Tuesday, February 3, 2009

How I got hooked...

Hi, my name is Kelley and I have a confession to make. I used to be one of those people who snubbed my nose a romance novel *hides head in shame*. Of course I'd never actually read a romance novel when I felt this way. I assumed (and you know what they say about assuming) that they were all cheesy, gooey stories that I would never be into, which honestly made no sense. Not only was I completely wrong, but I've always be a romantic. Why I thought I was too good for romance books is beyond me.

So, about four and a half years ago my hubby, myself and our eight month old daughter moved from a tiny town in Southern Oregon (no more than two lane freeways, one grocery store in my town, 98 kids in my graduating class kind of small) to Southern California. His family was down here and it just so happened that my sister and her family had moved down here as well. So the move made sense and even though I was scared, I was excited too. Things were really hard on me at first. I went from a town where I knew everyone, to a city where I knew no one (family doesn't count :)). I went from always working full time to being a stay at home mom and my hubby worked A LOT. I was really lonely. On one of my lonely days I was browsing Barnes and Noble and ended up picking up my first romance. I devoured it and from that day on I devoured a great deal of books. I averaged about three or four a week reading any and everything I could. I was shocked at what I'd missed out on all those years! Not only were there beautiful relationships of intelligent women finding love, and steamy sex but also friendships. With a good book, I walk away feeling as though I've made a friend and at that time in my life that's what I needed most. I found that between the pages of my books.

My old love of writing started bursting to the surface again. I wanted nothing more than to give that same feeling of hope, love, and humor to other women, the same way the authors I read gave it to me when I needed it most. That's when the idea for Getting Lucky with Luciano started to form in my brain. It began with three friends and honestly, in almost all my books there will not only be a romance but strong relationships between women. I think our female friendships are SO important but some times get lost in the shuffle of our lives.

From Kaylee, Tabby and Bri Luciano popped into my head, followed by Nico. My hubster is Italian and when we moved here I was introduced to a large Italian family and the wonders of great Italian food which gave me the idea for Luciano's restaurant. I sat down to write and things have never been the same for me.

I am still a compulsive reader but my numbers have gone down to one or two books a week. With my writing and now TWO kids that's all I can do. I am so thankful for that trip to Barnes and Noble. I'm thankful I got off my high horse and opened myself up to the wonder that can be found beneath the cover of a romance novel.

Now it's your turn...who did your book reading habit begin? How did you get hooked or do you remember specifically what book hooked you?


~tivi jones said...

Hi Kelley!
It's funny the perceptions of romance novels people have until they actually read one- I was the same way!!

The thing I like about the romance genre, is that it can be soooooo many things. I was first hooked by "The Darkest Night" by Gena Showalter in audio form, which is paranormal romance, and from there I was hooked!

Then recently, like you, I embraced my old love of writing!

Great post, Kelley!

Eugenia O'Neal said...

I've always read anything I can get my hands on - even cereal boxes if there's nothing better! But I grew up with an aunt who loved Mills and Boons so I read them too - especially Anne Stuart who was one of her favorites. She also liked Barbara Cartlands and I remember reading a lot of them.

Jax Cassidy said...

It doesn't matter when you've discovered romance...but the fact that you did! Romance is a great escapism and there are so many talented writers out there, I'm glad I got over the 'embarrassed reading romance in public' thing...now I'm proud to read them at the airport, doctor's office, etc. Most of the time it's a good conversation starter.

Kelley Nyrae said...

It is funny what people think before we actually read one. I went kicking and screaming into paranormal romance too and now I LOVE them!

I always loved to read too but not as frequently as I do now. I read a lot of true crime books. What a swap, huh?

Romance is the perfect escapism!

rolanda said...

Hey Kelley!

Well, I never liked to read until probably about 3-4 years ago. I don't even remember the first book that got me hooked but I have been ever since. The addiction is so bad that I do believe one day soon I will need rehab and a 12 step program. :-) Reading gives me a release from the crazy world and allows me to imagine that I have an exciting life! lol What it has really done for me is to open a door to a world and to people that I would never have met...real people. My reading has blessed me with opportunities that I would never have encountered had I not picked up that first book or joined that first yahoo group. So, thank the lord for books....

Abigail McKenley said...

What a great post Kelley! My reading habit began when my parents moved us to Jamaica when I was five. At the time, there were only two channels on the island, so there was nothing else to do but read!

When I was nine, I read Mommie Dearest and when I was twelve, I got caught with Hollywood Wives Needless to say my mother was not happy, especially about the latter. She then gave me my first stack of Harlequins and I've been hooked ever since.

I don't read as much as I used to now that I'm writing, but I sure look forward to the days when I can curl up and get lost in a good book.

marciacolette said...

Hey Kelley!

My reading habit started with Stephen King and went straight up the horror road from there. Somewhere along the way I had shifted gears a little and got into Laurell K. Hamilton. Another shift of the gears took me to Sherrilyn Kenyon. Since then, I've never regretted my paranormal tastes. Not with the way with it's expanding. ;-)

Niambi Brown Davis said...

Hi, Kelley: I am a voracious reader and I was the worst romance snob in the world. I hated the covers! In the late 90s I came back to my town of 2,000 people to be my mother's caregiver. One day my cousin came by with a box of Arabesque books. Since I had nothing to read that day I picked up the books. Then I picked up the pen and the rest is history!!!

Connie Northrop said...

I couldn't possibly say what hooked me. I've been reading romance since grade school. I also read sci-fi and mystery but I usually want a romantic version of those. Call romance books my rose colored glasses. LOL

Kelley Nyrae said...

I'm loving hearing all your stories about getting hooked on books! Thanks everyone!