Wednesday, February 5, 2014

#WriterlyWisdomWednesday: #Romance author, Hebby Roman on Compelling Concepts

Fellow TWRP Author, Hebby Roman, romance author is here to share about her inspiration for The Princess and the Templar



            When I wrote my first published historical romance, BETRAYED, I set the book in Puerto Rico, my husband's birthplace. Traveling to my husband's home island, I became fascinated by Puerto Rican history and soon realized Cuban history had been well documented, overshadowing Puerto Rico. This made me determined to write a story set in Puerto Rico.

            I learned through research that even though Puerto Rico is a commonwealth territory of the United States, historical sources were limited. And ironically, the most interesting point was that Puerto Rico's settlement had far more in common with the U.S. than Cuba or the other islands of the Caribbean. Most Caribbean island economies had been founded on sugar plantations and slavery. But Puerto Rico, like the U.S. was primarily made up of small family holdings where the settlers worked their own land.

            After a long struggle to free their island from Spain, Puerto Rico was independent for just two years before being conquered and annexed by the U.S. during the Spanish American war. I choose this period of revolt against Spain to set my romance because it was a time of conflicted loyalties and upheaval, which added an interesting backdrop for my romance. And I went a step further and took my inspiration about conflicting loyalties to craft a Puerto Rican version of Gone with the Wind.

            Years later, I became fascinated with the colorful and romantic pageantry of the Middle Ages. Again, I wanted to utilize a compelling concept to showcase my medieval romance. My inspiration was another mega-hit: The Thornbirds.

Since the Church was a very important aspect of medieval life, I created a hero who was similar to a priest, like in The Thornbirds, because of his sacred vow of celibacy. This set-up was the ultimate conflict for a romance, a forbidden romance. And even before Brown's blockbuster, the Da Vinci code, I had decided a Knight Templar would be the perfect hero for forbidden love.

I set my medieval, THE PRINCESS AND THE TEMPLAR, at a historical turning point when the rich and powerful Templar Order is purged and exterminated by Philip IV of France. Against this backdrop of historical upheaval, my hero, who has fallen in love with an Irish princess and is sorely tempted to break his vow of celibacy, is caught on the horns of a dilemma. Even before he meets the heroine, he's in doubt about the depth of his vocation. Meeting the heroine and falling in love with her drives him further from the precepts of his Order.

Then when he's faced with corruption within his Order and its extermination, his vocation is severed. But is he abandoning his duty so he can openly love the heroine or are his internal doubts valid?

I believe by utilizing a powerful concept that interweaves the internal and external conflict, this makes for a compelling read. I hope you agree and will try a sample at Amazon:



Raul de Porcelos, a dedicated Knight Templar, is duty bound to bring orphaned Irish Princess Cahira O'Donnell to wed the Earl of Orkney, Raul's lord. But Cahira has a mind of her own and resists the handsome Templar, refusing to relinquish the castle and lands that her family died to protect. Thrown together by fate, they come to know each other and a forbidden passion is kindled. Who will be the first to surrender to desire, the warrior-princess or the warrior-monk?

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About Hebby Roman

Hebby Roman is the author of eight print published romances, four historical romances and four contemporary romances. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the past president of her local chapter, North Texas Romance Writers. She was selected for the Romantic Times "Texas Author" award. She lives in Arlington, TX with her husband, Luis, and Maltipoo, Max. 

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