Monday, June 21, 2010


By Maya Rodale

First, thanks for having me! Second—even better—I’ll be giving away a free copy of A GROOM OF ONE’S OWN to one lucky commenter.

My upcoming book is A GROOM OF ONE’S OWN —that’s groom as in husband, not stable boy, as one friend clarified to my amusement—and it’s the first book in my Writing Girl romance series. Inspired by the old adage “write what you know” I decided my new batch of heroines would be writers. They’re not novelists, because that’s such a solitary, time-consuming activity. No, these writings girls are newspaper reporters in the Regency Era—so it’s fast paced, it’s scandalous, and it gets them out and engaged with London in a way our heroines usually are not.

Take Sophie, the heroine of A GROOM OF ONE’S OWN. She writes a little column called "Miss Harlow’s Marriage In High Life" for the very popular newspaper, The London Weekly. Obviously, she writes about weddings. But while there is a certain glamour to her job, it’s not romantic or lovely at all because she hates weddings (anyone would after being jilted), and because her latest story is covering the wedding of Lady Clarissa to His Grace, The Duke of Hamilton and Brandon otherwise known as her hero. Heartbreaking, really.

There wasn’t really anything like the Writing Girls in Regency London, but that’s not to say there weren’t women actively involved in publishing. Mary de la Riviere Manley was the editor and founder of The Female Tatler (1709), and later of The Examiner (1711). Eliza Haywood launched The Female Spectator, the first magazine created by women, specifically for women in 1744. Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson, a printer, published the first Sunday paper, The British Gazette and Sunday Monitor in 1779. La Belle Assemblee, a Regency era women’s fashion periodical, employed women. Furthermore, virtually all articles in newspapers and periodicals were published anonymously, so who’s to say there weren’t women writing?

With these Writing Girl novels, I wanted to engage with heroines that did something, and something I could relate to. I imagined what it would be like if they were to exist and I loved coming up with the stories of how they defied conventions to become writers….and, in Sophie’s case, a duchess too!

In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting excerpts of "Miss Harlow’s Marriage In High Life" and other true tales From The London Weekly on my blog. I also have a deleted scene on the way showing just how Miss Harlow ended up a Regency-era newspaper writer.

So, heroines that are also writers—contemporary or historical—what do you think? Any favorites? ♥

Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence and it wasn’t long before she was writing her own. Maya is now the author of multiple Regency historical romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own. Please visit her at


  1. Penelope from Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series is one of my favorites!

    Great blog post:)

  2. Great blog post, Maya!

    I'm really looking forward to your book, and the rest of your Writing Girl series. :)

    As for heroines who are also writers, there's Sara Fielding from Lisa Kleypas' Dreaming of You, Daisy Merrick in Laura Lee Guhrke's With Seduction in Mind, both of whom I loved.

  3. Hi all! It's so wonderful to be blogging here!

    I love Penelope Bridgerton and will definitely check out the LLG book, tho I feel like I must have read it already.

  4. I'm thinking Hannah Moore, both in life and in fiction. She could send many a Regency Buck running for his life.

  5. Congrats on the upcoming release, Maya. Lydia Grenville from Loretta Chase's "The Last Hellion" is a reporter and writes a serial novel for the magazine "The Argus."

  6. Great post, Maya. Women even constrict in society's defined roles will always find a way to overcome them. And lady writers from Ann Radcliffe to Elizabeth Johnson have my eternal thanks. I'll be picking up a copy of your book once it hits shelves.

  7. Oh! Oh! I could just kick myself because I am always intrigued by the female protagonist in historical romances who is a writer. There have been so many I've loved but for the life of me can't remember a one. But reading as many as I do I guess that is to be expected. What I love about the writing heroine is that she is always so cerebrally compelling. Her mind is as important as her heart both to her and to her hero. I love your new series premise and will be waiting for the release date. Congrats on the book and a wonderfully informative post, Maya! I have to say that my "heroine" from my early days was always Nellie Bly. A writer!

  8. Penelope Bridgerton is a fav of mine, too. And your books sound like great fun. Love, love intelligent heroines!

  9. COunt me a fan of Penelope too! Maya, your books sound fun- is this a new series or part of the negligent Chaperone series?

  10. Maya, Nice post on girl reporters. Penelope in Julia Quinn's book is a favorite. Congratulations on the new book!. Karen K.