It’s interesting to note that I didn’t want to be a writer because of any book I read.
I’ve always been a voracious reader but in my early years, the books I read were primarily the likes of Enid Blyton and Jacqueline Wilson. I enjoyed these books appropriately and they did help me with my vocabulary which was what they were supposed to but they did not spark in me the desire to create stories at all.
What did were movies. I can’t remember any one movie but generally, it was the desire to create movies that finally plugged in my creative cord into the socket that was the muse.
Since then, there have been many many many books, all of them nudging me from my first attempt which was a colourful comic (story and art by me) about a group of superheroes who saved the world from evil to my current WIP.
This was the book that opened my eyes to the world of adult romance.
I was twelve and thus probably too young for it but I picked it from my much-older cousin’s bookshelf to pass time while our moms visited with each other. I fully intended to leave it behind when it was time to leave.
Two and a half hours later, it was time to go but I couldn’t put it down. Not until I was done. And so I begged and begged to borrow it, making promises to return it as soon as I was done (all this while hiding the entire illicit exchange from my mother).
Till this date, it lies in my bedside drawer, the cover torn of and the pages lovingly dog-eared. Even though my tastes have evolved, this book, my debut into romance will forever have its own spot in my heart.
This book remains a favorite of mine though I’m generally not a fan of Miss Alexander’s books.
By the time I read it, I was already firmly immersed in the journey as an aspiring romance novelist but these book took me off the path of Nora Roberts and other contemporary authors and firmly thrust me onto the yellow road that was historical romance.
I remember the day I read it. I was in boarding school, a bored senior looking for a way to pass time after exams. I was in my classroom, lying down on a makeshift bed arranged out of several chairs. From time to time I would laugh out loud at some hilarity of the ton or the antics of the characters and threaten the balance of my chair bed. I fell down twice.
Of course, it wasn’t really about the book. It was my first historical read. My first foray into a different time, one of late-night balls and horse-drawn carriages. For a girl who had always had a sweet spot for fairy tales, this was as close to magic as I could get. It was like that socket into which my creativity was plugged had an electric surge.
Contemporary romance has since paled in comparison.
By now, I was devouring as many historical romance novels as I could find. It wasn’t easy as they aren’t generally popular around here. But I managed to find this book by Miss Foley and it showed me the appeal of dark, tortured characters which have since been one of my favourite characters.
Unfortunately, I had to return this borrowed book but it had already made a lasting impression.
These ladies are popular historical romance writers and by far my favorite authors of all time.
These are authors I discovered after I was already firmly on the road as a historical romance author and they only cemented the desire. Their books are an automatic buy or download for me.
The stories while always brilliant, are completely irrelevant in this case. It is their writing that makes them an absolute must on this list. Simple, witty, engaging writing that pulls me in always and makes me fall in love with the characters and the story.
For me, they are role models, mentors albeit from afar. Whenever I lose my buzz or get lost or frustrated, I just have to read or re-read any of their books to make me fall in love with the genre again.
To a similar extent, books by JULIA QUINN, MAYA RODALE and SARAH MACLEAN also do this for me.
Do you ever think about the things that made you want to be a writer? Do you even remember what they are? Are you thankful? Personally, I believe that our past, how we got here, how we’ve evolved is an important component of our journey as writers and creatives and thus, we should constantly revisit it, if only to know how far we’ve come. It’s a first step in understanding where we are headed.
What do you guys think? And what are your own experiences? Comment comment comment!!!
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