Thank You, Ladies
Every writer has other writers to thank for inspiration, encouragement, and lessons learned. Although I have a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, I learned how to be a novelist from other working writers and from books I fell in love with and wanted to emulate. I’ve studied – and still do, occasionally – novels as my textbooks. Authors such as Phyllis Whitney, Mary Stewart, and Victoria Holt sparked my interest in romantic suspense. I examined their sentence structure, their dialogue, and their expertise with mood setting and describing characters and action sequences.
Janet Dailey and Sandra Brown fired my imagination with contemporary stories of people who were more familiar to me – more realistic and sexier. I can’t begin to count how many hours I’ve spent going over and over certain paragraphs and snippets of dialogue penned by these women. They were my able tutors.
LaVyrle Spencer’s books challenged me to write straight from the heart, elevate my prose, and take risks. To me, her novels are works of art.
Lately, I’ve taken lessons from E.L. James, Sylvia Day, Roni Loren, Katrina Halle, and Mia Sheridan. To say that I’m obsessed with the “Fifty” novels would be a gross understatement. I’m enamored with each one of them and totally “gone” for Christian Grey.
There are so many wonderful writers whose stories and characters cling to my mind long after I finish their books. When I write, I aspire to join them in their stratosphere. Sometimes I make it up there with them, and let me tell you, the view from there is addictive. Visiting that place makes me work harder and learn more as a writer so that I can breathe that rarefied air.