Today’s featured Beau Monde author is Bliss Bennet!Bliss Bennet writes smart, edgy novels for readers who love history as much as they love romance. Despite being born and bred in New England, Bliss finds herself fascinated by the history of that country across the pond, particularly the politically-volatile period known as the English Regency. Though she’s visited Britain several times, Bliss continues to make her home in New England, along with her husband, daughter, and two monstrously fluffy black cats.
Bliss’s mild-mannered alter ego, Jackie Horne, writes about the intersection of gender and genre at the Romance Novels for Feminists blog.Bliss loves the fact that the Regency is a period of great political, social, and economic change. Poised between the pomp, display, and aristocratic excess of the Georgian period and the social activism, tightening gender roles, and shift from an agricultural to a manufacturing economy of the Victorian period, there’s lots of potential to develop story conflict based on changing cultural and social norms.
Bliss wrote her dissertation on British children’s literature of the early 19th century, and she likes the fact that she can draw on a lot of the research she did for that academic project in her fiction writing! She likes to write stories that are grounded in the history and social norms of the period, rather than ones that use history as decorative background for characters with contemporary sensibilities, so if you like your historical romance to have real history in it, then you’ll probably enjoy her books.
Bliss has been a member of the Beau Monde since 2011 and has served as a judge for the Royal Ascot twice (and been a finalist once!), has presented a workshop (online and at conference) on childhood in the Regency period, and has served on the Beau Monde audit committee. The best way to get to know members of a group you’ve recently joined is to volunteer, she’s found (which is why she’s now serving as the President of the New England Chapter of RWA!) Once she is finished with that two-year commitment, she hopes to become more actively involved in serving the Beau Monde Chapter.
For her, the best part of this Chapter is reading the email digest that arrives in her in-box every day. So many writers have so many questions about the history of the period, and the forum gives us all the opportunity to ask other members those questions, and to share our own knowledge and expertise in turn. Beau Monde members are so generous with their time, their information, and their libraries! Even if she has a question that doesn’t have an easy answer (for example, were banking passbooks used in our period?), someone can often point her in the right direction for where she might start researching.
You can find Bliss online in the following places: