As with all writers, my path to publishing was paved by the books I read that shaped and molded me. These books still remain on my keeper shelf. The first romance I ever read was Angelique by Sergeanne Golon which was a French husband and wife team. I checked this book out of my high school library and fell in love with the characters. Angelique was auctioned off to a horribly scarred nobleman by her despicable father. She ended up falling hopelessly in love. Ahhhh, such a satisfying story and sparked my imagination. After that I became fascinated with pirate and Gypsy books. Publishers saturated the market with them back then.
Then, along came Kathleen Woodiwiss. Oh my dear Lord! I devoured every book she produced. I think all of us might've been influenced by Kathleen because she really was the one to pave the way for us. Wonderful stories that captured my heart and fed my love for strong men with honor.
A lot of books followed--too many to count. But I think the next big author to come along was Bertrice Small. I'll never forget SKYE O'MALLEY and that entire series!
Johanna Lindsey was another with her Mallory series. Oh those handsome Malory men! They swept me away.
But the one book I think that set me on the path to writing historical westerns was ANGEL by Johanna Lindsey. A hunky gunslinger/outlaw who was called The Angel of Death because he rode into a place and left dead men in his wake. After reading this book I knew I wouldn't be satisfied writing anything other than western romance. We all have to find that one niche that fulfills us and feeds that burning desire like nothing else.
These are but a fraction of the books that carved the path for me. It's impossible to list them all.
Are any of these familiar to you? What books are on your list that linger in your heart for years after you read them?
Here are the books in my Bachelors of Battle Creek series. They're all available in bookstore and online everywhere.