Monday, September 19, 2011

Fierce Writing Women

by Amber Leigh Williams

I thought I'd continue Women of Achievement along the same theme as my post earlier this month. Then I shared the inspirational impact author Jane Austen had on my work and many others in the writing world as well as the romance community, only today the focus will be on writing women of the last century and the three that I most admire....

#1 - Nora Roberts

The first romance novel I remember reading was Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to write romance for the rest of my life! That was eleven years ago. Since then, I've read most of Nora's backlist as well as those written by her alter-ego, J.D. Robb. Her prose is unmatched, her stories unforgettable, and her heroes are irresistible. Whenever I need a trusty reread, I go back to Roarke and Eve or Ethan and Grace...or pretty much any other Nora Roberts book for that sure, feel-good HEA.

#2 - J.K. Rowling

There's nothing I can say about Jo Rowling that the rest of the world doesn't already know. This may trigger a nerd alert somewhere, but I have read her books through and through so many times I've lost count. Beyond Harry Potter and his compelling band of secondary characters, Jo's own story is one for the books. It was amidst the grim backdrop of low finances, single parenthood, and a devastating bout of depression that she wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Over the span of ten years, she stuck with her main character and his extraordinary journey through the magical world and her voice draws both young and adult readers again and again into Harry's adventures.

#3 - Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Unlike many romance readers, I didn't discover Kathleen E. Woodiwiss until two years before she passed away. It didn't take long to realize why her work is legend in the romance community. While not as prolific as Nora Roberts, or maybe because of that, each of her books are widely celebrated. As a teen, I didn't think anything would ever come close to eclipsing the Civil War love story of Rhett Butler and Scarlet O'Hara in Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind. My sister-in-law proved me wrong by loaning me her copy of Ashes in the Wind, a romance set against the same time period and the colorful backdrop of antebellum New Orleans. Within ten pages, I was in love with the prose and attached to the wanted heroine, Alaina. Anyone who knows any number of romance fans can attest of Kathleen's impact on the genre.

So readers, who are the authors who have impacted you the most? Who do you reread religiously and why do you keep going back to their work?


Laura Breck said...

Amber, love the post today. I appreciate your choices, especially because of the variety of genres. So often I read only in "my genre" and miss out on amazing writing by great authors.

I do love JR Ward for her uber-alpha males and sharp writing. La Nora, of course, who writes characters that live with me forever. And Linda Lael Miller for her so-very-lovable cowboys. Those are my top three - at the moment.

Jerri Hines/Carrie James-Haynes said...

Loved your post today. You hit on two of my all time favorite authors. Deeply envious of JK Rowling. Her writing transports you to a different world. Kathleen Woodiwiss...Ashes in the Wind...right behind Gone wih the Wind for one of my favorite romances.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, Amber. I have to admit I have not read Woodiwiss (shame on this romance writer) but I only came to like romance novels in the past few years. Not totally true - I had read many but didn't know I was reading romance. Ha. Anyway, I will definitely get Ashes in the Wind.

Debbie said...

I'd have to add Diana Gabaldon. There are times I believe Jamie and Claire to be real people and the history she includes (in a way that intrigues and doesn't bore) is amazing.

Jannine Gallant said...

Amber, you touched on two of my favorites from yesterday's post. Great minds... Authors I didn't mention because they aren't stictly romance are Mary Stewart and Barbara Michaels. I've had their books on my shelf for years and years. Still go back and reread them on occasion. Thanks for sharing your favorites with us.

Vonnie Davis said...

I'm currently rereading Linda Howard's Mackenzie Series, starting with "Mackenzie's Mountain" and each of their children's stories. Even with all the head hopping, they're great reads. I also often reread Nora's Mcgreagor Series because I love the family dynamics she weaves in. Linda Lael Miller's cowboys are fabulous. And to learn the power of internal dialogue, I reach for Jill Shalvis every time.