Wednesday, April 05, 2006

My Romance With Romance

I came to writing romance late in life (I won't tell you how late).

Now reading it? Oh my, I think I was reading before I learned to walk. Okay, I didn't start out with romance but I did start reading it fairly early. It was the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries at first and then I discovered romance -- probably around the age of ten. Does anyone remember Emily Loring or Grace Livingston Hill? I gobbled down every one of their wonderfully rich and inspiring stories.

I was even grounded as a teenager from reading because it was the only thing I wanted to do. Yep, I was that boring.

I was hooked. I veered from the path from time to time with straight suspense, horror and mainstream fiction, but I always returned to romance. Why? Because of the wonderful feel good qualities the stories always gave me. I knew, no matter what my brave heroines and heroes had to go through, in the end, love would triumph.

I love to close a book with a sigh of contentment. That HEA just makes my day brighter and my heart lighter.

So what about you? Why do you love romance? Why do you read it? Why do you write it? What brought you into the world of romance? What early authors inspired you? Who inspires you now?


Paula said...

Oh, my--Emily Loring and Grace Livingston Hill! Those bring back memories!

My first romances were very old Harlequin Romances. My favorite writer was Lilian Peake (GONE BEFORE MORNING and MOONLIGHT OVER THE MOUNTAINS...sappy sigh...) I also liked Betty Neels, Jane Donnelly, Elizabeth Hunter, Debbie Macomber...ah, memories. :)

I was never really big on books with descriptive sex in them (something you won't believe when you read FORBIDDEN TERRITORY), so it took me a while to really discover Intimate Moments and Intrigues. However, when I finally read a few, I realized I'd found the kind of book I wanted to write--mystery, suspense, adventure and romance all in one.

I also read a few historicals over the years but the only ones that I ever really liked were Regencies by authors like Georgette Heyer and Claire Darcy and more recently, Julia Quinn.

Then I read Gayle Wilson's historicals, which blended the era I loved (Regency) with the genre I loved (mystery/suspense). Loved them.

I really hate that Gayle's not still writing historicals. ::sigh::

Carla Swafford said...

I love to read romance for the emotion it invokes. It reminds you how it was to meet that special someone, how little things about the person could excite you. His arm brushing yours. Your stomach getting butterflies when you hear his voice or while you wait for him to pick you up for a date. Romance is a wonderful feeling, and reading about it brings it all back.

I write romance because all my life I had a very active imagination. The other reasons are tied up with the usual (1) I’ve read several books that would make me say, “Why didn’t she do this or why did he do that?” (2) Others books made me think, “Wow! I want to tell stories like that.” (3) There are not enough stories like I want to read. And (3) I have tons of stories wanting out!

The first romance book I ever read was Robert Gellis’s BOND OF BLOOD. Published in 1965 or so. I checked it out of the library because of the horse and knight on the cover (note I mentioned horse first). I probably was twelve, maybe thirteen. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Gellis three years ago. She signed my thirty year old copy (not the library’s) – what a thrilling moment for me.

Other oldies I read were Barbara Cartland (oh, yes, the grand dame herself), Georgette Heyer, Rosemary Rogers, and Katherine Woodiwiss.

Then in the 1980s, I found one of my all-time favorite authors. Linda Howard. Her writing has changed enough over the years to grow with me but remain true to her original voice. Not many authors have been able to achieve that.

Luckily, nowadays, I have so many talented authors I read that inspire me in a good way to write more and better. Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward, Debra Webb, Gayle Wilson, Lisa Klepas, Kelley St. John and, of course, Linda Howard.