Hello, readers and writers!
I’m updating an older post this week because oldies can still be goodies, right? Over the last year since I started this blog, I’ve grown as a writer, media influencer, and graphic designer. That’s not to say I’m a professional offering these services for money or anything, but they help me with my writing career; therefore, they are incredibly important skills to continue improving.
But this week’s post isn’t about all that. It’s about my evolution into the seduction of the romance genre. My love affair with romance novels didn’t start late in life, though. It started in my childhood starting with love stories and moved on from there.
As a writer, I’m close to being three years into the romance writing industry. In August, I’ll have been a published author for two years already! That’s so crazy to think about, but I’ve learned so much and read a variety of romance novels over the year, establishing my style and my favorite kinds of romance novels.
Sidenote: Many people have lived most of their lives avoiding romance because of their pre-conceived notions, but I make an effort to challenge people’s ideas about romance as often as possible because they are most definitely not just about sex.
The start and growth of reading romance
- The starting point: my love of romance began when I was in elementary school. I read a book in third grade titled Flipped, and I absolutely loved it. After that, it took a long time before another book really stuck with me. I’ll always remember it as my first romance novel.
- During my adolescence: In middle school, I moved on to the YA category, picking out any covers that looked flowery and girly. Many 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 for me. She remained my favorite for all the way into adulthood.
- After my 21st birthday: I decided and finally declared to the people closest to me that I wanted to be an author. I’d done a lot of soul-searching and failing in college before finally making that decision. I had been 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.” I started looking into the YA and New Adult romance world, thinking that’s where I wanted to go.
- Now at almost 25 years old: Most of my writing is contemporary, but some can be categorized as New Adult romance. As I get older, so do my tastes, and I’m excited to see where continuing to age will lead me in my romantic interests.
The beginning of my serious romance writing career
Two things happened to me after I’d written 250 pages of a YA novel that will never see the light of day.
- 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). Instantly, I was in love with her style. 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 love to read. I wouldn’t write if I didn’t.
My descent into the indie author world
Since publishing my first novel, I’ve tried to become more involved in the indie romance scene, and I’ve realized how open and accepting a lot of people can be.
- I’ve 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!