Welcome back to the the Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop! Here is this week’s discussion topic:
Do you remember the first romance book you read? Tell us about it. Or, tell us about the book that made you want to write romance.
When I was about sixteen, the wife of our next-door neighbour passed away, and I was given a large cardboard box filled with Harlequin Presents. As I have always been a voracious reader—I’d read the labels on cereal boxes if there was nothing else available—I whipped through that box pretty quickly.
While I can’t remember the title or author (sorry!), I do remember the first romance that made me sit up and think, hmm, maybe I’d like to write something like this someday. I would have read it in the eighties, I’m sure. Romances then featured a lot of heroines who appeared (at least on the surface) to be sitting around waiting to be saved. Not this one - she worked hard to support herself and her child and not be beholden to anyone. I have no memory of the hero—that’s how impressed I was with the heroine. The story must have ended with the expected happily-ever-after, but I’ve always had the feeling that she would have been okay even without him.
Before that box of Harlequins, I read mostly mysteries and classics. Anne of Green Gables and Lord of the Rings are treasured favourites – but it is Anne’s relationship with Gilbert and Arwen and Aragorn’s romance that stand out for me in both of these. Dick Francis was my main go-to mystery writer (he is still a frequent re-read) and my favourites of his have, if not a romantic subplot, a strong relationship arc of some sort (Proof involves a widower coming to terms with his wife’s death that is wonderfully done). Robert B. Parker is another favourite, but the stories where Susan is either not present or has a minor role are the ones I re-read the least.
Once I put all of the above together, I realized writing romances was something I wanted to give a try. And even if I were to branch out to another genre someday, I am certain there would be a romantic subplot for sure.
How about you? Do you remember the first romance you read? Then hop over to PG Forte and see what her memories of reading romance are.
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