Wednesday, February 4, 2009

what hooked you?



Hi, my name is Kelley and I have a confession to make. I used to be one of those people who snubbed my nose a romance novel *hides head in shame*. Of course I'd never actually read a romance novel when I felt this way. I assumed (and you know what they say about assuming) that they were all cheesy, gooey stories that I would never be into, which honestly made no sense. Not only was I completely wrong, but I've always be a romantic. Why I thought I was too good for romance books is beyond me.

So, about four and a half years ago my hubby, myself and our eight month old daughter moved from a tiny town in Southern Oregon (no more than two lane freeways, one grocery store in my town, 98 kids in my graduating class kind of small) to Southern California. His family was down here and it just so happened that my sister and her family had moved down here as well. So the move made sense and even though I was scared, I was excited too. Things were really hard on me at first. I went from a town where I knew everyone, to a city where I knew no one (family doesn't count :)). I went from always working full time to being a stay at home mom and my hubby worked A LOT. I was really lonely. On one of my lonely days I was browsing Barnes and Noble and ended up picking up my first romance. I devoured it and from that day on I devoured a great deal of books. I averaged about three or four a week reading any and everything I could. I was shocked at what I'd missed out on all those years! Not only were there beautiful relationships of intelligent women finding love, and steamy sex but also friendships. With a good book, I walk away feeling as though I've made a friend and at that time in my life that's what I needed most. I found that between the pages of my books.

My old love of writing started bursting to the surface again. I wanted nothing more than to give that same feeling of hope, love, and humor to other women, the same way the authors I read gave it to me when I needed it most. That's when the idea for Getting Lucky with Luciano started to form in my brain. It began with three friends and honestly, in almost all my books there will not only be a romance but strong relationships between women. I think our female friendships are SO important but some times get lost in the shuffle of our lives.

From Kaylee, Tabby and Bri Luciano popped into my head, followed by Nico. My hubster is Italian and when we moved here I was introduced to a large Italian family and the wonders of great Italian food which gave me the idea for Luciano's restaurant. I sat down to write and things have never been the same for me.

I am still a compulsive reader but my numbers have gone down to one or two books a week. With my writing and now TWO kids that's all I can do. I am so thankful for that trip to Barnes and Noble. I'm thankful I got off my high horse and opened myself up to the wonder that can be found beneath the cover of a romance novel.

Now it's your turn...how did your book reading habit begin? How did you get hooked or do you remember specifically what book hooked you?

11 comments:

Regina Carlysle said...

I remember a friend in High School who used to hide her "sweet" harlequin's in her text books and read during class. That was the first time I'd ever even SEEN a romance. The book that got me hooked was Kathleen Woodiwiss' The Flame and the Flower. I still HAVE the book. It's well-worn and yellow with age. I've had it for over 30 years. Once I'd read that, I never looked back.

Molly Daniels said...

I've been devouring books since I learned to read! Started with biographies, moved onto Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, the Little House series, and at the tender age of 12, began reading The Flame and the Flower over my mom's shoulder while driving to Colorado. When she finished it, she let me read it. I read that book so many times, the cover fell off! And then Judy Blume, Norma Klein, and all those 1st Loves from Sillouette (sp??) came along, as did VC Andrews and Danielle Steele.

Started writing my own in 1985:)

Amy Ruttan said...

I've been reading since a young age, but romance, that was my grandmother's fault.

She was dying, and living with us. She loved steamy novels. So after she would finish with one, she'd give me the one she had just read. It got to the point I would read one, she would read another and we'd trade.

The first book, Connie Mason's Ice and Rapture.

I still have it, very worn and dog eared.

Kelley Nyrae said...

Reg,
That's funny that she hid them in her text books!

Molly, I've always liked to read but not nearly as much as I do now, and not romances until a few years ago.

Amy,
That is so neat that your grandmother passed her love of romance novels to you!

Natasha said...

I can't ever remember not reading. It started with Dr. Seuss and went from there. I picked up my first "adult" book (The Clan of the Cave Bear) when I was 8. Now, I average about a book a day (actually, not so much right now, as I am working full time and taking some college courses). I have done Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High, R.L. Stine, Hardy Boys.

Genella deGrey said...

I didn't like reading in general - which now that I look back I think I must have been INSANE!!! :D

I was handed Judith McNaught's "Until You" and ate it up in about two days (a HUGE feat for a non-reader!)

I had a friend in high school who always had a book in her hand, and went to her to get my read on. She provided me with other JM historicals along with Jude Deveraux, Julie Garwood, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey and others.

Hooked? You bet 'cha!!

:)
G.

Isabel Roman said...

My mom is a big romance reader. Back in the day it was Harlequin & Silhouette and I'd read everything she had, sneaking them up to my room and reading late into the night. When I realzied there were other authors out there, it was amazing. I went through all the 'cool' YA books and reverted back to romances.

It was then I decided I wanted to write romances. Yeah, it was harder to start than I thought but I don't regret it!

Anne Rainey said...

what a fun topic! I love things like this.

For me, I used to read suspense books. I really first fell in love with books because of Dean Koontz. I loved the way he wrote. He could so easily pull me into a story. I didn't pick up a romance book until I was in a used book store and found a Madeline Baker book. I was looking for a few books to take to the park with me while the girls played. All the Dean Koontz books there were ones I'd already read. Something about the cover of that Madeline Baker book drew me. I think it was the Native American on the cover. ;-)

Anyway, I picked it up and read it, then went back and bought all the MB books they had. LOL That led me to several other historical authors such as Connie Mason, Nan Ryan and somehow I picked up a Nora Roberts. I fell in love with her books. That turned me onto other authors similar to her like Sandra Brown, Jayne Ann Krentz, Linda Howard. I didn't read steamier stuff until I found a book by Lori Foster. Actually it was an anthology of hers. I picked it up because JAK was in it. LOL That was my first taste of the steamier stuff. It's been hot hot road ever since!

Kelley Nyrae said...

Thanks for sharing your stories, everyone!

Cindy K. Green said...

Kelley,
You sound so like me. Except I moved from So. Cal to NC. But I was all alone (except for Family) and I was now a SAHM. Writing really saved me.

I was never a big romance reader either until I started to write it. I loved suspense/mystery, historicals and classic lit. But the reading gave way to the writing and here I am.

Lara Dien said...

Okay, it's late in the day, but I love books so much, I'm commenting LOL

According to my mom, there was never a time, once I could move on my own, that I didn't love books. Seriously, in my baby book, she says that by the age of ONE I'd rather go to bed with a book than a stuffed animal. So probably not a surprise that I started around age 2 (Berenstain Bears and Dr. Seuss, of course) and was reading voraciously (Richard Scarry and the like) by four or five.

My first reading love was mystery (today it's romantic suspense!) and my mother had to go to the library (pre internet days) to find me something age-appropriate so I'd stop having nightmares at six after reading Hardy Boys ....

Romance? Oh, lord...super-religious household so I had to read Grace Livinston Hill and Emilie Loring and hide the Harlequins from my mom. Fortunately, I quickly discovered Georgette Heyer, who was acceptable! Mom still doesn't know I read every Kathleen Woodiwiss I could find LOL

Lara Dien