My career in writing took a long and winding road and I thought it would be fun to post some of the romance books that heavily influenced me. Back in the 70s and 80s with western romance yet to make much of an appearance I haunted bookstores for anything about Pirates, English and Scottish lords and ladies and especially Gypsies. Just couldn’t get enough.
The #1 influencer for me was Kathleen Woodiwiss. She told wrote the kind of stories that burrowed into your heart and wouldn’t leave. After the first one — The Flame and the Flower — I couldn’t get enough and read every one she published.
Shirley Busbee was always on my list. I still remember Gypsy Lady and While Passion Sleeps. She could tell a story like nobody’s business, stories that were laden with emotion and richness.
Johanna Lindsey fed my craving for pirates. She wrote some of the best books I’ve ever read–especially her Mallory series. And, coincidentally, it was her book “ANGEL” that made me want to write western historical romance. That had the best outlaw in it. At that time, western romances were still not widely published.
The next author to take me by storm was Bertrice Small. The book that captured my heart was SKYE O’MALLEY. There were six in that series and I read every single one many times over. She wrote other series as well but they didn’t engulf me like Skye O’Malley.
Sharon Ihle began writing western historical romances in the 1990s and I read all I could find of hers–The Bride Wore Spurs, Marrying Miss Shylo, The Law and Miss Penny, The Marrying Kind and others.
It’s during this period I ran across Pamela Morsi. Courting Miss Hattie, Marrying Stone, Simple Jess, Garters, Sweetwood Bride, Sealed With a Kiss. She, along with Jodi Thomas and Linda Lael Miller, cemented my desire to write western historical romances.
While I read tons of books down through the years, these were the most instrumental in my life. I’ve enjoyed going down memory lane. Such fun to look back and see where I came from. 🙂 I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey.
How far back does your history in romance go? Are there any that really called to your soul or shaped you in some way?