So yesterday I was chatting with an MBA student at my old school about what kinds of books we like to read.
I mentioned that I write historical romance novels as well as read ’em.
Being a serious-minded MBA student, she sort of looked down at her hands and muttered that she had enjoyed reading such books when she was younger, but she had moved on to more serious literature since then.
Yeah, I said. So had I.
And then you know what happened? I stopped taking myself so goddamn seriously all the time, picked up where I had left off, and started reading trashy romance novels again.
Because why the hell not?
And imagine my surprise, I told her, when I discovered that my old beloved genre from my teenage years had actually come a long, long way since I read Harlequin romances by the bucketful every Saturday morning, locked up in my room with a gallon of milk and a box of Captain Crunch.
Turns out, historical romance novels today can be:
- Socially relevant
…and I never would have found this out if I hadn’t managed to somehow lighten up a little bit and dip back into those paperback novels with the deeply silly cover art.
And I am so glad I did.
In fact, I managed to stumble across several authors right away who spun my head around with what they were doing with the genre. Not only did reading their books make me think This is fantastic and now I will read everything you have ever written, it also made me think I can totally write one of these books.
And so I did.
So I’ve been meaning to introduce you to these folks, so that you might have the fun of reading them, too. And so that I can publicly thank them, and also give them a little internetty high five for inspiring me to stay up all night making up stories about guys in cravats and ladies in curricles.
Because I owe them, big time.
Tessa Dare, in particular, is a huge favorite of mine. Her books are just the right blend of funny, sexy, silly, and smart. I got to meet Tessa when I went to RWA in June, and I’m happy to report that Tessa herself can lay claim to all of those adjectives as well.
If you want to have a taste of her books, I suggest you start with One Dance With a Duke. Read through the whole trilogy, because the hero of book three, Three Nights With a Scoundrel, is one of my favorite heroes yet. You’ll see why.
Oh, sure, she’s got a new series out, but I haven’t read it yet. What?
You guys, I’m up to my earlobes in my own writing at the moment, and if I read the latest work from one of my favorite authors I know perfectly well I’ll just want to chuck my laptop straight into the compost heap.
It’s a common malady among writers, that potent cocktail of disgust and admiration that is brought on by reading good writing. Watching really good TV can do it, too. So I’m sort of in the cone of silence right now, or maybe it’s the cone of illiteracy. Either way. I’m sure her new series is awesome, too. A little too awesome if you know what I mean.
Tessa does her bloggy thing over at The Ballroom Blog, in rotation with a few other authors who write under the same publishing banner. I’m a fan of the blog, too — it features several authors who I also admire and respect, and who I’m sure I’ll get around to gushing over at some other time. But not now.
Because right now I wanted to give some extra love and affection to the Kiss and Teal campaign they’ve been up to over on the Ballroom Blog on behalf of women with ovarian cancer. There’s been a bit of that particular malady in my own circle, y’see, and it’s just not pretty.
The whole point of the campaign is to raise awareness of the symptoms, because this one is a subtle beast, and it takes its victims down fast. So I said I’d lend a hand and help spread the word if I could. Least I could do. The very least.
What’s the least you can do? Simple:
- Get to know the symptoms of ovarian cancer
- Donate to help fund research into causes and cures for ovarian cancer
- Tell your legislator that you support funding research for ovarian cancer
Seriously. One of the reasons why I stopped taking myself so damned seriously in the first place and finally got real about writing silly old romance novels is because I realized that life is short, and nobody’s gonna go after your dreams for you. And the sad truth is, no dream waits forever.
I hope to keep writing long enough to inspire somebody else to start writing again, too.
What do you hope to do?