The copyright to the first book I ever had published, Golden Girl, reverted to me last year, and it has now been republished in its 3rd edition by Books We Love. Although I wrote this book in 1980, it is set in the early sixties. The story is loosely based on some of the experiences I had when I was working as a secretary in London (UK) at that time.
Fast forward to my most recently published book, Remembering Rose, and my goodness what a difference 50 years makes.
Rachel, the heroine in Remembering Rose, is a very different character from Lisa. She's far less compliant for a start. Being a stay-at-home mum bores her to distraction, and so does her long suffering husband, until Rose reminds her why she married him in the first place. Rachel keeps secrets, flirts, nags, loses her temper, is even downright bitchy on occasion, and all this is mixed in with love, loyalty, compassion and kindness. In fact Rachel is like most of us, a flawed human being with a heart, whereas Lisa, in Golden Girl, is sometimes too good and too naive to be true.
The difference is not just down to changing times either. It is also down to the writer as well. How I understood the world in the 1960s is very different from how I understand it now. Also the requirements of romantic fiction have changed. Lisa is a girl of her time, and so is Rachel. Reading the two books back to back is like travelling through history. Not a time machine exactly, but the next best thing.