Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Author Spotlight Week - Linda Swift shares her passion for writing contemporary romance

I began writing contemporary fiction because it was easier to write even though I've always loved reading historicals. As I get older, it becomes more difficult to keep up with the slang words and idioms of our present culture. And if a book isn't published soon after acceptance, the dialogue is outdated anyway.

An example of a story going out of date is the use of names of certain cars. And of course, we are cautioned never to use current news events in the present tense because that will be old news by the time the book is released. Clothing styles, hair styles, and names all have the potential of dating a book. Certain cultures, even within the United States, have customs and dialect that is peculiar to that group only. And these subgroups tend to retain language and custom continuity better than the population as a whole. I am thinking of a rural mountain setting I have used in a book and two short stories several years ago. I visited the area recently and found little changed. The same was true for a small town in the Midwest.

So it's safe to say that I prefer to write vintage or classical fiction, which is not quite contemporary but is not historical either. I like the World War II time period but I have not yet written anything set in that time. I plan to focus on the WWII era and backward from now on unless my muse dictates otherwise. History does require more research, most of which can now be done online. There are also old movies to watch for clothing and dialogue examples. Meanwhile, I have many contemporary books already published for readers to enjoy.


  1. Interesting thoughts on using slang in contemporary work. I often wonder how young adult writers are able to manage. I think the one thing that's nice about historicals is it's in the past and as long as the facts are straight, there's no issue with expressions changing down the road. Once a cad, always a cad! haha.

    Beautiful profile pic of Linda, good luck with your books!

  2. Hi Danielle, thank you so much for taking time to visit and leave your nice comments. And yes, that is the nice thing about writing historicals, if we don't forget and throw in some of the common expressions that we use today. I would think someone young as you would have more of a problem with that than I would. A Harlequin editor once told me after reading my Civil War story that I had a "historical voice." Well, why not since I'm pretty historical myself!