Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Abby Green: My Romance Influences

I was just thinking about the fact that I’ve been pretty much obsessed with romance since I was small enough to understand that men could be princes and women could be princesses. And that they could get together and live happily ever after. This has to have had an effect on becoming a romance writer, right?
I started out, like so many others with the Brothers Grimm fairytales as retold via the Ladybird books, a much more sanitised version of the rather dark fairytales.

I can’t remember which one I loved best, but it might have been Sleeping Beauty.

And then as I got older and into teen years I devoured all of Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High books, along with Virgina Andrew’s Flowers in the Attic series – can you imagine a young adult book about incest today?!

Sue Barton student nurse was also a favourite –

I’ll never forget how she meets her hero, bumping into him on the stairs, dropping books everywhere. And Flambards also played a huge role, I loved Christina and how she managed to fall in love with pretty much every man around her, and they with her.

And Joan Lingard and her stories of love across the divides in war torn Northern Ireland.

And the incomparable Judy Blume! Where would we have been without ‘Ralph’ and Forever?!

And then there was Mills and Boon. Sigh. Many an English class was spent racing to the end of the chapter we had to read of Wuthering Heights so that I could finish the latest Penny Jordan or Emma Darcy book. They were and are the perfect size for reading over two school days, and now? Two hours!

And interspersed amongst all of those were the fabulous epic works of Barbara Taylor Bradford, Sidney Sheldon, Judith Krantz, Jilly Cooper – Rupert Campbell Black anyone??! And the Queen, Jackie Collins - Lucky Santangelo has to be one of the fiercest heroines around.

If these wonderful authors can’t set one up for life with their masterful, ingenious heroines who settle for nothing but the best then I don’t know what can.

In latter years I’ve discovered the amazing world of Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series. Jamie Fraser, be still my beating heart. This has to be the time-slip novel to end all time-slip novels?

And also in no particular order; Victoria Dahl, Tiffany Reisz, Anna Campbell, Megan Hart, Eloisa James, Kresley Cole and her amazing Immortals after Dark series…

The worlds these authors create – veering from erotica, to historical to paranormal, provide so much more than mere escapism. They are worlds to submerge yourself in and emerge feeling renewed, invigorated and inspired…

In a very small way, I like to think that I contribute to those worlds and I like to think that somewhere a teenager is reading one of my books under her desk in a school – ahem – while not neglecting her Wuthering Heights of course, which is also part of the great romance lexicon!

So, I say thank GOD for romance and romance authors. The world would be a much duller place without it and them.

Who were your favourite romance authors or romance books? Do you have a seminal one?

Abby Green

When Da silva Breaks The Rules - Harlequin Presents, July
Getting Off - Harlequin Cosmo Red Hot Read, August


Jan Vanengen said...

I can't believe how many books we have read. Loved those Ladybird books. Barbara Taylor Bradford, Sidney Sheldon, Judith Krantz, Jackie Collins, yes. Also Robert Ludlum . I was into Enid Blyton books of the St. Clare books. As for Mills and boon still have my very first one by Roberta Leigh Too young to love 1976. Love my Carole Mortimer and Penny Jordan over the decades and Emma Darcy hooked me onto Sheikhs. Have many favourites writers from Maisey Yates because of her intense tortured heroes to Melanie Milburne and her great story telling and everyone inbetween. Also like my Latin men. BTW Da silva downloaded 4 hours ago ;) I wish I could read a book in two hours. So many I have to read and thanks for Kindles since running out of room for books.

Abby Green said...

Hi Jan, oh yes, loved Enid Blyton and her wonderful boarding school series too! The name Alicia always fascinated me as I used to wonder how to pronounce it. And this is coming from a country with Sineads and Siobhains! Also loved Roberta Leigh, must go back and re-read some of hers. Wouldn't it be great to be starting out with all of these again and discovering fantastic worlds for the first time?! xx Abby

dstoutholcomb said...

love the vintage books

jaganderson said...

I am trying to remember my first author crush and keep coming back to Dr.Suess and Edward Lear. As I got older I read books that were considered too old for me But when it came to romance it was Essie Summers who took me away. I read and enjoyed Anne Mather, Ann Hampson, Roberta Leigh but it was Essie that touched my soul. She was the only one that ever wrote about a heroine having come from a bigamous marriage and somehow it made me feel not quite so strange. PS, just bought a Roberta Leigh from 1952. Great cover graphics.

Abby Green said...

Love the vintage covers too, I find them far more evocative ;).
I haven't read any Essie Summers, must look her up :)

Jan Vanengen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.