As I was writing away the other day, I had one of those "How did I get here?" moments. You know, the kind of moment where everything just stops and you're compelled to take a look at your career or your life or your home or whatever and analyze what trigger, what moment, what event landed you where you are today.
For me, THAT particular moment was all about what got me started writing. And I basically realized that what got me started writing had everything to do with reading. There were certain books that had such impact, evoked such emotion or made such a lasting impression that I was compelled to read them and reread them several times. The lingering feelings I had from those books, the connections I felt with the characters, the joy in their happily ever afters were what eventually led me to trying my hand at writing a book myself.
Did I embark on this journey knowing what I was getting into? Heck no. I did it purely for the joy of it. For the discovery of what I could create, the fun of 'having' created and then later the excitement and anticipation of wondering if I could actually sell.
Wonder of wonders, somewhere along the way ... I became a writer. And it was all because of those special books and those special authors who touched me so deeply that I was driven to attempt to create something that might possibly move another reader in the same way.
For me, there are three authors who stand out in a sea of creative geniuses who led me down this path.
LaVryle Spencer. What can I say? I devoured every single title, but the one that remains closest to my heart and was the catalyst for my own career was THE HUMMINGBIRD. I must have reread that book half a dozen times. It's just so full of human drama and emotion and triumph.
Tom and Sharon Curtis. OMG. If you have never read THE WINDFLOWER, find a copy of this book and indulge yourself in pure, unadulterated pleasure. (It might also be listed as written by Laura London)
Sandra Brown. Before Sandra became the mainstream sensation that she is, she wrote not only category romance but historical romance. Go find ANOTHER DAWN, the most amazing western historical of all time. Just .... stunning.
Oddly enough, as you can see, it was historical romance that got me writing and yet, contemporary romantic suspense is where I landed. True, the time and setting are nothing alike, but the emotions these amazing authors evoked in their pages are the same emotions I attempt to evoke on mine. Do I come close? Not even! But I do try and their amazing books are the bedrock on which I built my 'character' first, 'story' second writing philosophy.
So how about you? If you're a writer, who inspired you to write? And for you lovely, lovely readers, what books or authors live on your keeper shelf and compel you to 'reread' them from time to time?