Hello, readers and writers!
This week, I’m focusing on the essential elements that got me to pick out specific books that have added certain authors to my list of favorites. Believe it or not, I’m roughly new to the romance scene as I’ve only been strictly reading and writing romance for two and a half years now. I had no idea there was a fantastic community of readers and writers online who supported on another, especially the indie scene (which is my favorite).
Where did I start?
The starting point for my love of romance started when I was in elementary school. I read a book titled Flipped, and I absolutely loved it. I moved on to other younger novels that had similar book covers, but none of them really stuck with me like that first romance had. I’ll always remember it as my first romance novel.
In middle school, I moved on to earlier novels. Now I was in the YA category, picking out any covers that looked flowery and girly. Some of the books I read could be considered chick-lit more than romance, but they were still all I devoured. Sarah Dessen became a favorite of mine, and no other YA novelists seem to compare to her in that category. So she remained my favorite for a very long time, all the way into adulthood.
At 21 I decided I wanted to be an author. I’d done a lot of soul-searching and failing in college before finally making that decision. I was scared out of my mind when I admitted it to my boyfriend, worried he wasn’t going to support me, but he did. In fact, he pushed me. He said, “If it’s something you love, then you’ll make time for it.” Of course, at first that pissed me off, but then I realized he was right. I started looking into the YA and New Adult romance world, thinking that’s where I wanted to go.
- I discovered Kindle Unlimited.
- I discovered Karina Halle.
I read Heat Wave by her, and I had never read a contemporary romance novel like that in my life (mostly because my mom didn’t romance novels, so I never read them). I fell in love with everything. This was the first time I read a romance novel and genuinely thought everything about it was terrific. The storyline, characters, sex scenes. Everything was like my dream book come true, something I hadn’t been exposed to.
Then I started looking into more. I found Claire Kingsley and my life turned upside down. My first book by her was Book Boyfriend, and then I moved on to her Return to Jetty Beach Series, and so on. For anyone who reads my blog, you’ll know she’s my absolute favorite, and she inspires my writing in such a huge way.
I gave up on writing YA or keeping it strictly New Adult. I found a new way to see the world and see my writing. I jumped in, head first, and kept my Kindle Unlimited queue packed ever since. I find new amazing authors along the way and follow them on Amazon, keeping myself updated and ready for their next releases. I learn and consume as much as possible to hopefully have it reflected in my writing.
Side note: I actually have gotten a compliment like that on No Expectations. The reader told me he could tell the story was written by someone who loves to read, and I almost cried because of course, I like to read. I wouldn’t write if I didn’t.
Why do I love the scene now?
Since publishing my first novel, I’ve decided to become more prevalent in the indie romance scene, and I’ve realized how open and accepting a lot of them can be. I joined a few authors and readers groups, and I love seeing the connections between everyone. They give each other writing tips, and they are always willing to promote each other. I love supporting other authors because I want to see them do well. They’re my role models, and I wish success for them.
I also love how interactive Twitter has become ever since I found that secret romance community hidden inside. I mean, writers in general on Twitter are who I follow and interact with, but it’s also amazing to see other authors going through the same stuff I am. Starting this blog was my way of trying to make sense of this world and create a place for people who were like me and had questions could come to for more information.
I do think I need to step it all up, though. I just struggle to come up with great blogging topics I think would be beneficial for everyone. Give me some time to figure it out because I’m determined to make this all work.
Thank you so much for reading!
For anyone who is interested, I’m still looking for ARC readers, and I’m looking for new members to join my Facebook Group! I would love for it to be more interactive but most of the members are just my friends and family. Don’t worry, though, it’s entirely a safe place to express yourself and your love of romance!
Until next time 🙂