Monday, May 28, 2007
BOOKS, BOOKS, EVERYWHERE BOOKS
By Suzanne Welsh
Like most writers, reading is an integral part of my life. Even though I write and work fulltime, I read at least two or more books a week.
The other day my daughter asked me if I remembered the first book I ever fell in love with. I've forgotten the actual name of the book, but it was about Ping, the Chinese duck. It was the first book I bought through Scholastic books at school in the second grade. I read that book every day for months. The art in it was exceptional, but the words painted an even greater picture in my mind. I fell in love with that duck, and cried at the end.
When I told my daughter this, she started laughing. She'd meant the first romance I ever read. Well, that was a bit more difficult to recall.
Around the age of twelve, while visiting family in Tennessee, I discovered my two aunts' closets full of romances. My aunts generously let me pack an entire grocery bag of books to take home with me to read over the summer. There were dozens of Harlequins, a multitude of Barbara Cartlands, and some classic Grace Livingston Hills. So I cut my romance reading teeth on a mixture of contemporaries, historicals and turn of the century inspirationals. And just like with Ping, I fell in love with every hero and heroine in every one of those books.
If I had to narrow my love of romances down to one particular story, it would be a book titled The Black Horse Inn, an American historical that took place during the Revolutionary war. There's a courageous heroine, a strong hero, an evil uncle, the Sons of Liberty, Tory spies, and lots of drama. For years I've been searching for the book in used bookstores and on line. One day I hope to add a copy to my keeper shelf.
The next most influential book was Kathleen Woodiwiss' The Flame and The Flower. I got my first copy in my Junior year of high school. By the time I graduated, I'd worn out three copies! Following quickly on her heels were Patricia Matthews and Johanna Lindsey, then Julie Garwood and Jude Deveraux. Now, I no longer remember the books by the titles but by the authors who influenced me.
So what book or author hooked you on reading romances?
**BANDIT PLUNDER WINNERS**
Pirate's Booty and $15 Fandango gift certificate: filmphan (needs to contact Caren at carencrane @ gmail.com)
Autographed copy of Tawny Weber's "Double Dare": danette b (needs to contact Tawny at tawny @ tawnyweber.com)
Liquor-filled chocolates: kimberly l (needs to contact Cindy at
cindymm18 @ gmail.com)