Sometimes I get asked what was it that made me want to write romance novels. I don`t think I have any one reply to that query, as there are lots of things about romance books that spur me to write and read them. The character development, the humor, the angst, the climaxes (Take that one as you will *wink-nudge*) and the knowledge that despite what I saw on the news today, an HEA (Happily Ever After)awaits me at the end of the book.
Recently I was having a discussion with my fellow writers over at Storytime Trysts, and the topic of our first romance novels came up. It took me zero seconds to remember mine, and what an impact it had on me. The book is titled Nakoa`s Woman and is written by Gayle Rogers. It was first released in 1972 and has been rereleased a few times. I haven`t read it for over thirty years but I plan to reread it soon. This is the cover I remember-
And this is the newer cover-
It`s the story of a beautiful white girl who is captured by the Black Foot warrior, Nakoa. The book then goes on to show us their stormy relationship as she struggles to understand her growing love for her captor, while he fights against the customs of his people. It`s a powerful, realistic Native American historical romance that will have you in tears more than once.
Now if I do the math, I was around twelve when I first read this book. I`m not sure how I got my hands on it, but I suspect I stole it from my mother`s room. However it came into my hands it has remained in my mind and heart for all those years. This was the book that really opened up my eyes to many aspects of romance novels. Probably some I shouldn`t have been eyeballing at that age, I suspect. It sucked me into the power of a love between a man and woman, it showed me that love fortifies you when life seems unbearable, and it instilled a passion in my heart for the genre that has yet to be extinguished.
If I`m writing about zombie hunters, gods and goatherders, hockey stars, or single mothers falling for Seneca guides, the trials of our lovers as they fight to hold onto that love is what keeps me coming back again and again. The heartache and ecstasy of love never grows old, at least for me.
So tell me, what was your first book in your favorite genre? What about it created that lifelong spark for you to read or write about it?