The first book I remember reading is Charlotte’s Web. I think I was around the second grade or so, but it’s safe to say, my love of all things written came from that.
In the years that followed, I read anything I could get my hands on. If there wasn’t a book to read at a particular minute, I’d find something. Needless to say, I’ve read my fair share of cereal boxes!
I went to the library every week and as the librarian grew to know me, she’d set books aside for me. As a young child, I was horse crazy, so most of the books I picked up had a horse theme. I remember one afternoon, I told her I was going to write my own book. Even though I’m sure she heard that a lot, she smiled and said she bet I would. I wish I could find her now and tell her I did it.
From there I discovered Beverly Cleary, Madeleine L’Engle, and Judy Blume. I started reading poetry and grew to love Frost, Dickinson, and ee cummings. I enjoyed the Sweet Valley High series and VC Andrews.
As I grew into a teenager, I raided my dad’s bookshelf and found Stephen King and Ray Bradbury. I read George Orwell and Richard Adams.
But the one genre I didn’t read was romance. In fact, I distinctly remember sitting in my AP English class when the class valedictorian told the class she read romance and I was shocked. Romance? Really? I shook my head.
Not long after that I was in the bookstore and a new paperback caught my eye. It was a debut author, but the cover looked interesting and the back sounded good. So I picked it up and couldn't put it down. I didn’t know what genre it was, I just knew I liked it. My friend, the valedictorian, saw me and said, “I didn’t think you read romance.” I looked up from my copy of OUTLANDER and said, “This isn’t romance.”
But there on the spine was printed “Historical Romance”.
OUTLANDER opened my eyes to a entirely new world. I read every historical romance I could get my hands on: Mary Balough, Amanda Quick, Julia Quinn, Catherine Coulter, and Jo Beverly. It wasn't long until I moved onto contemporary, and the rest, well, is history.