan went deeper than that. Kidd knew that the Crown was waiting to arrest him and even his crew would kill him if he returned empty handed. The buried treasure was his bargaining chip. His plan was to offer to tell the governor of New York where the buried treasure was in exchange for his pardon. Long story short, his plan fell apart and Kidd was convicted and hung in 1701.
This fascinating bit of research didn’t appear in my story. Doubt had crept in. Would I be able to pull off this time period? The dialogue of the day? Doubt won and I tossed my notes into a drawer for ‘someday’. It was a movie night with my daughter that led to the birth of my first historical romance, Healing Seas.
My husband’s grandmother was born in 1912, just weeks before the tragic sinking of the Titanic. She’d grown up hearing stories about the ship as a child. When the movie came out in 1997 my mother-in-law had no choice but to take Grandma Dorothea to see it. Even though she’s long gone, I still can see the glow of excitement in her eyes as she recalled seeing that movie on the big screen. Watching the movie at home that night I had the proverbial light bulb moment. What if I wrote a story about a survivor of the Titanic falling in love with a man who had also been through tragedy? Captain Frank Shea, a man disgraced at sea, came to me as suddenly as my heroine Addie Mayfield. And little by little, with a whole new round of research, Healing Seas was born.
I have a newfound love for history. I found out that while I may not have enjoyed learning textbook history, researching different time periods has sparked an interest in me I would never have thought I had. And the wheels are already turning as I toy with possibilities for a second historical romance. I just wish I had known all those years ago how history could open new doors in my writing career.
After surviving the tragic sinking of the RMS Titanic, Addie Mayfield has been sent to work as a caretaker for a great aunt she has never met in the small fishing hamlet of Montauk, New York.
Captain Frank Shea has been disgraced, having made a wrong decision on his ship that resulted in his termination and a bum leg.
With their futures uncertain, they are both anxious to get back to life the way it was before. Until they meet one another. Can these two people find hope for the future after all they've lost? Can unexpected love heal two broken souls?