Over the years, my reading path has taken some odd turns. When I was a child, I devoured Pippi Longstocking books. I loved them. I thought they were sooo funny. And, I was envious/admiring of a little girl who lived on her own and was strong and self-sufficient, able to handle any disaster that arose.
I took somewhat of a leap from Pippi to Gothic Mystery, which I was reading at ten years old. I loved the atmospheric, spooky gothics, especially those by Victoria Holt.
Then I discovered Harlequins and they were the catalyst for my dream of being an author. I loved the tortured hero, the angst, the woman who turns his life upside down, and the Happily Ever After. Harelquin Presents were my favorite, and my favorite authors were Anne Mather, Lillian Peake, Violet Winspear and Charlotte Lamb.
Ideas for my own stories began forming in my mind, and I just knew I would become a world-famous author. I wrote my first romance at ten, and I still have the somewhat tattered, pencil-written spiral notebook copy. (The title is Just Pretend, which is one of my favorite Elvis songs, the hero looked just like Elvis and his name was Lonnie Beale, Elvis’ character in one of my favorite movies, Tickle Me :))
I later evolved to Historical Romances, and my very favorite book was Sweet, Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers, which I read eight times. I still have my paperback copy.
It’s funny. When I began writing, I started with Romantic Suspense and I have still never written a Historical. I don’t read them anymore either. However, I did revisit my love of Gothic Mystery Romances. I’ve written two of them, both set in contemporary times but using the formula of a young girl cut off from friends and family who visits a spooky mansion/bed and breakfast and becomes embroiled in a mystery, which endangers her life. And, of course, they wouldn’t be complete without a brooding, mysterious hero.
My reading path has led me to discover some amazing stories and taken me away from the problems and tedium of real life, into fascinating words. My writing path has enabled me to realize my lifelong dream and has brought a ton of wonderful author and reader friends into my life. I can’t imagine not reading or writing and I plan to follow that path until the day I die.