Please give a big Casa Welcome to fellow Sourcebooks Casablanca author, USA Today Bestselling author Leigh Greenwood. His—yes HIS—latest western romance, Texas Pride, hits stores this week! Today, Leigh shares with us just how he got started writing romance novels...
Being one of the only men having written on this blog— and every other blog I’ve written for, for that matter—reminds me of why and how I got started writing romance. Frankly, I don’t know why. I’d never studied creative writing, majored in English, or written anything longer than a research paper. I’d never wanted to write anything until I developed a nagging need to write about becoming a father for the first time. The whole process was pockmarked with the unexpected and unplanned, some incredible and some ludicrous, so I thought getting it out of my system would put an end to the need to write. Rather than end it, it stoked the need until I was writing humorous sketches about anything from a summer workshop for dance choir directors to raking leaves with my preschool aged children.
I got married in 1972, the year Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers published their first romances. My wife bought both books and every other historical romance that came out until they were in piles all over the house. I had never read a romance, and never intended to, but the suggestive covers elicited some rather tacky comments from me. One night my wife threw Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades at me and said, “read it or shut up.” I read it and loved it so much I searched for and found every book Georgette Heyer had ever written, romance and mystery. After reading all those books, I started on the books with the suggestive covers.
Teachers didn’t make a lot of money forty years ago, so I tried to get my wife to write a book while she was staying home with the children. Instead, she encouraged me to write one. Very foolishly I took up the challenge without having a plot or knowing anything about the publishing industry. Occasionally an ill-planned undertaking will have a happy ending. Fortunately, mine was one of those. After writing three books and joining Romance Writers of America, I sold my first book. Wyoming Wildfire came out in 1987. I’ve written more than fifty books since then.
In the twenty-five years since then, I’ve gotten to know many wonderful fellow authors. Some have become friends despite the fact that living all over the country we see each other once a year at conventions and have to keep up by email the rest of the year. So many have become New York Times bestsellers I feel like I’m name dropping with I talk about them. Others are still struggling to sell that first book, but all have been energetic, optimistic, and very accepting of my poaching on what is generally thought to be a solely female preserve.
There’s something about being in love with romance that brings out the best in people, writers and readers alike. Over the years I’ve received some terrific letters from readers, some challenging, some humorous, and some inspiring. It’s a fun part of what it means to be a writer.
Thank you for joining us today, Leigh, and congratulations on your new book, Texas Pride! To celebrate this new release, we have a giveaway! 2 copies of Texas Pride to 2 lucky commenters. To enter, leave a comment telling us what got you started reading/writing romance, along with an email address that we can reach you at (US and Canada mailing addresses only)! Winners will be chosen on Thursday.
TEXAS PRIDE BY LEIGH GREENWOOD—IN STORES MARCH 2012
A PRINCE AMONG MEN…
Carla Reece had never met anyone more infuriating in her life. The blond giant who swaggered up to her door had no right to take over half her ranch - no matter how stupid her brother had been gambling it away in a high-stakes poker game. Her new foreman claimed to be some foreign royalty who promised to leave in a year. Still, a year was way too long to spend with a man who made her madder than a wet hen and weak in the knees all at the same time.
A HELLION AMONG WOMEN…
Ivan may have charmed everyone in town into thinking he was the perfect gentleman, but Carla knew better. There had to be a chink in his armor-a red-hot passion under that calm, cool gaze. But once she finds it, she may be in for more than she ever bargained for...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leigh Greenwood is the author of the popular Seven Brides, Cowboy, and Night Riders series. The proud father of three grown children, Leigh resides in Charlotte, NC. He never intended to be a writer, but found it hard to ignore the people in his head, and the only way to get them out was to write. Visit www.leigh-greenwood.com.