I call this photo "stealthy me" (that's me, holding the plastic gun down). We were being taught how to "clear" a house of bad guys.
I ran a quick, non-scientific survey about cover preferences in romance/romantic suspense novels a little over a week ago. You can see the survey here. (It's closed now.) I had fewer responses than I'd hoped for, but here are the results.
Total Respondents: 25
Other: 3 said:
Does age of respondent matter?
3 want Hero - Bare chest
I write romance and always, always fall in love with my heroes. I fall in love with the heroes in all the romance novels I read—and I read a lot! My love of reading came early and was not by way of a romance novel.
The first complete book I read that I can clearly remember is Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty. How I loved that book! I memorized whole sections and can still recite bits and pieces. Even now, I can bring those first few words of the narrator to mind. I fell in love Black Beauty, too. He was strong, noble, kind and brave. He was also very good looking. :-) A real hero.
At the point of memorizing Black Beauty, English was still my second language. Now I’m a much better English speaker than a Spanish speaker. The story, which is fabulous, with its warmth and drama and danger and emotion, mesmerized me—maybe because the language was still somewhat new even though my American father always spoke to me English. (I always replied in Spanish.)
I graduated from Black Beauty to Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series. Yes, I had horses and rode, but I wasn’t as passionate about riding the horses as I was about reading the books. If you haven’t seen the Black Stallion movie, the first one, you really should. It’s so beautifully done and is a great story.
When I finished the Black Stallion series, I moved on to mystery. Mary Stewart’s The Moonspinners started me on another journey of discovery. I devoured all of her books before I graduated from high school.
Then one day I discovered romance. One of the first books to hook me on romance was Jan Cox Speas’ The Bride of the McHugh. Then I read her other two books, but couldn’t find more. Desperate, I visited the used bookstore when I’d discovered Ms. Speas. There was what they called a “Harlequin Room.” Intrigued, I stepped inside. Wow! Small books, satisfying reads for my romantic soul. I discovered Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Elizabeth Lowell, writers whose careers started with Harlequin.
I now have new favorite contemporary romance and romantic suspense authors. And I've added historical romance authors to my list of favorite. These include Mary Balogh, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, and Julie Anne Long, just to mention a few. I can read these knowing I won’t slip into editor mode as I tend to do with contemporary fiction or romantic suspense, which I still love (and write).
So, what book or books made you fall in love with reading? Comment and enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win $5 gift card from Amazon or B&N, and (2nd place) a copy of Dancing in the Dark. Extra points if you join my mailing list!
Many thanks to Sherilee Gray, who invited me on this blog hop.
Here's a bit about my writing.
What am I working on?
Three books. Yes, three. I know, for someone who works full time, this sounds insane. And, well, it is. I'm in the editing stage of a short romantic suspense, and hope to have it out by the end of April. No title yet, but it will be either Do You Believe in Magic or Crazy Thing Called Love (yes, I like song titles). I'm awaiting word on a longer novel, and I'm trying to sink into the characters and opening of another longer novel. And just to complicate things, I have a third longer novel playing in my mind. Bits and snatches of scenes and conversations. The longer novels are part of a series set in South America.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
There is a lot of romance in my romantic suspense. I like tough heroes who find it impossible to resist an ordinary woman caught up in an extraordinary circumstance. The circumstance generally involves an adventure--that shot of "what's going to happen next?" There's a challenge, adventure, danger, and a long standing fear complicating things. But no matter what, there has to be a way for my characters to find their happily ever after.
Why do I write what I do?
I wish I knew! I think it's just how I write. I wish I could write a historical romance, preferably a western, since I think I might be able to pull it off. An new adventure in writing, if you will. I really wish I could write a lush, romantic regency historical.
How does your writing process work?
In painful bits and pieces. I don't plot, I roll through an adventure in writing. That first draft is the key. But the first draft takes a gazillion first few chapter edits. If I'm stuck, I revert to dialogue. No tags (maybe I'm a Hemingway wannabe), just the flow of the exchange. I'm often surprised by what my characters say to one another when I'm just writing dialogue.
Next week, on March 10, I hope you'll visit two excellent writers who happen to also be absolutely lovely people. Eve Devon and Donna Cummings are on my "must buy" list of authors. Please do visit their websites and check out their books. Info and links below.
It snowed in Florida! Well, along the Panhandle, and it wasn't really snow, it was freezing rain and ice for the most part, which brought the whole are to a close. Birmingham, with it's hills, and Atlanta with it's huge mobile population really suffered.
We're not used to ice and snow in the deep South, certainly not along the Gulf coat. We don't know how to drive in it. So, the best thing to do is to stay put. That's what I did. Work was cancelled, so I wrote. I managed to type THE END to a first draft and began editing another story. All from the comfort of my living and with the warmth of our fireplace.