Regardless of the genre you like to read, the common factor we all share is our love of words on a page. At some points in our lives, we picked up a book and were hooked. Whether it was through a genre, an author, a character or the story itself….we can all attribute that love to one of those. In some way we connected with it on a personal level and that flame has never gone out. The authors that have created our escapes have a special place in our hearts and as The Literary Gossip has its inaugural post, we felt it only fitting to go back to the beginning and talk about the one author who made us fall in love with reading. Each of us Gossip Girls came to the Romance genre via a different way. We hope you enjoy learning about our firsts, as much as we enjoyed reminiscing about them.
My first love with books began when I picked up Flowers in the attic in high school. I read all of V.C. Andrews’ books after that and then basically stopped until I was in my mid-twenties where I picked up the Richard Branson autobiography. I never really had a desire to read fiction but after watching True Blood (which I was obsessed with), it prompted me to read the Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse novels. I bought a kindle after that and then it was book after book!
It all started with Fifty Shades of Grey (FSOG) by E L James…how many times have you heard that?!?! Well I’m a living case study gone wild! In Aug 2012 a friend was reading and told me I should try it out even after I told her “I don’t read much”. I did and just love where its taken me… I stole my husband’s Kindle from him as much as I could as I searched for more….reading the Crossfire series by Sylvia Day (I re-read three times back-to-back) and then fell hard for The Siren (The Original Sinners series) by Tiffany Reisz. Asked for xmas 2012 my own Kindle and then started gobbled up books like candy. Most free or cheap but some popular books were hitting the library so I’d venture there or just have to 1-Click if I loved the sample regardless of the price. I seem to read faster on my Kindle so now I just try to watch my 1-click obsession…LOL Little did I realize that my world would be rocked again when I came across a small free book called Beg (Songs of Submission series) by CD Reiss! I am completely obsessed! Got on Twitter so I could shout like a total fangirl. Started looking at blogs and to see who was reading the series, joined her FB fan page. I tell anyone who will listen…yes I’m hooked! So for 2014 I figure I just needed a place to just call my own so I can rant about anything and everything…not sure how much time I’ll put into this but have to start somewhere! Thanks for joining me!
I’ve enjoyed reading but it wasn’t until my early teens that I found myself really obsessing over one particular author. I spent an entire summer making my way through my stepmothers book shelf and gorging myself on Dean Koontz novels. He is from So. Cal and so am I, so I could relate to the places he featured in his novels. One book in particular, Watchers, has a scene in a park that I played at as a kid. That scared the ever loving crap out of me, but I couldn’t stop reading that book, or Dean Koontz. Until recently, I could claim that I’d read every book he’s written but slowly the world of Romance novels has sucked me in. I can thank my sister for my romance obsession. She practically forced me to read Twilight, which led me to Fifty Shades of Grey, and I haven’t stopped gorging myself on smut since.
I don’t have a first author – I have the holy trinity of authors. These writers were my real-life heroes, Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew Mysteries), Louisa May Alcott (Little Women) and Laura Ingalls Wilder (The Little House books). Their characters were brave girls who grew into strong women. Along the way, the issues they faced were at times sad and tragic, but it’s how they managed and stood tall that spoke volumes. I loved these authors because their words were paintbrushes; they created the scenes and put me there in my imagination. These stories helped fuel my play and to some degree my creativity. Years later – those are the memories that I hold dear.
I clearly remember my first Danielle Steele novel I ever read….The Promise. I was in High School and I had to bring something to read after some testing we were taking. I wasn’t a huge reader, but I saw it in my Mom’s stash of books and grabbed it. I fell in love immediately with Ms. Steele’s stories of love and angst. I was captivated by her scenery and the way she melded a strong sense of family into each of her love stories. I kept going back to the book shelves and reading everything we had of hers. I even ripped the page out of the book that had all the titles on it and read down the list scratching off each of the titles as I read them. She always had a way of transporting me from where ever I was into this amazingly beautiful era that was unique to each book. I became fascinated with the books The Ring and Zoya which today remain two of my favorites. The account of the Russian Revolution in Zoya and Hitler’s reign during World War II in The Ring made me love history. Vividly I remember telling my history teacher facts that I had learned from both books. As I write this article, I am going through Goodreads looking at the books Ms. Steele has written that I have read. I must admit I have become extremely melancholy. The one thing I took away from each of her stories was an HEA and I truly believe she molded my preference into always needing a HEA with most books I read now. Although my reading proclivities have ratcheted up a few notches to erotica, I will always remember the woman who made me fall in love with reading….Danielle Steele, if not for you I would probably still be a MTV junkie.