Thursday, November 26, 2009

Idol Worship by Jennifer August

On this day of thanks, I am grateful and thankful for so many things – my family, my health, my job, my friends and my ability to craft stories that people enjoy.
I’m also very grateful for those who came before me and those who are currently writing. I was very young when I read my first romance novel. At 12, I only read comic books. My mom despaired that I’d ever crack open a real book. She bribed me (all the comics I could read) into reading The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss.
That was the beginning of my addiction.
I read everything she put out for a very long time. Then I discovered other authors, other genres. As I grew older, I devoured books like potato chips. I loved the stories, the heroes, the heroines. Everything about how they interacted, the scrapes they got into, the love they found appealed to me.
Soon enough, I was tempted to try my own hand at it. I sucked. Really, really sucked!
But I kept working at it and kept trying. Most of all, though, I kept reading.
Oddly enough, I discovered that reading my favorite authors and finding new ones actually helped my creativity. I fed off of the joy their books gave me and found that same joy in the characters I was creating and the twists and turns I was leading them through.
So today I’d like to take a few minutes and give some thanks to authors past and present without whom I don’t feel I would have ever succeeded in achieving my dream. And thank them for continuing to help me with every book they put out. On that note, special thanks to:
Kathleen Woodiwiss – her books set me on my current course and the earlier ones (Shanna, The Wolf & The Dove, Ashes in the Wind) are still great reads.
Johanna Lindsey – wow, I don’t think anyone has every captured my heart like she did. And she was equally awesome writing westerns and Regencies and Vikings.
Lindsey McKenna – Red Tail is still my favorite category book ever. I have enjoyed watching her career and reading each book she puts out.
Joan Ellen Pickart – Hers were the first “real” heroines to me. The women who did what they wanted and weren’t afraid to stand up for themselves. Plus, her humor is awesome.
Diana Palmer – Rugged cowboys, alpha heroes. Diamond Girl remains one of my top ten books.
Amanda Quick & Jayne Ann Krentz – I was reading JAK when she was writing as Stephanie James for Silhouette Desire. I still have all of those books.
Julie Garwood – This was a turning point for me. As an adult, a mom and a wife, I found her books deeper, more engaging and definitely sexier than anything I’d read previously (although JAK pushed the boundaries very early on!)
Julia Quinn - She hooked me with Splendid and I never looked back. Would you believe I actually cried when the last Bridgerton book came out?
Lisa Kleypas – Her characters always drew me and held my attention. I couldn’t read fast enough and I was always sad to close the book.
Sabrina Jeffries – A relatively new find for me. Her heroines are spunky, fun and totally demanding. I love them. Her School For Heiresses series is one of the best.
Suzanne Enoch – Read the Sin series. ‘nuff said.
Stephanie Laurens – I’m ecstatic she’s so prolific. I’m working my way through her Cynster series at the moment and savoring every single book.
Karen Hawkins – I don’t think anyone has written Scottish books as well as she has!
Susan Gable – This one is a little personal since she’s my critique partner but her talent for emotion is unparalleled. Every book makes you laugh, cry and yearn for more.
I could go on (trust me!) but these are my elites, my automatic buys, my keepers. Most of all, these ladies are my inspiration. When I doubt myself and my writing, I pick up one of their books and lose myself in the worlds they’ve created. When I emerge, my inspiration well has been refilled and I am ready to start again.
So thank you, ladies, write on!


Virginia C said...

Hello, Jennifer! You have great taste in authors and books! What a lovely post. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss remains in a class by herself. Ashes in the Wind is my all-time favorite!

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I love The Flame And The Flower, one of my all time favorites. There are a couple of authors here that I haven't read, I'll have to check them out. Love Diana Palmer and Lindsay McKenna. I love reading just about any genre, but my first love is romance books.

Wendy said...

So many wonderful authors (some of them no longer publishing) shaped my own love for romance and my writing. Quite a few are on that list you made. :)

And, just to add, while I read The Flame and the Flower when I was about 12, too, the first romance I read I snuck off my mom's shelf: Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers. Also 12 for that one. Definitely not age-appropriate. :)

Thanks for the post on thanks.

Michelle said...

I still remember reading The Wolf and the Dove when I was about 19 and I currently have her last release on my bookshelf TBR. Maybe I'll start that today!

Thanks YOU, Jen, for a great post. Hope you have a happy thanksgiving!

Denise McDonald said...

I so *heart* Sabrina Jeffries!

The first ever historical romance I ever read was a book I got by mistake from the book-of-the-month club. They told me to keep it and sent me the correct one. Well, not to look a free book in the spine... I read it and fell in love!

Happy Thanksgiving Jen!

Susan Gable said...

Awwww...thanks, Jen! I'm very thankful to have you as a crit partner, but more importantly, as my friend! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Diana Cosby said...

Hi Jennifer,
I loved The Flame And The Flower as well. Also, I'm with you, amazing stories inspire my own writing. Romance novels give us so much more than a story, but inspire strenght, belief in self as hope. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
God bless,
Romance Edged With Danger

Some Girl said...

Hi everyone, thanks for stopping by. I'm delighted so many people loved Kathleen Woodiwiss. She was truly an icon. I get all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings when I re-read her books. And I think they stand up well today, too.

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Hi Jennifer!
I agree with you on the authors who have inspired others to write. They inspired me too. Some have had a huge influence on my writing.
Thanks for the reminders. :-)
Happy Thanksgiving!

Jessica said...

Hi Jennifer,
Great selections in Authors. You should also try Monica MacCarty and Karen Marie Moning if you like Highlanders in Scottish Romance. I have your book on my to TRL.
Carol L.

Carol L. said...

The prior message was signed on in my daughter's name and I didn't realize.
Carol L.

Patti said...

Great post - I'm relatively new to romance (been reading it for about a year) and have written down all those authors to go check out!

Mary said...

I love so many of the authors you listed, but it's soo difficult to list just a few isn't it? Because everytime we read a really good book that touched us, we want to read more books and find more authors that are great and the list gets enormous. At least for me.

Jayne Tingay said...

love your blog !