Most of us aspire to leave some kind of legacy behind. Authors, I think, hope their stories in some part, are the legacy they leave behind, characters that will linger on readers minds long after they are gone.
Having a holiday (Memorial Day) this past weekend, reminds me of how people impact our lives in various ways.
This past week the writing world said goodbye to Christina Skye. After the initial shock that even authors are indeed mortal...her passing came as a reminder.
I have on my keeper shelf--you know, those books you read and re-read when you simply can find nothing else that satisfies--Christmas Knight. I believe it may have been one of her first books, if not her first and I immediately fell in love. Its pages are worn and a bit dingy form re-reading, but isn't that what we all as authors hope for our stories?
On this journey of writing, I've met many people in this industry-from agents to editors, publishers to authors (on all levels )-- the listers, award-winners, international best-sellers....and some who have none of those attributes associated to their names, but whose storytelling is as impressive, just undiscovered, yet.
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(*that ought to help the TBR summer reading pile!)
Roan by Jennifer Blake, Colony by Anne River Siddons, Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, Christmas Knight by Christina Skye, Pink Moon by Stef Ann Holm, Your Wish is My Command, by Donna Kauffman, Chesapeake Bay Saga Trilogy by Nora Roberts, and many , many more-past & those in my TBR pile that have made an impact on me on this writer's journey. (* I highly recommend any of these books to your summer reading pile!)
My 1970 Harlequin Presents given to me by my grandmother. The very first western historicals I ever read. Books from authors who are close friends. The Suzanne Brockmann Navy SEALs TROUBLESHOOTERS series. And SEASWEPT by Nora Roberts which changed how I looked at writing characters. Honestly, this barely scratches the surface. I have more than a dozen boxes of books I’ve kept for my eventual library. Oh yes, there will be a library with floor to ceiling shelves!!
First and foremost, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. It's the book that hooked me on passionate romance and I've read it about 50 times. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte joined the list this year after an engrossing re-read! All 12 of the Poldark novels are there, as are all the Georgian and Regency romances by Georgette Heyer. Nobody's Angel, by Karen Robards; Lawless, by Patricia Potter; Devil in Winter, by Lisa Kleypas; This Time Forever, by Kathleen Eagle; See Jane Score, by Rachel Gibson; Dream Man by Linda Howard; and Clandara by Evelyn Anthony. Now, I think that's enough to be going on with!
Nicole McCaffery was the author who saw my potential and helped me hone my writing craft. She believed in me before I even believed in myself.
Marguerite Henry's Peter Lundy & the Medicine Hat Stallion is on my keeper shelf. It's a copy I've had since I was young. It inspired me to love adventure stories with horses. It also inspired my story Following Faith which is part of the Journey of the Heart anthology released last year. Following Faith features Eagle Feather (a character from Between Heaven & Hell, book 1 in my Lonesome Hearts series) and a Medicine Hat horse that helps Eagle win the love of a schoolmistress who's been expelled from her teaching position in a remote logging camp.
Of course, I have favorite authors some of which are Amanda McIntyre, Jacqui Nelson and E.E. Burke (only to name a few). I was reading long before I was a writer, but I am inspired most by the reasons authors choose to enter this industry. I admire their tenacity, their perseverance and their willingness to share the spotlight with fellow authors. It makes me proud to be an author and part of WDR!
The author that inspired me is LaVyrle Spencer!