From Lawyer to Romance Author by Regan Walker

I wrote stories as a child. I bet some of you did, too. One I recall was of a brave young girl titled “A 20th Century Pollyanna.” But the idea of becoming a writer as a profession never occurred to me, notwithstanding the results of tests in high school that suggested otherwise. In those days, schools did not encourage such pursuits. By the time I got to college (majoring in science), and considered graduate school, it was either going to be a PhD in science (so I could teach, of course) or a law degree (urged by some of my professors who’d heard me arguing). So I chose the latter. My reasoning was that in our society lawyers were decision makers and I’d rather be a hammer than a nail. Decades of practicing law led to insomnia and very little of interest to share at cocktail parties. (Much of what I did know that was interesting, I could not share).


In the economic downturn of 2009, which has persisted to this day, and which led to a certain amount of unwanted free time on my part, I turned to my life long love of reading. Only this time I did not read for intellectual pursuit; I read for pleasure. I don’t recall when I stumbled across the romance genre. I always thought, as may some of you, that it was mostly “dime novels.” I was wrong. The historical romance novels I began to read were thrilling adventures into the deep past of Scotland, England and Europe. I couldn’t get enough of them.


I recall the first author I read who wrote Scottish historicals, Kathleen Givens. Her stories like On a Highland Shore had me enthralled. It was during this period I discovered that over 50% of fiction sold in America is “romance.” Yes, that’s right. And why? I believe it is at least in part due not just to a craving for an absorbing story, but for the happy ending you are assured. This world is full of dismal outcomes and Hollywood is only too happy to deliver a depressing movie for our “entertainment.” But romance novels, the seriously researched and well written ones, provide not only history but great entertainment and a good feeling when the book is done. People actually find both adventure and love!


So, duly armed with this new knowledge, I set out to write one. I love research so that part was fun. I decided to focus on France and England in the early 19th century—to romance readers, the Regency period, when George, Prince Regent ruled England (well, he was at least the monarch).


My first novel, Racing With The Wind, tells of a young noblewoman who goes against the grain of the society into which she was born. In the language of the Regency, Lady Mary Campbell is a bluestocking hoyden. She rides her black stallion Midnight astride, and she follows her statesman uncle to Paris and the court of King Louis XVIII where treachery and intrigue await. Her counterpart is a British marquess who masquerades for the Crown as the Nighthawk, a former thief of Napoleon’s secrets. It’s the first in my Agents of the Crown trilogy. The second, Against the Wind, published in 2013, tells the story of Sir Martin Powell, an agent for the Crown returning from years spying in France who meets Katherine, Lady Egerton in—of all places—a fancy bordello. Yes, I quite like that one.


I love the new world of which I am now a part. The world of ideas and wonderful stories. Creating new scenes every day and books for readers to enjoy makes me smile. My friends are happy I’m no longer such a serious person and my family is amused that the heavyweight lawyer is now writing romance. Some of my new best friends are fellow authors whose work I admire. Read some and you just might discover why I love them!


You can contact me via my website or my blog, Regan’s Romance Reviews, where I try and find the keepers for fellow readers of historical romance.


My latest story is The Twelfth Night Wager, a Christmas novella set in 1818. You can find it on Amazon. Click here




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About RWA San Diego

The Romance Writers of America's San Diego chapter promotes excellence in romantic fiction, helps writers become published and establish careers in their writing field, and provides continuing support for writers within the romance publishing industry. Contact us for more information about RWASD.

4 thoughts on “From Lawyer to Romance Author by Regan Walker

  1. I was initially surprised at how many “recovering lawyers” are writing excellent romance (JR Ward, Courtney Milan, YOU), but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense: Who needs and deserves those Happily Ever Afters more than those of us involved in a system where, generally, at least one party cannot have an HEA? Glad you’ve moved ahead to a happier calling!

    • Didn’t know about the romance–mechanical engineers connection, but it is interesting many lawyers turn romance author. I suppose it’s partly because research and writing are skills we developed as lawyers. And solving mysteries, too!

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