You never forget your first time.

March 05, 2009

You never forget your first time...
You never forget your first time...

…further chitchat with Deborah Bouziden

DB: Who introduced you to Kathleen Woodiwiss’ books or did you stumble across them in the library? What drew you to them and would you recommend them to beginning romance writers today? Why?

SW: When I was in college, I had a summer job at a department store fine jewelry counter. It was horrendously boring, so a coworker lent me Shanna and I was a goner. I devoured the thing. I also felt that inner tuning fork effect–the story resonated with me on a deep level. That was how I found my genre. I recommend that writers practice “conscious reading.” Pay attention to your visceral response to a story and figure out the elements that resonate with you. Then find the techniques that work for your own writing.

How about you? What got you hooked on reading and writing?

  • I cannot remember a time when I did not read. Even from grade 1 or two, the first time I was taken to the public library. I remember in grade 4 or 5 reading this book about a young Jewish girl and learning about a relgion I knew nothing about. The book had the name of Burnadette in the title is I can recall. It was the first time I realized that all children did not grow up like me.
    Now you mentioned the first time for Kathleen Woodiwiss. I remember someone from up at our cottage giving me one of her books and it was love at first read. I could not get enough of her books. She actually came to Canada to one of our bookstores to do a signing and I was so upset I could not go, because of some family obligation. I have since regretted that, as she is no longer with us. I should have made a better effort.
    And of course in those days, there was also Rosemary Rogers, Beatrice Small, Fern Michaels to keep me busy reading. I was and still am a big Janet Daily fan. I have been reading her back in her Harlequin days.
    So many first, so many books and authors I have read and finding new authors all the time.
    New Authors I have started to read and fell in love with their work, our own Susan and Robyn Carr. Susan’s first book I read was “Table for Five” and it has been a lovefest ever since.

  • I don’t ever remember not loving to read. Going to the public library was a big part of my childhood. I always did the summer reading program. I loved Beany Malone books when I was in my teens. Then on to biographies and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. My first Kathleeen Woodiwiss book was loaned to me by a friend’s Mother. I got the name of one of my sons from her books. I went through a few years of not having time to read and so the last few years have been catching up on John Grisham, Susan Wiggs, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Rosamund Pilcher and Kim Vogel Sawyer. So many great authors and wonderful books and so little time!! I love reading Fancy Nancy and Curious George to my grandkids, just love that Fancy Nancy. I have no creative writing skills, just business letters etc and so do admire and appreciate those who do. Keep on keeping on!!

  • Started reading at an early age, all the most wonderful books a little girl could read. Nancy Drew – devoured them, Fairy Tales – ate them up, there was always a happy ending and Prince (One day my prince will come – isn’t that a song in Cinderella?) then onto Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Mystery writers and of course, Susan Wiggs.

    Totally agree with Karen – Ruark Beauchamp is all time favourite hero, but, you must include Rand Higgins from The Firebrand. Need I say more. Okay, I will, Rand became a whole person, willing to change his ideals & see who Lucy really was at the heart level. Besides that, he was tall, dark and handsome. Hopefully the Chicago Trilogy will be re-released, so many more fans can read them.

    As for writing – I can write a great business letter and essay. Starting to write creatively again. I will still keep my day job, writing a publishable manuscript would be hard. Have no fear, Susan. Hah, Hah.

  • I started reading at an early age. All my family knew that I had a passion for books too, so for every holiday or special occasion I would get a new book. I would finish them so fast and need new material that my grandma let me stay an hour after school each day just to have time in the library.

    The writing bug bit me when I was 10 years old, and I wrote the usual purple dragons and green egg stories but so many things happened to me at an early age that it never took root.

    Now at age 26 and 4 kids later while living abroad no less, I feel the itch to write again. This feeling didn’t arise again without help. About a year and a half ago I picked up Some Enchanted Evening by Christina Dodd, and I was swept away with how the story was told. I just new this was for me. Now I am seeing first hand just how devoted a writer has to be to get the job done. However, it is a job I am eager to undertake each day.

  • When I was 11 years old, I got hooked on Barbara Cartland books. By the time I was 15, I wanted more. I saw SHANNA in a bookstore and fell in love with the cover. I bought it, devoured it, then devoured it again. Ruark Beauchamp remains my favorite hero of all time, even now, thirty years later.

  • When I was in either third or fourth grade, my mom gave me some of her old Nancy Drew books. I was hooked on reading from that day forward.

    I made my way through the Baby-sitter’s Club, Christopher Pike, RL Stine, and Sweet Valley High as I made my way through school. I then got really into historical romances (Linda Lael Miller, Judith McNaught, Jude Deveraux, etc.).

    In college, I read ‘Outer Banks’ by Anne Rivers Siddons, as well as many of Pat Conroy’s books, and became a little obsessed with Low Country writers. Today, I have expanded that list to include Dorothea Benton Frank, Karen White, and Patti Callahan Henry.

    After I graduated from college, I discovered Barbara Delinsky, who I think as more in the women’s fiction arena than in the true romance arena. I quickly followed her to find you, Debbie Macomber, Luanne Rice, and Kristin Hannah.

    I later spent some time reading a lot of chick lit (the Red Dress Ink books), but I have come around again and am reading everything I can get my hands on by you, Sherryl Woods, Jodi Picoult, and Robyn Carr, as well as my traditional after-college favorites and the Low Country writers listed above.

    And that is how I got to reading what I read today…perhaps a bit too long of a story for a comment on a blog!

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